All About Keeping Bees

Learn the basics of keeping bees, build a DIY top bar hive, and start backyard beekeeping.

By Staff
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Bee Hive

About Bees

More About Bees: Basic Bee Information
If you’re not familiar with bees and their typical behaviors, here’s some basic bee information. Originally published as “More About Bees” in the May/June 1973 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS.

All About Bees
By Eric Grissell
Bees play an important role in maintaining biological balance in our environment and recycling soil nutrients. Learn all about bees in this excerpt from Bees, Wasps, and Ants.

Basic Honey Bee Facts
By Eric Grissell
Honey bees receive more attention than any other insect, but they are one of the most important to our biological system. Find out what a honey bee is and why colony collapse disorder is threatening their population and our food supply.

Bumble Bee Buzz Pollination for Your Plants
By Eric Grissell
See how bumble bees can pollinate your garden using buzz pollination and how a strain of fungus is affecting their population.

Carpenter Bees: The (Harmless!) Garden Pollinators
By Eric Grissell
Carpenter bees — familiar to most gardeners — are harmless bees. Read how these bees, as their name suggests, forage your garden for wood.

Solitary Bees: Specialist Pollinators for Your Garden
By Eric Grissell
Solitary bees, such as the digger and squash bee, nest in the soil, making them great pollinators in your garden. Learn which flowers they prefer and how they can help your garden grow.

How to Attract Mason Bees: A Beneficial Pollinator
By Barbara Pleasant
The Mason bee of the Osmia species is a great pollinator and can work blossoms at a lower temperature than honeybees. Learn how to attract mason bees, a wonderful beneficial insect.

Country Lore: Bees Increase Fruit Yield
By Roy Holder
Keep bees and be pleasantly surprised at your bigger and better fruit harvests!


Backyard Beekeeping for Beginners
By Bill Benintente
Discover the basics of what you need to begin backyard beekeeping, from buying honeybees and constructing the hive to preventing bee swarming and harvesting honey.

Beekeeping Basics
By Keith Rawlinson
All about beekeeping as a business and building your own beehives.

Beekeeping for Beginners: Bee Supplies to Get Now
By Alethea Morrison
Hive boxes, bee smoker and a bee suit are just a few of the supplies a new beekeeper shouldn’t be without. Find out what other gear you need before you start beekeeping.

Keep Bees, Naturally!
By M.E.A. McNeil
Enjoy the sweet rewards of beekeeping. Here’s what you need to know to keep bees — using natural methods — and harvest fresh, delicious honey from your own back yard.

Homestead Beekeeping: How to Keep Bees
By Virginia Owens
Virginia Owens shares how she and her family created a beekeeping business in New Mexico from the ground up. Originally published as “Homestead Honey” in the November/December 1971 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS.

Successful Beekeeping with Your Own Honeybees
By Mary Lou Shaw
Beekeeping can be a fun and productive hobby. You’ll have your own fresh honey, and keeping bees is easier than you might think.

My 6 Tips for Starting Beekeeping
By The Surrey Beekeeper
What follows are my top 6 tips on how to start beekeeping; a most wonderful hobby that I urge everyone to take up.

Getting Started in Urban Beekeeping
By Kim Flottum
There’s never, ever been a better time to get involved with honey bees and beekeeping.

Courses in Beekeeping
By Joel Bourne
Courses in beekeeping can lead to a hobby or vocation that generates income; this article includes tips for the amateur apiarist on getting started, equipment and bee hives.

Learning About Bees and Beekeeping: Three U.S. Regional Associates
By Kim Flottum
Three U.S. regional beekeeping associations offer much to beekeepers at any skill level and experience. Beeyard adventures, workshops, lectures, honey shows, and the chance to meet hundreds of likeminded individuals await you here.

Find Local Honeybees for Wild Honey
By Robert E. Donovan
You can reap some sweet rewards with this ancient and challenging form of tracking, including baiting the bee, establishing the beeline, extracting honey from the hive and domesticating honeybees.

How Much Protective Clothing Should I Wear While Working Bees?
By David Burns
If this is your first year to keep bees, wear as much protective clothing that makes you feel comfortable but as you become more experienced try wearing less so that you can fully enjoy beekeeping. Just how much protective clothing should you wear?

How Do You Install a Package of Bees?
By David Burns
How to install a package of bees.

The Beekeeper’s Apprentice Steps Up
By H2
Check out the installation process of an urban beehive.

Setting Up a Beehive is the Hardest Part — We Promise
By Ed Robinson
Maintaining a beehive is not nearly as complicated or scary as some people believe. Read abut beekeeping supplies, duties and benefits in this guide to beekeeping basics.

Keep Summer Bees Cool
By Kim Flottum

Cool bees are more productive than bees that have to work at keeping cool. Here’s several ways to help your bees keep cool this summer.

Common Winter Beekeeping Problems
By Luke Dixon
From pests and diseases to large predators, here are several solutions to common winter beekeeping problems.

Getting Your Bees Ready for Winter…Already
By Kim Flottum
It’s time to start thinking of winter for your bees. They must have enough food to get through the long months when no food is coming in. It’s your job to see that they do.

Winterizing your Bees the Natural Way
By James A. Zitting
This post is about winterizing a colony of bees naturaly, using ideas and tips that we at BeeLanding have learned from nature.

The Making of Queen Bees
By Merrill Schulz
An amateur apiarist can revitalize queenless colonies, or successfully divide strong ones, if the beekeeper understands the making of queen bees. Originally published as “THE MAKING OF A QUEEN” in the May/June 1981 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS.

Queen Rearing: An Introduction for Beekeepers
By Jim Cameron and Jeanne Malmgren
Many amateur apiarists are discovering that honey production is only part of the challenge and reward of beekeeping.

Swarm Care
By Kim Flottum
Catching a swarm of bees is awesome. Now learn how to take care of them.

Feeding Bees With Real Food – Honey and Pollen
By Kim Flottum
You don’t have to depend on nature to feed your bees. Take matters into your own hands and plant enough good food for your bees.

Top Bar Hive

DIY Top Bar Hive
By Jennifer Kongs
Thinking about bees? Check out this DIY top bar hive!

Keeping Bees Using the Top-Bar Beekeeping Method
By Phil Chandler
You can build an inexpensive top-bar hive and start keeping bees next spring! This natural method of raising bees is better for the bees and easier for the beekeeper.

Abuzz Over Top-bar Beekeeping
It’s funny how we can sometimes lose sight of the simpler ways of doing things. Top-bar beekeeping is an easier and more affordable method of raising bees, which can give you fresh honey and higher yields from your garden.

Getting a Top Bar Hive Ready for Winter
By Kim Flottum
When getting a top bar hive ready for winter, you need to know how much honey there is.

Photos By Fotolia and Kim Flottum