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Naked Bee Hives - Blog

May 2, 2018

Let's get started!

Beekeeping starter kits - all the manufacturers offer them, but are you confident you know what you're getting?

Naked Bee Hives offers three basic hive kits - 10-frame setups in Western Cedar and Pine, and an 8-frame Pine kit.

Starter kits are designed for the beginning beekeeper - an enthusiast interested in starting out in the hobby. All of the basic structural items you'll need to start your hive are included. For example, in our 10-frame Western Cedar setup, you'll get:

  • 1 - Unassembled 10 Frame medium hive body
  • 1 - Unassembled 10 Frame deep hive body
  • 1 - Assembled Telescoping Cover
  • 1 - Inner Cover
  • 1 - Queen Excluder
  • 1 - Assembled Bottom Board (choice of screened or solid)
  • 20 - Unassembled frames (10 deep, 10 medium)
  • 20 - Waxed foundations (10 deep, 10 medium)
  • Screws and Nails for assembly

As most manufacturers state - the only thing you'll need to add is the honey bees - but you'll also want to get some basic tools, protective wear, and some knowledge on keeping bees.




March 29, 2018


Protect yourself

You wouldn't bounce onto an NFL game without the proper safety equipment (helmet and pads), so why wouldn't you also protect yourself around your beehives?

Be honest: most of us don't like getting stung - it's bound to happen around bees, but thankfully there are reasonable options to reduce that risk! Protective clothing not only helps prevents painful stings, it helps you remain calm when opening a hive of 50,000 unhappy bees! Bees can sense tension, and you'll be much more confident and calm if you feel protected.

Beekeeping protective clothing is available in many different styles and materials. You should be able to find one that pleases your beekeeping style and desired comfort level. At the very minimum, you'll want some type of head/face protection, as well as protection for your hands and arms.

Protective wear in apiary circles comes in a few distinct areas:

  • an independent hat with veil
  • a full suit with integrated hat/veil
  • a jacket with integrated hat/veil
  • beekeeping gloves

There are multiple variations on the above items - and Naked Bee Hives has chosen to limit their offerings to only the most popular items, at budget-friendly prices. We feature a cowboy-styled hat with veil, cotton and ventilated jackets with integrated hats/veils, and beekeeping gloves.




March 2, 2018

Why we specialize in Western Cedar!

The best bee hives start with top-quality lumber, and because we've been in the wood re-manufacturing business for more than 30 years, we're proud to offer lumber options that are not only ideal for housing bees, but are environmentally conscious and long-lasting. Western Cedar and Pine are both stable, long-lasting woods that provide excellent insulation for bees. Whichever wood you choose, you're choosing a hive that is not only kind to the bees, but kind to the environment and the beekeeper. Below are some key points about wood options and grades.

Western Red Cedar hives make an attractive piece of yard art that houses bees, with a natural level of unique aesthetic beauty. The wood has the quality of not being uniform in appearance. Every piece of cedar will have a different design of color, grain, and knot pattern.

Western Red Cedar is more than just a beautiful wood to look at. It has several physical qualities making it an excellent material to make bee homes with. Cedar is a wood with a very low density. Low density means a high proportion of air spaces, which makes Cedar the best thermal insulator of all our common building wood. It has a better insulating value then other woods - a hive with a higher insulating value assists the bees in managing the warming and cooling duties performed by the bees in the hive. A low density also makes Cedar more dimensionally stable, shrinking and swelling less in a wet climate. That’s not to say that it doesn’t shrink or swell at all, it just doesn’t do it as much as other woods.

The natural preservative properties in Cedar wood means it can also absorb high levels of moisture without developing mold and fungus growth. Being hygroscopic and resistant to mold and fungus is a good quality to have inside a bee hive because of the high levels of humidity and condensation the bees can produce.

NAKED BEE HIVES SPECIES & GRADES
WESTERN CEDAR
Kiln-dried Western Cedar is our premier wood option. Although this premium cedar costs more, it has many advantages: excellent strength for weight, natural rot resistance and a beautiful glow. Kiln drying ensures consistent moisture levels to minimize warping and cracking. If cared for correctly, a Western Cedar hive can last decades. We usually leave our hives unfinished to weather naturally to a grey patina, or alternately you can seal them with a coat of pure Tung Oil.

