Beekeeping is a great activity for homesteaders. If you’re concerned about the space, don’t be. There are lots of solutions out there, you can even try my favorite, DIY mason jar beekeeping. You’ll just need a couple of supplies to get started, some wood, the bees, and you guessed it, mason jars! So scroll on and check out what the steps are so you can get started on beekeeping the easy way.
DIY Mason Jar Beekeeping
Growing a beehive may not seem a suitable idea for suburban homesteaders due to space limitations. However, with a little bit of research and planning, even a common suburban backyard can be a perfect place for beehives.
Mason jar beekeeping is an ancient DIY art. Here’s an ingenious tutorial by Remove and Replace.
Materials Needed for your DIY Mason Jar Beekeeping:
- 1 – Piece of 2″ x 12″ x 6′ wood (cut 2 pieces for the sides to 22″)
- 1 – Piece of 2″ x 12″ x 6′ wood (cut 2 pieces for the front and back to 18″)
- 1 – Piece of 1″ x 1″ x 6′ wood (cut 2 pieces for the top frame left and right sides to 22″)
- 1 – Piece of 1″ x 1″ x 6′ wood (cut 2 pieces for the top frame front and back to 18″)
- 1 – Piece of thick plywood (cut to 16″ X 20″)
- 1 – Bottom beehive kit (for the bees to enter and exit)
- 12 – Big mouth quart sized mason jars (for honeycomb)
- 1 – Box of wood screws (size 1″ screws)
- 1 – Can of wood stain (use a dark wood stain of your choice)
- And, lastly, your bees.
Step 1: Cut a piece of thick plywood to 16″ x 20″
Be the change you want to see and save the bees with HoneyColony’s exclusive ‘Bee the Change’ t-shirt. Not only is this 100% organic-cotton tee the height of fashion according to Lucky magazine; proceeds from each t-shirt help bee-friendly initiatives.
Step 2: Measure and center for 12 holes
Drill 12 holes measuring approximately 3 1/2″. Use a hole saw for best results.
Step 3: Screw everything together
From a 2″ x 12″ x 6′ board, cut two 22″ pieces. And from a 2″ x 12″ x 6” board, cut two 18″ pieces. Screw everything together. You may also stain the wood a your color of choice.
— Homesteading (@HomesteadingUSA) May 27, 2015
Step 4: Arrange the mason jars
Arrange 12 wide-mouth mason jars and make sure they all fit properly over the holes. You may need to add some shims to support the jars so it won’t sag with the weight of the honey.
Step 5 : Let the bees fill the jar with honey!
Put starter strips or empty combs inside the jars. Let the bees do their job filling the jar with honey. Once filled, you can pop the jar lids back to cover them.
Here are a few things to remember when beekeeping in mason jars:
- The jars will get hot easily because there is no ventilation through them. It is best to keep them away from the sunlight or put a screen over them.
- Don’t allow your bees into the area surrounding the jars. Otherwise, they will build a mess for you to clean up, and they may decide it’s easier to construct comb between the jars rather than in the jars.
- Always sanitize the mason jars before using them to keep your bees.
Need more beekeeping tips? Here are some basic tips for beginners from Dr. Tarrin P Lupo:
Are you going to give this beekeeping technique a try? Let me know below in the comments!