Mason Jar Bee Hive: the diy method

Beekeeping made easy

Want to keep your own bees? It’s never been this easy.
Mason jar bee hive is an ideal consideration for small spaces. The smallest suburban backyards can be a perfect haven for honey bees to build hives.

Note: Find out from your nearest municipal office what you may do in your given location before setting off to make your mason jar bee hive. Another great idea is to contact a local beekeeping group and ask them for advice regarding the bees that occur naturally in your area. They will most likely be the best people to advise you.

For a mason jar bee hive, you will need:
a) 1 piece thick, unpainted plywood (this is where the honey jars are inserted into where the hive will exist so keep in mind the weight factor when you consider the strength and thickness of this wood);

b) 4 pieces of unpainted wood for the top frame, 2,5cm (1″) in height. The plywood should be a bit smaller than the surface area of the brood box;

  • Screw the 4 pieces of wood around/to the plywood to create a frame.

c) Place and trace around one mason jar lid at the corner of the plywood. Use a hole-cutter and cut out the circle hole inside the lid-tracing otherwise it will be too big when you want the mouth of the mason jar to fit the hole snugly;

  • Once you are happy, cut out all your circles.

d) Beehive bottom board (same size as the top frame);

e) Assemble the hive next. Set the bottom board, followed by the brood box where worker-made cells will house eggs, larvae and pupae to develop. Then place the queen excluder at the top;

  • Tip: Plastic excluders weigh much lighter. (Don’t know what an excluder is? An excluder is a barrier inside the beehive that allows worker bees through, but not a larger queen or drone to get past.)

f) 4 paint-free wooden side-panels for the hive, all of similar heights;

  • Finish construction by attaching and screwing together the wood panels and the frame to create a box-like structure with the plywood and holes on top while the bottom is open.

g) Wide-mouth, sanitized mason jars Fit the jars and ensure they all fit properly around the holes;

h) Starter strips / empty combs;

  • Finally fit the jars with starter strips or empty combs inside to lure bees inside (and keep them happy outside with these plants https://gardeningeden.net/2019/10/30/bee-gardening/). These starter strips and empty combs are available for sale on the internet and sellers post them to you. Let the bees do what they do best. Get bees from a farm. Like the empty combs/starter strips, you can find one near you online. Once filled with honey, you can close the jars lids for cover again.
  • Note: not all bee spesies are o.k with this type of bee hive.

The only question left is, why have you not done this before now?

How to garden organically: Top 10 hacks

How to garden organically is simple, easy and mostly free. Organic gardening encourage and include nature as its fertilizer, pesticide, fungicide and weed control. The tips discussed here include pantry items like honey when propagating. Photo by Chinh Le Duc on Unsplash

How to garden organically is 99% logic and 1% patience. Once the garden’s true balance is restored, you will be amazed at the simple genius of the natural ecosystem design.

1) Epsom salt is first on the top 10 list. Use it to boost plant growth in general and when planting seedlings or new plants as they help with transplant shock (1 tablespoon of Epsom salt in the bottom of the hole followed with a thin layer of sand before planting as usual). Epsom salt consists of hydrated magnesium sulfate (magnesium and sulfur) which serves as a tonic booster for flower blooming and enhances a plant’s green color.
2) Keep the cooled water that was used in boiling vegetables or eggs. This water is a great nutrient-rich tea for your plants and depending on what was cooked in it, will be full of specific benefits such as a calcium left over from cooking eggs.
3) The enzymes in honey promote root growth. Dip your cuttings in honey to use it as a rooting hormone while also benefiting from its anti-fungal properties.
4) Hydrogen peroxide can help your seeds sprout, save your plants from fungal diseases and even prevent root rot (1 part hydrogen peroxide to 32 parts water in a spray bottle). It also helps grow healthy roots because of extra oxygen molecules and additionally aid the plant roots in absorbing nutrients from the soil. Make sure to use food grade hydrogen peroxide.
5) Sprinkle Cinnamon over your seedlings, plants and soil as it provides fungus and disease protection. When you make a cutting, dip the stem of almost any plant variety into cinnamon as it will stimulate root growth.
6) Keep pests like snails and slugs, ants and caterpillars away with used coffee grounds and instead attract earthworms. Bonus! This recycling idea for coffee is popular when pondering how to garden organically. An added benefit is that the plants will receive nitrogen from the grounds at the same time and microorganisms love coffee grounds, which is great for soil health.
7) Plant a hole-free terracotta pot near your plants, fill with water and close the top with its own tray. The clay lets water through slowly and as needed.
8) Use coffee filters when dealing with sandy or clay soil. Plant the filter as a container in position and fill with good soil before planting your seedling or seed. The filter will eventually decompose and provide the plant with carbon. Another great idea is to plant small boxes, paper bags or more filters near plants, filled with kitchen waste and topped with soil. These will turn into mini-compost bombs and the plant roots will go mad with joy when they grow upon them.
9) Vinegar kills young, soft-stemmed weeds and ants.
10) Use plastic-free cardboard around your fruit trees to keep weeds down long-term, sprinkle green foliage or soft-stemmed weeds over and add a layer of thick mulch to hide the lot. This combination of mulch, green waste and cardboard will decompose over time and feed your fruit trees for a long time to come.

Got any more tips we did not mention here? Leave them for us in the comment box below.