If you are preparing to take the plunge and become a beekeeper but just have some doubts, please take a moment to view this presentation. Created by one of our club members, Evan Davies, it may help you make the decision, is beekeeping something I am able to do?

This presentation is usually presented by CBA at numerous locations December through February. Check out the Latest News and the Upcoming Events to find a location near you.

Come on out and see what the "buzz" is all about!

Right Click and select "Save Target As" to download this presentation.

Often new beekeepers are looking for a reference manual or text to become familiar with all the aspects of beekeeping. There are many out there but this one from the University of Pennsylvania is FREE:



Free On-line pdf version is downloaded with this link.

Mentor Program
Any new beekeeper will benefit from having a mentor. The Colonial Beekeepers has a Mentor Program that attempts to pair up new beekeepers with club members that are local to them. If you are a club member and would like to participate in this program please contact Ron Davis at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 757-865-7641.

What about the Beehive Grant Fund?
To read the guidelines and requirements for qualification under the Beehive Grant Program follow this link.

Equipment Needed To Get Started
Hi, I'm Pete Ostrowski, former president of Colonial Beekeepers Association and here is a list of items that I would presently recommend to get started in beekeeping. Many suppliers provide Beginning Beekeeping Kits but as it often is with kits you get some stuff you'll not need or could be replaced by better. Remember, ask 7 beekeepers a question and get 7 different answers. These choices are my opinion only. Researching these items between different suppliers or kits may reduce costs. I've updated this list in fall 2012 using Mann Lake as a supplier as they have FREE shipping for orders of over $100. You can download this info on a spreadsheet by clicking here. This spreadsheet has been updated in Fall 2015 with information and comparitive pricing from 3 suppliers: Mann Lake, Hampton Apiaries and Dadant. Also note that some of the pictures below are from suppliers other than Mann Lake but the products will be similar. Mann Lake just didn’t have good pictures to copy….

Another great option is contacting our local Beekeeping Equipment Supplier, Andy Westrich. Andy is a distributor for BeeLine Apiaries, Maxant and most recently Dadant. You can find his contact info here.

There are some assumptions that I’ll be making while compiling this list:

I am going to list products making the assumption that two hives are going to be started. It is a recommended practice to start with two so that comparisons will indicate to the new beekeeper if problems are present.

I am going to assume that the new beekeeper has elected to go with all medium supers for building the hive so all equipment is interchangeable.

I am going to assume that the new beekeeper has elected to go with 10 frame equipment.

I am going to assume that the new beekeeper wants to practice Integrated Pest Management (IPM) with the new colonies.

OK, let’s get ready to hive some bees:

1. An Instruction Manual - you'll want to have a reference manual and this one is basic and has much good information.
BM-150 Starting Right With Bees $9.95

Starting Right With Bees

2. Telescoping covers and inner covers - the roof and ceiling of the hive.
WW-301 10 Frame Telescoping Cover With Inner Cover 1 - 4 $27.95 X 2 = $55.90

Telescoping covers and inner covers

3. Screened Bottom Board(IPM) - the floor of the hive.
WW-685 10 Frame Varroa Trap With Drawer 1-4 EACH $26.95 x 2 = $53.90

Screened Bottom Board

4. Entrance Reducer - reduces the size of the front door until the bees are established and able to defend their colony with a full size entrance.
WW-355 10 Frame Entrance Reducer $1.50 x 2 = $3.00

Entrance Reducer

5. Medium Supers (10 each) - the walls of the hive. (These can be bought in two separate buys to reduce initial costs and shipping as the colony will take time to use all ten of these supers.)
WW-605_b 6 5/8" (16.83 cm) Unassembled 10 Frame Hive Body Commercial Grade Supers - Bulk $11.50 x 10 = $115.00

Medium Supers

6. Medium Frames (100 each) - these are like rooms within the hive. They will hold the comb. 10 frames are required for each super.
FR-912 6 1/4" (15.88 cm) Unassembled Select Frames - Wedged Top & Groove Bottom - Case of 100 $79.00

