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 (.pdf version)  (.pptx version) - Chris' presentation from the 3 hour class originally taught at Producers Cooperative in Bryan.
  • 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)

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.