Some people may not be aware of how important bees are to humans. They play a major part in the survival of the planet and everything on it, including you and your loved ones. With some species of bees already instinct and a few others in danger of joining them, humans should start rethinking how they go about on this earth. One way to care for these beings, aside from not messing up their chances of reproducing, is to go into beekeeping. And one genius method gaining popularity these days is making a Mason jar beehive.
Of course, your best efforts in saving the beloved bees should be to care for the things that keep them alive and help them thrive. If you use pesticides, bulldoze forests to build malls, or cause electromagnetic pollution, you are endangering the bees and other living beings.
What you should do is to stop doing all these while also opening the minds of other people to this reality. At the same time, you can start your own Mason jar beehive. However, you need to keep your beehive in check.
Urban beekeeping is considered by some as a factor in the issues wild bees are facing nowadays. Too much bees introduced by beekeepers are affecting the wild ones negatively. They compete with the wild bees for pollen and nectar. Artificially-bred bees may also carry diseases and pass them on to the natural pollinators.
You can still go through with your beekeeping plans but you have to be responsible enough not to become part of the problem. To do so, you need to control your bees. Watch out for signs that they are about to swarm. You have to divide the colony before they do so the wild bees will still have what they need to get by.
With regards to starting a Mason jar beehive, below are what materials you will need and the steps you have to take.
What You Will Need
For your DIY Mason jar beehive, you need the following:
- Mason jars (number will depend on size of your beehive)
- Thick plywood, preferably 16” x 20”
- 4 pieces of 1-inch wood
- 4 wood panels
- Beehive bottom board
- Brood box
- Queen excluder
- Wood screws
Making Your Mason Jar Beehive Cover
First, cut the plywood according to the size of your bottom board and brood box. Your plywood should be thick and sturdy so it can hold as many Mason jars as possible. There is no standard size when it comes to your beehive box but make sure that the plywood is big enough to cover the hive.
Imagine a cardboard box with a separate cover. The cover fits the opening of the box entirely keeping the contents safe inside. That’s the idea behind the thick plywood lid. It’s supposed to cover the box properly to keep the bees inside.
Next, grab a Mason jar and trace its mouth on the plywood with a pencil. Make as many circles as you have jars. Leave ample space between the jars so you can easily screw and unscrew them.
Drill holes on the plywood using a spade bit or hole saw. The hole can be as big as the lid of the Mason jars so they can fit perfectly. Make sure you cut inside the circle so you won’t be left with a hole that’s too big for the mouth of the jar.
If you don’t have a hole saw, you can drill smaller holes as long as their big enough for the bees to move through. You just need to glue and screw the lid onto the plywood. Screw the frame and the wood panels together to create a box. Place the plywood with the holes on top while leaving the bottom open.
You will then have to make another box using more wood panels. Its size should be the same as the first box. The next step is to place starter strips inside each Mason jar before screwing the jars properly in place. Put the second box around the jars then cover it with the lid. The bees can go in and out of the Mason jar and leave their honey. All you need to do now is to wait for your supply of honey. Of course, you have to check your Mason jar beehive from time to time.
Mason Jar Beehive Tips
Do not leave your Mason jar beehive under direct sunlight or somewhere that gets hot at certain times of the day. The jars are prone to getting hot, especially since they are completely covered by the box. You can also place a screen over it to lessen the effect of the sun.
Your bottom board should have a screen. This will keep pests such as varroa mites away.
There are classes that teach beekeeping. If you have little confidence on your beekeeping knowledge, go to these classes and increase your potential for success and regular supply of honey.
Novice beekeepers can also check out discoverbeekeeping.com to learn more about this craft. Beekeeper and bee hive builder Nick Winters will guide you as you go through your beekeeping journey.
Having a Mason jar beehive has its perks. For one, proper and responsible beekeeping will help in keeping the bee population from vanishing. Second, you get your own supply of honey. Plus, it gives you something to do, especially in the homestead. Visit The Gentleman Pirate for other skills you may want to learn to become self-sufficient.
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