top of page
KOOPHAUS landing.jpg

The Beginners Guide to Beekeeping

Our beekeeping journey began with just one hive. When one hive slowly grew to several, we started harvesting honey and raising queens, learning a lot along the way. 

 

We know that beekeeping can be intimidating, so to make your journey as a new beekeeper a bit easier, we put together a guide to help you through the first 90 days. 

What you'll need

Prerequisites

  • Check your local ordinances
     

  • Select a location for your hive.
    The hive should be placed in early morning sun. This gets the bees out of their hive earlier in the day to forage. In our local climate, hives should receive some afternoon shade.

     

  • Check with your neighbors!

Essentials

  • 1 Feeder + Granulated Sugar for Syrup

  • 1 Deep Box with wooden frames and foundation 

  • 1 Solid Bottom Board

  • 1 Inner Cover with Telescoping Lid

  • 1 Hive Stand

  • 1 Hive Tool

  • 1 Smoker
     

  • Protective gear: A Bee suit and Gloves

Bees at Work

Day 1: installing your nuc

Make sure your hives are in their permanent location!

  • Put on your suit, gloves and boots -If it’s your first time have someone check that all of the zippers are 100% closed.

  • Start your smoker. Wait until a steady stream of cool smoke is coming out of the smoker without pumping it.

  • Place the nuc next to the hive.

  • Open your hive and remove all of the empty frames.

  • Give the nuc a 2-3 puffs of smoke, then remove the cover.

  • Start on one side and gently remove each frame- Frames should be placed into the hive in the same exact order. 

  • Very carefully install 5 empty frames- All of the nuc frames should now be on one side of the box-.

  • Give the bees 2 puffs of smoke above the frames and cautiously put on the inner cover and top. Bees should be fed 2:1 Syrup. The box should now have 10 frames.
     

Congratulations! You have a new hive!

Bees at Work
Swarm of Bees
  • Minimum 1 x per week just do a visual inspection - with daytime temperatures over 65 degrees there should be a good flow of bees coming and going.

  • External Feeder - check level, when empty refill.

  • Once every 2-3 weeks - Remove the cover and count the frames with bees - record the number frames with bees. This is how we will monitor the growth.
     

The first 60 days
To-dos

 

 

Within the first 60 days, a healthy colony should grow to cover 80 percent or more of the frames.
* Only if the bees have reached 80 percent coverage should a beekeeper consider adding another level. Premature additional boxes can put unnecessary stress on the colony.

Beekeeper%20Holding%20a%20Honeycomb_edit

Day 60 - Day 90

To-dos

  • Add another level

  • Check for mites - treat if required

  • Feed

 

 

By the ninetieth day there should be two boxes of bees with a minimum of 80 percent coverage in both boxes. With a healthy colony you could put another super on for honey production, or make another hive!

Still have questions?

Contact us or check out an online event

Video's to help you get started

Getting Started in Beekeeping 01 Introduction - Beekeeping Basics - The Norfolk Honey Co.
16:07
Getting Started in Beekeeping 02 Waggle Dance - Beekeeping Basics - - The Norfolk Honey Co.
11:41

Getting Started in Beekeeping 02 Waggle Dance - Beekeeping Basics - - The Norfolk Honey Co.

Welcome to the 2nd in the series "Getting Started" part of my Beginner Beekeeping Sessions designed to help the novice beekeeper get started in Beekeeping. This video is all about the waggle dance and how the honeybee communicates the location of nectar and pollen plants to it's co-workers via the waggle dance. Beekeeping can be a total pleasure but beekeeping can also be a total pain! Get things wrong and beekeeping becomes a frustration and not a joy. In this basic beekeeping series called Getting Started in Beekeeping I aim to help anyone who is thinking of starting beekeeping or has just started beekeeping to gain more knowledge and understanding about beekeeping and therefore enjoy the beekeeping experience even more. Subscribe to my channel to keep up to date with all of my beekeeping videos: Sunday: Beekeeping Basics Wednesday: Getting Started in Beekeeping Friday: Microscopy for Beekeepers Subscribe here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCpXjo1sDWxAR0_PpF4Y1ymA My Social Media Feeds: Twitter: @NorfolkHoneyCo Instagram: norfolkhoneyco The book used as a reference for the waggle dance information and featured in this video is linked below for UK viewers: The Buzz about Bees by Jurgen Tautz: http://amzn.to/2eLJcLM Or try here for US Viewers: http://amzn.to/2eDlldN Looking for a great first book for beekeeping? Check out two of my favourites below: UK: Try The Best Selling Beekeeping Book Ever! Guide to Bees and Honey by Ted Hooper Click here for Link: http://amzn.to/2eWHB42 The Honeybee, Around and About by Celia Davis Click Here for Link: http://amzn.to/2eVa2la USA: The Backyard Beekeeper by Kim Flottum Click Here for Link http://amzn.to/2fi9JOo Or Try The Best Selling Beekeeping Book Ever! Guide to Bees and Honey by Ted Hooper Click here for Link: http://amzn.to/2ficqzi
Getting Started in Beekeeping 03 Colony and Castes - Beekeeping Basics - - The Norfolk Honey Co.
15:51

Getting Started in Beekeeping 03 Colony and Castes - Beekeeping Basics - - The Norfolk Honey Co.

