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How to Set Up a Beehive

Setting up a beehive is not difficult. You just have to know a few things. And it is pretty much like anything else, you have to learn a few new words and terms and what the various things are. I will take you through the complete process including installing your new batch of bees from a nuc.

If you are really new to all this bee and beehive stuff and you want a refresher on the parts of the hive I have a nice explanation with pictures right here: The parts of a beehive



Where to Keep your Hives

This is an important thing to consider. You really shouldn't put your bees just in any empty spot. There are things you can do to give advantage to your bees and keep them safer and more comfortable. The hive is sensitive to temperature, wind, and sunlight so you want to do what you can to protect these senstivities. One of the biggest things is that the hive be able to monitor and maintain its own temperature inside. This means sheltering it from major wind and sun. The following picture gives you a look at my hives and shows some of the important points for hive location.



Important points for hive setup and location

  • Notice how there is plenty of room around the hives and between the hives. This is so we can comfortably work on them and walk around them. And in the picture above you can see it is all soil surrounded by stones. This soil wouldn't be the best when it rains so I will be putting either pebbles or mulch down.
  • If you can, face the hives to the south/south east. This gives them more morning sunlight and protects them from cold northern winds, particularly in winter.
  • If possible you should set them so some kind of brush or tree growth is behind them. This will further protect them from dramatic and cold weather/winds. It acts as a good wind break. In the picture above there is an open spot to the left. It would be great if another tree were there. or maybe a large bush.
  • Dappled and irregular sunlight is terrific for the hives. You want to keep them out of full sunlight if possible and you don't want them totally shaded. Finding a dappled light spot is terrific.
  • Level ground - the hive itself should be nice and level but tipped slightly forward so rain will not run into the hive from the opening. And the ground should be reasonably level. You don't want to place the hive on the top of a hill where it will be subjected to strong winter winds or in the bottom of a depression where the heat and humidity can accumulate.

Ok Now let's set up the actual Bee Hive

The cinder block base

Set up a good solid base for the hives to sit on. Don't skimp on this. There is nothing worse than working on a hive and having it tip over! This will make a really stinging mess of things.

I use eight cinder blocks per hive.








The bottom board

Now lay down the bottom board. The opening is toward us. This is the south/southeast facing.










The Brood Chamber

Install one Deep Super on the base. This is the brood chamber. This is where the queen will spend most of her time laying eggs.










Install the Frames

Now install ten frames in this deep. Depending on how you get your bees you will be taking some of these out but thats something we will cover later. For now we are just setting the hive up.








NextLet's continue on with the beehive setup tutorial



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