Medium Frames

7. Small Cell Foundation (IPM) - This provides the template for the bees to build comb. One sheet per frame is normally used. (These also can be bought in two separate buys as mentioned above to reduce initial costs and shipping as the colony will take time to use all this foundation.)
FN-230 5 5/8" x 16 3/4" (14.29 cm x 42.55 cm) Small Cell Wired With Hooks $10.95 x 10 = $109.50

Small Cell Foundation

8. Feeder - it will be necessary to feed sugar water to a new colony to assist it in establishing itself. There are many feeder styles but for starting out I’d suggest just using a quart jar with a feeder lid on top of the inner cover. Another option might be a hive top feeder like this.
FD-110 10 Frame Top Feeder w/ Super $19.95 x 2 = $39.90

9. Smoker - it is a good practice to use smoke when you inspect your bees. It calms and disorientates them so they are easier to work. You can buy fuel but grass clipping, pine straw and other items work well and are free.
HD-555 4" x 7" (10.16 cm x 17.8 cm) Smoker With Guard $34.95


10. Hive Tool - will not be necessary in the beginning but as the bees establish the hive and propolize, the tool assists in separating the components. I recommend the hook-end type tool.
HD-620 10 1/2" Frame Lifter and Scraper $9.95

Hive Tool

11. Protective Clothing - a veil is the minimum protection required (you don’t want to get stung in the eye!) regardless of what you’ve seen or heard. I like this jacket veil combination and suggest some bib type overalls to wear along with it. For more protection a coverall is the way to go! (fit should be loose, nothing skin tight in the bee yard!)
CV-420 Economy Hooded Jacket $52.95

Hooded Jacket
CV-315 Economy Hooded Suit X Large $74.50


12. Gloves - many suggest starting without gloves or transition to going without gloves but regardless you’ll want a pair to have in your kit. I suggest the non-ventilated type as there is not much ventilation and you can get stung through the screen. Another way to go is with a yellow dishwashing glove or nitrile gloves.
CL-158 Large Meyer Gloves $21.95

Deluxe Gloves

13. Additional Nice To Have Items:
HD-650 Frame Perch $19.95

Frame Perch

HD-630 Standard Frame Grip $16.95

Frame Grip

HD-660 Bee Brush $4.95


Note that these are 2012 prices

  • $9.95 Manual
  • $55.90 Inner & Telescoping Covers
  • $53.90 Screened Bottom Boards
  • $3.00 Entrance Reducers
  • $115.00 Medium Supers
  • $79.00 Medium Frames
  • $109.50 Small Cell Foundation
  • $39.90 Hive Top Feeders
  • $34.95 Smoker
  • $9.95 Hive Tool
  • $52.95 Jacket & Veil Combo
  • $21.95 Gloves
  • $578.60 TOTAL less items #13
  • $19.95 Frame Perch
  • $8.95 Frame Grip
  • $4.95 Bee Brush
  • $612.45 TOTAL for all items
  • Shipping costs are not included as Mann Lake has FREE shipping.



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March Meetings
and Events

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

March 12 & 13

10:00 AM - 5:00 PM

Williamsburg Home Show


March 15th

6:00 PM - 9:00 PM

Monthly Club Meeting


March 17th

6:00 PM - 9:00 PM

Beginning Beekeeping
Day 1


March 24th

6:00 PM - 9:00 PM

Beginning Beekeeping
Day 2


March 31st

6:00 PM - 9:00 PM

Beginning Beekeeping
Day 3





Follow the "Upcoming Events" or "Latest News" link under the Main Menu for more information.





NewBees Corner


Information listed here is for the new beekeepers looking for new information and guidance on beekeeping and beekeeping chores:




Watching the 10 day weather forecasts? Spring is upon us! The maples are blooming, that purple stuff is coming up all over my yard, the bees are bring in pollen and surely some nectar. The 15 day forecast has the daytime temps in the 50's, 60's and even 70's and more importantly the nighttime temps are in the 40's and 50's. Those colonies are going to start building up. Time to get busy. Two hive manipulations to consider in these next couple of weeks are "Opening the Broodnest" and/or "Rotating Hive Bodies". If opening/expanding the brood nest I would caution to start slowly here in March but become familiar with the technique and get more agressive in April and May. Another thing to consider is adding supers at this time. A good discussion of adding supers early is given by Walt Wright in "Nectar Management 101". Here we go!