Getting Started in Beekeeping - Part 3. The Colony and Castes. This series of videos is designed for the new beekeeper or for someone who is thinking of starting to keep bees for the very first time. In this video I look at what a honeybee colony consists of and what the different castes or types of bee exist within the colony. Beekeeping can be a total pleasure but beekeeping can also be a total pain! Get things wrong and beekeeping becomes a frustration and not a joy. In this basic beekeeping series called Getting Started in Beekeeping I aim to help anyone who is thinking of starting beekeeping or has just started beekeeping to gain more knowledge and understanding about beekeeping and therefore enjoy the beekeeping experience even more. Subscribe to my channel to keep up to date with all of my beekeeping videos: Sunday: Beekeeping Basics Wednesday: Getting Started in Beekeeping Friday: Microscopy for Beekeepers Subscribe here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCpXjo1sDWxAR0_PpF4Y1ymA My Social Media Feeds: Twitter: @NorfolkHoneyCo Instagram: norfolkhoneyco The book used as a reference for the SuperOrganism information and featured in this video is linked below for UK viewers: (Affiliate links) The Buzz about Bees by Jurgen Tautz: http://amzn.to/2eLJcLM Or try here for US Viewers: http://amzn.to/2eDlldN Looking for a great first book for beekeeping? Check out two of my favourites below: UK: Try The Best Selling Beekeeping Book Ever! Guide to Bees and Honey by Ted Hooper Click here for Link: http://amzn.to/2eWHB42 The Honeybee, Around and About by Celia Davis Click Here for Link: http://amzn.to/2eVa2la USA: The Backyard Beekeeper by Kim Flottum Click Here for Link http://amzn.to/2fi9JOo Or Try The Best Selling Beekeeping Book Ever! Guide to Bees and Honey by Ted Hooper Click here for Link: http://amzn.to/2ficqzi
Getting Started in Beekeeping: 04 - Honeybee Evolution and Aristotle!  - The Norfolk Honey Co.
15:47

Getting Started in Beekeeping: 04 - Honeybee Evolution and Aristotle! - The Norfolk Honey Co.

Getting Started in Beekeeping - Part 4 - Honeybee Evolution and Aristotle! This series of videos is designed for the new beekeeper or for someone who is thinking of starting to keep bees for the very first time. In this video I look at how the honeybee has evolved over millions of yers and how the honeybee was viewed in ancient times by people such as Aristotle. Information relating to Aristotle was found at https://www.agriculture.purdue.edu/agcomm/newscolumns/archives/OSL/2000/September/091400OSL.html Beekeeping can be a total pleasure but beekeeping can also be a total pain! Get things wrong and beekeeping becomes a frustration and not a joy. In this basic beekeeping series called Getting Started in Beekeeping I aim to help anyone who is thinking of starting beekeeping or has just started beekeeping to gain more knowledge and understanding about beekeeping and therefore enjoy the beekeeping experience even more. Subscribe to my channel to keep up to date with all of my beekeeping videos: Sunday: Beekeeping Basics Wednesday: Getting Started in Beekeeping Friday: Microscopy for Beekeepers Subscribe here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCpXjo1sDWxAR0_PpF4Y1ymA My Social Media Feeds: Twitter: @NorfolkHoneyCo Instagram: norfolkhoneyco The book used as a reference for the SuperOrganism information and featured in video 03: is linked below for UK viewers: (Affiliate links) The Buzz about Bees by Jurgen Tautz: http://amzn.to/2eLJcLM Or try here for US Viewers: http://amzn.to/2eDlldN Looking for a great first book for beekeeping? Check out two of my favourites below: UK: Try The Best Selling Beekeeping Book Ever! Guide to Bees and Honey by Ted Hooper Click here for Link: http://amzn.to/2eWHB42 The Honeybee, Around and About by Celia Davis Click Here for Link: http://amzn.to/2eVa2la USA: The Backyard Beekeeper by Kim Flottum Click Here for Link http://amzn.to/2fi9JOo Or Try The Best Selling Beekeeping Book Ever! Guide to Bees and Honey by Ted Hooper Click here for Link: http://amzn.to/2ficqzi
Getting Started in Beekeeping: 05: The Beehive - The Norfolk Honey Co.  #Beekeeping
19:08

