Keeping Honeybees

If you’re interested in bee conservation and helping declining bee populations, the most impactful thing you can do is create a pesticide-free, wildflower-rich habitat. But if your main goal is to harvest your own honey, then consider becoming a backyard beekeeper. It requires hard work and serious attention to care for honeybees and create a space for them to live and thrive, but you might just have what it takes — and the rewards are sweet! Consider these factors when deciding if backyard beekeeping is right for you:

Choosing Your Hive

While several types of hives exist for backyard beekeepers, we recommend the Langstroth hive, especially for beginners. The Langstroth hive consists of boxes, with frames inside, set up in a stack. The bees build a brood nest at the bottom of the stack and fill the top boxes with honey. You can buy and research Langstroth hives many places online, but here are the basic components:

Bottom Base
Deep Box with Frames

(which keeps the queen and her brood at the bottom of the hive)

Medium Box with Frames
Inner Cover
Outer Cover


The Italian bee is the most recommended species for beginning beekeepers. Aside from their calm behavior, Italian bees are also great producers of honey. There are several different ways to get your bees. Also, do an online search for local beekeepers in your area who can help you get started.


We hope this gives a good overview of what you’ll need and what to expect as a backyard beekeeper. But educating yourself is key to keeping your bees safe and your hobby satisfying. We encourage reading and learning as much as you can before you start, and best of all, connect with a local beekeeping mentor to help you along the way.