When should I start my hive?

Alf Brugman Beekeeping Blog

This is a frequently asked  question by beginner beekeepers. There is a fair bit to do to put together your first hive, when you buy the equipment it is raw pine and has to be nailed together and painted. The frames have to be assembled, wired and foundation embedded onto the wire. After a colony is added to the box the bees will begin drawing out the foundation into the cells so the queen can commence laying. This requires a lot of work and collection of nectar and depends a lot on which trees and shrubs are flowering. It takes 8kg of  honey for the bees to make 1kg of wax, so the more time they have, the better. This is why it is best to put bees into your new hive in the springtime so they can draw out the foundation in the brood chamber and then during the summer draw out and fill the super above the brood chamber with honey. It is vital that the bees store enough honey in that first season to get them through the next winter and not starve out. After your colony is strong and filled with plenty of bees you should enjoy many years of happy beekeeping.