Beekeeping basics: Starting a colony

Getting Started as a Beekeeper


Welcome to beekeeping, friend. Some of the greatest people we know are beekeepers. No, really. It’s a fact. You are in good company.

You probably have many questions about what it will take to start your own colony. Let us help you navigate those first steps. Links on the left will take you to information about different types of hives, what you need to buy to set up a hive, how to choose the perfect location for your hive, and how to register your hive in Ontario.

To get you started, here are a few beekeeping DOs and DON’Ts.



  • Join a community beekeeping group, online or in real life. Other beekeepers have a wealth of knowledge that can get you through your first year. If possible, find a mentor.
  • Research. Ask questions. You will never stop learning as a beekeeper.
  • Shop locally for your bees and other beekeeping supplies.
  • Have a sense of humor. Bees rarely do what you think they should do.
  • Inspect your bees regularly.
  • Think ahead. Understand what each season holds for your bees and make sure you stay one step ahead.



  • Get discouraged. There are ups and downs in beekeeping. If you make a mistake, learn from it.
  • Have a closed mind. The adage goes, if you ask 10 beekeepers the same question, you will get 20 different responses. Keep your mind open to different perspectives and techniques. Learn to sift and focus on tips that can help you the most. When in doubt, stick with tried and true techniques.
  • Don’t dump a frame of bees on your spouse’s head (yes, this really happened to us. No, it didn’t end well.).