Getting Started in Beekeeping: 05: The Beehive - The Norfolk Honey Co. #Beekeeping

Getting Started in Beekeeping - Part 5: The Beehive - Making the right choice for you. This series of videos is designed for the new beekeeper or for someone who is thinking of starting to keep bees for the very first time. In this video I look at how the honeybee has certain nest requirements and look at the different types of commmon beehives that are currently in use. Beekeeping can be a total pleasure but beekeeping can also be a total pain! Get things wrong and beekeeping becomes a frustration and not a joy. In this basic beekeeping series called Getting Started in Beekeeping I aim to help anyone who is thinking of starting beekeeping or has just started beekeeping to gain more knowledge and understanding about beekeeping and therefore enjoy the beekeeping experience even more. Subscribe to my channel to keep up to date with all of my beekeeping videos: Sunday: Beekeeping Basics Wednesday: Getting Started in Beekeeping Friday: Microscopy for Beekeepers Subscribe here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCpXjo1sDWxAR0_PpF4Y1ymA My Social Media Feeds: Twitter: @NorfolkHoneyCo Instagram: norfolkhoneyco The book used as a reference for the SuperOrganism information and featured in video 03: is linked below for UK viewers: (Affiliate links) The Buzz about Bees by Jurgen Tautz: http://amzn.to/2eLJcLM Or try here for US Viewers: http://amzn.to/2eDlldN Looking for a great first book for beekeeping? Check out two of my favourites below: UK: Try The Best Selling Beekeeping Book Ever! Guide to Bees and Honey by Ted Hooper Click here for Link: http://amzn.to/2eWHB42 The Honeybee, Around and About by Celia Davis Click Here for Link: http://amzn.to/2eVa2la USA: The Backyard Beekeeper by Kim Flottum Click Here for Link http://amzn.to/2fi9JOo Or Try The Best Selling Beekeeping Book Ever! Guide to Bees and Honey by Ted Hooper Click here for Link: http://amzn.to/2ficqzi
Getting Started in Beekeeping: 06: The Beekeeping Year Part 1 - The Norfolk Honey Co.  #Beekeeping
19:03

Getting Started in Beekeeping: 06: The Beekeeping Year Part 1 - The Norfolk Honey Co. #Beekeeping

Getting Started in Beekeeping - Part 6: The Beekeeping Year Part 1: Spring This series of videos is designed for the new beekeeper or for someone who is thinking of starting to keep bees for the very first time. In this video I look at how the beekeeping year from the perspepective of a new beekeeper who is just purchasing their first nucleus colony of honeybees. We look at the way the season starts and how the influence of the weather affects the honeybees development in terms of the colony size. Beekeeping can be a total pleasure but beekeeping can also be a total pain! Get things wrong and beekeeping becomes a frustration and not a joy. In this basic beekeeping series called Getting Started in Beekeeping I aim to help anyone who is thinking of starting beekeeping or has just started beekeeping to gain more knowledge and understanding about beekeeping and therefore enjoy the beekeeping experience even more. Subscribe to my channel to keep up to date with all of my beekeeping videos: Sunday: Beekeeping Basics Wednesday: Getting Started in Beekeeping Friday: Microscopy for Beekeepers Subscribe here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCpXjo1sDWxAR0_PpF4Y1ymA My Social Media Feeds: Twitter: @NorfolkHoneyCo Instagram: norfolkhoneyco The book used as a reference for the SuperOrganism information and featured in video 03: is linked below for UK viewers: (Affiliate links) The Buzz about Bees by Jurgen Tautz: http://amzn.to/2eLJcLM Or try here for US Viewers: http://amzn.to/2eDlldN Looking for a great first book for beekeeping? Check out two of my favourites below: UK: Try The Best Selling Beekeeping Book Ever! Guide to Bees and Honey by Ted Hooper Click here for Link: http://amzn.to/2eWHB42 The Honeybee, Around and About by Celia Davis Click Here for Link: http://amzn.to/2eVa2la USA: The Backyard Beekeeper by Kim Flottum Click Here for Link http://amzn.to/2fi9JOo Or Try The Best Selling Beekeeping Book Ever! Guide to Bees and Honey by Ted Hooper Click here for Link: http://amzn.to/2ficqzi
Getting Started in Beekeeping: 07: The Beekeeping Year Part 2 - The Norfolk Honey Co.  #Beekeeping
15:07

