A checklist for the new beekeeper


The PerfectBee 3-Step plan to your first beehive walks you from your initial curiosity, through the purchase and installation of your beehive (and bees!) all the way to success as a beekeeper, with a healthy beehive.

One of the joys of beekeeping is that the learning never stops. Beekeepers with 40 years of experience will tell you that they learn something new from their bees every year. This is, of course, much of the attraction of beekeeping, amongst many other benefits.

But it’s important ​to have a plan and PerfectBee is happy to present the following high-level checklist, easing you through each step. We link to important content and guides throughout and the intent is to provide an initial “roadmap” as you start down the path towards becoming a successful beekeeper.

Part 1: Preparing to Be a Beekeeper

Is beekeeping right for you?

  • Budget
  • Spare time
  • Safety
  • Relations with neighbors
  • Location

Why bees are important

  • Pollination
  • Honey
  • Propolis

How the hive works

  • The lifecycle of bees
  • Roles of workers, drones and the queen
  • How bees communicate
  • Surviving the seasons
  • When and why bees leave the hive
  • Hive materials

The science of bees

  • Interaction with the environment
  • Bee anatomy and functions
  • Bee senses and their purpose
  • Pheromones and their purposes
  • Breeding and genetics

Part 2: Getting Set Up As a Beekeeper

Types of beehive

  • Langstroth
  • Warre
  • Top Bar

Equipment and clothing

  • Smokers and fuel
  • Beeswax collector
  • Cap scratcher
  • Uncapping knife
  • Hive tool
  • Frame perch
  • Bee brush
  • Honey harvester
  • Follower board
  • Mite collector
  • Beekeeping suit
  • Veil
  • Gloves
  • Ankle protector

Planning and purchasing

  • Beehive location
  • Timing
  • Locals laws
  • Finding a mentor
  • Number of hives
  • Kits or components

Installing your hive

  • Finding an appropriate location
  • Assembling your beehive
  • Painting
  • Stacking

Obtaining and installing your bees

  • Package of bees
  • Nucs
  • Swarms
  • Troubleshooting

Part 3: Keeping Your Beehive Healthy​

Understanding threats to bees

  • What bees need and don’t need
  • Colony Collapse Disorder
  • Diseases
  • Pests
  • Pesticides

Maintaining the integrity of your hive

  • Swarms
  • Queenslessness
  • Requeening
  • Robbers
  • Overwintering
  • Feeding