PINE
Kiln-dried Pine is our value wood option. Pine is slightly heavier than cedar and it doesn’t last quite as long. Even so, Pine is a very stable wood with few, infrequent knots. It’s strong, durable, and provides great insulation for bees. Pine trees grow very straight, are dimensionally stable (meaning they resist warping, shrinking), and process beautifully through our machines with minimal tearing or cracking, making it the ideal pine species for bee hives. It can be painted or sealed with a coat of pure Tung Oil.

PREMIUM GRADE
Premium lumber that has the least amount of imperfections allowed. This grade allows small tight knots on the outside of the box and small imperfections on the inside. No knots in the fingers, rabbets or hand holds are allowed.

COMMERCIAL GRADE
Premium lumber that has a limited amount of imperfections allowed. A clear face may be offset by imperfections on the opposite side. This grade allows small tight knots on the outside of the box and small imperfections on the inside. No knots in the fingers, rabbets or hand holds are allowed.

BUDGET GRADE
Our Budget Grade definition is so clean, one may mistake it for other manufacturers' #1 product. This grade is functionally sound with an allowance for tight solid knots, small pitch pockets and small tight cracks. Imperfections that interfere with the structure and functionality of the box are not accepted.




Feb 12, 2018

Get your apiary started!

So you're just starting out in the beekeeping hobby - and all the jargon has you confused? You're told by one person to begin your apiary with all deep supers, but another says medium supers are the way to go!

Confusion is understandable, but we're here to help. Naked Bee Hives offers three beekeeping starter kits - everything you need to start your own hive - plus all the accessories necessary to stay safe and keep your bees happy. All you need to add is bees! At prices ranging from $89 to $199, Naked Bee Hives will get you going on the path to a healthy apiary.

We offer three hive kits: 10 frame kits in premium Western Cedar and premium Pine, and an 8 frame kit in premium Pine.

Included in our 10 frame kits:

  • 1 - Unassembled 10 Frame medium hive body
  • 1 - Unassembled 10 Frame deep hive body
  • 1 - Assembled Telescoping Cover
  • 1 - Inner Cover
  • 1 - Queen Excluder
  • 1 - Assembled Bottom Board
  • 20 - Unassembled frames (10 deep, 10 medium)
  • 20 - Waxed foundations (10 deep, 10 medium)
  • Screws and Nails for assembly

Our 8 frame kit includes:

  • 1 - Unassembled 8 Frame deep hive body
  • 1 - Assembled Telescoping Cover
  • 1 - Inner Cover
  • 1 - Assembled Bottom Board
  • 10 - Unassembled deep Frames
  • 10 - Waxed foundations
  • Screws and Nails for assembly

We also offer a full range of protective wear, hardware and tools - everything you'll need!

 



Jan 22, 2018
Q: When is a good time of year to start setting up my first hive?

A: According to Portland bee expert, Tim W.: "Early April is best for starting the hive with bees, but prepping equipment and locating your apiary now is good."

Before beginning the beekeeping process, here are a few tips:

  • 1. Research your local beekeeping regulations and ordinances - make sure you can legally keep bees in your back yard or property.

  • 2. Buy gentle bees that have a history of being good pollenators - catching a swarm of bees may be exciting, but you never know what kind of temperament they might have!

  • 3. Purchase safety clothing - and wear them. Bees can sense your unease, and will react accordingly!

  • 4. Talk to your neighbors before introducing bees to your area. Offer free honey!

  • 5. Determine the location of your hive. Orient the opening away from any high-traffic area near your house - you don't want to be walking through the bees' flight path! Choose a location that receives sun, and is near a wall, so the bees fly up and over something to enter and exit. Bees kept in the shade are angry bees! Of course, proximity to flowering growth is good, as is a good water source!

  • 6. Consult your local beekeeping association for further questions. Here are our local organizations:
          Oregon State Beekeepers Association
          Washington State Beekeepers Association