Getting Started in Beekeeping: 07: The Beekeeping Year Part 2 - The Norfolk Honey Co. #Beekeeping

Getting Started in Beekeeping: 07: The Beekeeping Year Part 2 - The Norfolk Honey Co. #Beekeeping This series of videos is designed for the new beekeeper or for someone who is thinking of starting beekeeping for the very first time. In this video I look at how the Late Spring to Summer beekeeping year from the perspective of a new beekeeper who is just purchasing their first nucleus colony of honeybees. We look at the way the beekeeping season progresses from late Spring into Summer and how the honeybees develop in terms of the colony size and honey production. Beekeeping can be a total pleasure but beekeeping can also be a total pain! Get things wrong and beekeeping becomes a frustration and not a joy. In this basic beekeeping series called Getting Started in Beekeeping I aim to help anyone who is thinking of starting beekeeping or has just started beekeeping to gain more knowledge and understanding about beekeeping and therefore enjoy the beekeeping experience even more. Subscribe to my channel to keep up to date with all of my beekeeping videos: Sunday: Beekeeping Basics Wednesday: Getting Started in Beekeeping Friday: Microscopy for Beekeepers Subscribe here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCpXjo1sDWxAR0_PpF4Y1ymA My Social Media Feeds: Twitter: @NorfolkHoneyCo Instagram: norfolkhoneyco The book used as a reference for the SuperOrganism information and featured in video 03: is linked below for UK viewers: (Affiliate links) The Buzz about Bees by Jurgen Tautz: http://amzn.to/2eLJcLM Or try here for US Viewers: http://amzn.to/2eDlldN Looking for a great first book for beekeeping? Check out two of my favourites below: UK: Try The Best Selling Beekeeping Book Ever! Guide to Bees and Honey by Ted Hooper Click here for Link: http://amzn.to/2eWHB42 The Honeybee, Around and About by Celia Davis Click Here for Link: http://amzn.to/2eVa2la USA: The Backyard Beekeeper by Kim Flottum Click Here for Link http://amzn.to/2fi9JOo Or Try The Best Selling Beekeeping Book Ever! Guide to Bees and Honey by Ted Hooper Click here for Link: http://amzn.to/2ficqzi
Getting Started in Beekeeping: 08: The Beekeeping Year Part 3 - The Norfolk Honey Co.  #Beekeeping
16:03

Getting Started in Beekeeping: 08: The Beekeeping Year Part 3 - The Norfolk Honey Co. #Beekeeping

Getting Started in Beekeeping: 08: The Beekeeping Year Part 3 - The Norfolk Honey Co. #Beekeeping This series of videos is designed for the new beekeeper or for someone who is thinking of starting beekeeping for the very first time. In this video I look at the Late Summer to Autumn beekeeping year from the perspective of a new beekeeper who is progressing their first colony of honeybees. We look at the way the beekeeping season progresses from late Summer into Autumn and how the honeybees develop in terms of the colony size and honey production. We look at the jobs that need to be done and how to keep the bees strong and healthy. Beekeeping can be a total pleasure but beekeeping can also be a total pain! Get things wrong and beekeeping becomes a frustration and not a joy. In this basic beekeeping series called Getting Started in Beekeeping I aim to help anyone who is thinking of starting beekeeping or has just started beekeeping to gain more knowledge and understanding about beekeeping and therefore enjoy the beekeeping experience even more. Subscribe to my channel to keep up to date with all of my beekeeping videos: Sunday: Beekeeping Basics Wednesday: Getting Started in Beekeeping Friday: Microscopy for Beekeepers Subscribe here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCpXjo1sDWxAR0_PpF4Y1ymA My Social Media Feeds: Twitter: @NorfolkHoneyCo Instagram: norfolkhoneyco The book used as a reference for the SuperOrganism information and featured in video 03: is linked below for UK viewers: (Affiliate links) The Buzz about Bees by Jurgen Tautz: http://amzn.to/2eLJcLM Or try here for US Viewers: http://amzn.to/2eDlldN Looking for a great first book for beekeeping? Check out two of my favourites below: UK: Try The Best Selling Beekeeping Book Ever! Guide to Bees and Honey by Ted Hooper Click here for Link: http://amzn.to/2eWHB42 The Honeybee, Around and About by Celia Davis Click Here for Link: http://amzn.to/2eVa2la USA: The Backyard Beekeeper by Kim Flottum Click Here for Link http://amzn.to/2fi9JOo Or Try The Best Selling Beekeeping Book Ever! Guide to Bees and Honey by Ted Hooper Click here for Link: http://amzn.to/2ficqzi