Getting Started in Beekeeping
To get started in beekeeping, most people buy the bees from suppliers. These are available as packages of bees, a screened in box hold 1-3 pounds of bees plus a queen. Keep in mind that there are approximately 3,000 bees per pound. Then there are Nucleus hives that can be purchased which have 4 or 5 frames of drawn combs and generally about 3 pounds of bees or more. These are usually transferred to larger boxes holding 8-10 frames each after you get them. Of course, some beekeepers capture swarms or make artificial swarms ranging anywhere from less than 1 pound to as much as about 7 pounds on average. Every swarm typically has the queen that led the swarm with it. In terms of hives, these can range from small scale observation hives of maybe 1-5 frames to full conventional hives of 8 or 10 frames per box, having multiple boxes stacked vertically. There can even be horizontal hives that resemble a trough holding up to 35 combs of bees on average. Beekeepers can start as small scale or as large scale as they want in a variety of sizes of hives.