Beekeeping FAQs

This page is meant as a place for "General Beekeeping Information".   For now it's just a semi-random list of links, forms, presentations, etc., but if it gets too big we'll probably try to re-organize it into something with a little more structure.   Note that some of these are other webpages, some are .pdf (you'll need Acrobat viewer), and yet others are a .ppt or .pptx (you'll need a Powerpoint viewer).

Presentations for Bryan/College Station area

These are the classes specifically developed and used in the Brazos Valley area (although the information will often apply anywhere in Texas).

  • Beginning Beekeeping (.pptx) - An overview of the basics of what a person might need to know who is interested in becoming a beekeeper.
  • Beekeeper Year (.pptx) - A month-by-month description of what you should be doing with your hives, specifically created for the Bryan/College Station area (so adjust based on how far away you live).   Also available is the Single Page Chart (the last slide of the presentation) showing the entire year at a glance (in MS Excel format)  
  • TAMU Honey Analysis Procedures (.pdf) - Document from Dr. Vaughn Bryant on how to have your honey tested to see what pollen is actually in your honey.
  • Bee Medicine (.pdf) - Presentation from a medical perspective (written by an MD) on bee stings, as well as the various methods of "apitherapy".  
  • Getting an Ag Sales Tax Exemption Number - Webpage which details how to get a SALES tax exemption (so you can buy bee supplies without having to pay sales tax).
  • What would I order? (.docx) - An MS Word document detailing a list of items Chris Barnes would buy if he was starting from scratch today.
  • Chris' Guide to generating a "good password" - This has nothing to do with bees or beekeeping.  But since this website will eventually use a password, it's good information (from someone who has been an IT professional for 30+ years).

Youth Program classes

These are the classes specifically developed and used for the Brazos Valley Youth Program. Even though the "target audience" is meant for kids aged 12-17, I suspect they could be of use to new beekeepers of all ages.

  • Honey Bee Biology (.pptx) - Introduction to Honey Bees. (Class #1)
  • Hive Types (.pptx) - Discussion of the most common types of bee hives in use in our area, and the pros & cons of each.(Class #2)
  • Where do you get bees? (.pptx) - Comparison of packages vs nucs vs swarms, with the pros & cons of each. (Class #2)
  • Pests & Diseases (.pptx) - An introduction to the problems (and solutions) which can effect your bee hives. (Class #3)
  • Feeding & Nutrition (.pptx) - What, How, & Why/When to feed your bees (Class #4)
  • Setting up your Apiary (.pptx) - Discussion of where to place the beehives on your property. (Class #5)
  • When to Re-Queen (.pptx) - How to know when it's time to replace the queen in my hive? (Class #6)
  • Space Control (.pptx) - When to add or remove boxes on a hive? (Class #7)
  • Botany for Beekeepers (.pptx) - A guide to plants for beekeepers (specific to the Bryan/College Station area). (Class #8)
  • Tools of the Trade (.pptx) - A quick lesson in all of the "extra tools" a beekeeper can buy (which ones you need, which are nice to have, and which you don't need). (Class #9)
  • Beginners Guide to Splits (.pptx) - Why, What, How, & When to split your hives (Taught to 2nd year youth participants)

Beekeeping information from the web

These links are not "classes" per se, but are links to really good articles on various beekeeping topics and issues.  

  • Glossary of Beekeeping Terms - Bee Source webpage giving definitions of most of the lingo used by beekeepers.
  • Fat Bees Skinny Bees - "A manual on honey bee nutrition for beekeepers."  A scientific study published in 2005 by the Australian Government (but much of it has direct application to beekeepers everywhere).
  • Recognizing and Avoiding Swarms 
  • Understanding Honey Crystallization (.pdf) - Khalil Hamdan's excellent article which first appeared in "Bee World" magazine in vol. 87, 2010.
  • Mosquito Control and Beekeepers (.pdf) - A University of Florida publication on the things beekeepers need to do in areas where government agencies sometimes attempt to control the mosquito population.
  • Agricultural Valuation for Beekeepers in Texas (link) - A report designed to help beekeepers understand agricultural valuation by their Texas county appraisal district and to provide good information to the appraisal districts for creating fair land valuation.