Welcome to the beekeeping section of my site. These posts are going to be less about guides and more of a log of my progress with beekeeping. They may be a bit rambly but I'm doing this for my own records. If you want to follow along that's fine by me.
I've been interested in beekeeping for about 2 years or so now but have never had a place I stayed at long enough to warrant getting into it. This year I'm very excited to be moving into my first house. Unfortunately, with the housing market in Utah how it is at the moment, I had to make a lot of compromises. The last requirement I had to let go was a yard, which of course means I needed to find a different place to keep my bees.
I started watching Cody'sLab, a popular YouTube channel ran by a fellow Utahn. He goes over plenty of different science topics but I've always found his beekeeping videos to be the most interesting. Since getting introduced to it I dived into all of the different beekeeping topics (wax rendering, queen breading, honey harvests, etc) and found it to be very interesting and oddly relaxing.
Watching the occasional video helped but left me with plenty of questions. This year for Christmas I was gifted Beekeeping For Dummies. I'm new to all of this so I could be wrong but from my perspective this book has been fantastic. It's answered every question and has really helped me feel prepared for the upcoming season when I install my Russian bees this April. It even has an included calendar to tell you what should be done at what date depending on your climate area.
Beekeeping with No Yard
Because I have no yard I had to find another location for my hive. I had two plans on where to start. First was with the mayor of my future town and second was with the BLM. Seeing as the BLM was shut down when I tried to contact them I went with option one. I'll note that that I'm still considering the BLM due to the Challenges section below.
The mayor put me in contact with a very nice old lady, who we'll call Doris, that owns about 100 acres in the area. Doris has her own apple orchard of about 50 trees and she's interested my bees helping with pollination. The area is noticeably lacking in flowering plants (or houses with gardens) so I'm sure her orchard doesn't see many bees.
There were a few things I needed to consider when picking a location on Doris' property;
- A hive needs some shade as to not get too hot. However, too much shade and the bees will stay in their hive later into the day and therefore be less productive
- A windbreaker would be ideal to help prevent the hive from being blown over
- Facing the hive south-east also helps with productivity as the sun will hit the entrance earlier into the day
- The bees need a source of water. The closer the better
After going over the area on Google Earth I found two Juniper trees on the far end of Doris' property. I marked down the coordinates and headed out in the Jeep to find the place.
After a few hours of looking on steep, muddy, snow covered terrain, I finally stumbled on what I've decided to call "The Twonipers". These two hideous desert trees provide great shade for my hive and have a comfy amount of clearance between them. It's not a perfect location but it's the best I think I'll get with my situation.
The approach was tricky with there being no road and steep hills. I wasn't able to make it back up the hill I came down to settle on The Twonipers. This may limit the amount of water I can transport out for my trees, but as far as getting stuck, I only see that being a problem during the winter season.
Next I'd like to plant some flowering trees at the area, set up some level cinder blocks for my hive to rest on, and possibly even attempt to create a pond nearby. So keep watching this site for updates and if you'd have any helpful advice I'd love a comment.