Get Started with your Bees
Did you know that a healthy hive in its second season can produce around 50lbs of honey?
Great news for the world of urban gardening! With the mayor’s signing of the Sustainability Act of 2012, urban beekeeping is now legal in DC. Bees are an essential part of nature – in fact, bees pollinate the food from one of every three bites we take! By installing a hive, you are helping not only your own garden, but helping to protect one of nature’s most important pollinators and an essential part of the food chain. Honeybees are mysteriously disappearing all over the world, and keeping backyard hives is an important step in supporting this crucial pollinator. Plus – bees are fascinating creatures, fun to watch, and produce local honey (which has been known to help alleviate seasonal allergies).
Love & Carrots will begin offering hive installation and maintenance May 1st. Our beekeeper, Sarah, apprenticed with master beekeeper, German Perilla, and has several years of local experience keeping bees. More details will be added to the website soon, but if you’re interested in a hive of your own, contact firstname.lastname@example.org today, as we have a limited number of hives for the season!
How it Works
Installation & Maintenance
Sarah will come to your site to scout the location and find the best place to nest the hive. On her second visit she will place the fully constructed and painted hive, equipped with your honeybees, in your yard or garden.
Honeybees have survived on their own in the wild for thousands of years. However, when keeping bees it is best to keep a keen eye on them in their first few months. They are not needy creatures but they will need to be fed in the beginning to aid in honeycomb production. Sarah will perform all the necessary maintenance on the colony and work out a schedule with you that is dependent on the needs of the colony. Suggested hive visits are once a week for the first two weeks, then once every two weeks to ensure the your colony’s health and stability.
Many flowering plants need the help of pollinators, such as honeybees, to transfer pollen between flowers of the same species. One of the best ways a plant can attract a pollinator is with the sweet nectar found in flowers. Honeybees harvest the nectar and turn it into delicious honey! Lucky for us, honeybees don’t always use all of the honey they produce! Once your hive is established, you can expect between 30-50 lbs of honey a year.
When your honeybees begin producing enough honey to harvest, Sarah will arrive with a portable extraction device to harvest your honey with you and your family on-site! Be sure to have a few jars ready, or we can supply a custom jar and label for your unique honey.
We use Italian honeybees, known for their calm demeanor and ability to produce quality honey. The bees themselves start as a package consisting of 3 pounds of honeybees and one laying queen. We introduce them to a hive and provide all the care they need in their first few months. This means that your bees will be well-situated in their hive by the time they are relocated to your house. Your colony, though fairly mature, will still need close monitoring in the weeks following installation to ensure the are happy and healthy in their new surroundings.
What about stings?
Many people have a misconception that bees are aggressive or dangerous. In fact, the European honeybees we breed are known for their docility. A bee dies when it uses its stinger, and thus only does so when it feels she or the queen is in mortal danger. Only the female members of a honeybee hive can sting. The males, or drones, do not have any stinging apparatus. You could say they’re the cute, fuzzy, teddy bears of a honeybee colony. In our experience, most stings happen by accident (for example when a person puts their hand over a bee they don’t know is there).
Your hive will arrive completely assembled and painted and will consist of the following parts:
- 1 telescoping cover
- 1 inner cover
- 1 screened bottom board
- 1 mite tray
- 1 entrance reducer
- 1 plastic top feeder
- 1 feeder frame
- 2 deep hive bodies
- 20 deep frames with foundation
Custom Paint, Stain, or Hive
Custom Painted hives are available! For an additional fee, we can customize your hive color to match other structures in your yard, or with a logo or design.
Installation & Maintenance
Installation, including the hive, the bees, and labor, will start at $330. Maintenance will be based on an hourly rate plus driving miles. Most visits will only be 30 minutes; however frequent checks will make sure we can stem any potential problems before they begin.