Hey guys thank you for letting me join your forum. My husband and I want to start two new hives next year. Were new to bee keeping. I think my location is listed on here but we live in the northern California mountains. Zone 7.
There’s a lot of information on beekeeping out there and I’m not entirely sure where to start. I’ve located a good area for the hives away from the house. The area seems to have a wind buffer. It gets morning sun and afternoon shade. It is in the bottom of a little valley outside our house, And by outside our house I mean about 20 to 25 feet away from our front door.
Now the summers where we live get to be about 95° and the winters don’t go below 20. On our heaviest snow day we got about 13 inches of snow for three weeks this last winter.
I’m wondering what kind of hives would be best for our area? The Langstroth hive? Styrofoam? Or wood? I’ve heard Styrofoam was warmer in the winter.
I know they’re supposed to be elevated off the ground but I’m not really sure how big of a hive to get to ensure that we have enough honey for our family of four while still leaving enough honey for the bees to use in the winter?
I was also thinking of making a heated birdbath near the hives to give them water throughout the year. Not sure if this is necessary.
I’m sorry for the rambling post but I’m kind of just trying to get my bearings with all this. I expect we will be ordering the bees in January for a spring delivery and I wanna make sure everything‘s ready in time.