FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

How do I become a member?

Click here to print out a membership form! You don’t need to be a beekeeper to support Burgh Bees! http://burghbees.com/documents/membership.pdf

Where can I find out more about classes you offer?

We offer a beginner beekeeping class twice a year.  Check out our “News and Classes” to see when our next class will be offered.  Advanced beekeeping classes are held on an as needed basis.

Where can I purchase local honey?

Burgh Bees sells their honey at Farmers at the Firehouse Farmers Market in the Strip District throughout the summer.  You can also send us and email info@burghbees.com and we can arrange to get you some!  We harvest in July and in October and we sell out very quickly!  There are also many local beekeepers selling their honey as well.  They can be found listed on our website.

How can I put a hive in the community apiary?

The Community Apiary is currently full, however should openings become available, an announcement for applications will be sent out in our Monthly News Blast.  Plans are currently in the works for a second apiary in the Brookline section of the city.

I have bees living in my house, can you remove them?

Burgh Bees does not remove honey bees, however you can look here to contact someone who does.

What type of plants can I put in my garden to attract honeybees?

There are many different plants that attract honeybees to your yard.  Mints such as spearmint or Anise Hyssop are great nectar sources.  Flowers such as coneflowers, black-eyed susans, clover and dandelions are all favorites.

Are honeybees aggressive?

No.  Honeybees are very docile unless trapped, disturbed by harassing their home or stepped on.  A honeybee flying around you in just being curious and will not sting you.  They only sting in defense of their hive.

Do I have to worry about Africanized honey bees (aka “Killer bees”)?

No.  Africanized bees are found only in the very southern states like Texas, Louisiana, Florida, Arizona and more recently Georgia.  They are not adapted to cold northern climates.

My queen is gone! Where can I purchase a new one?

There are numerous queen producers throughout the United States.  Some of Burgh Bees favorites are Zia Queen, Fatbeeman and VP Queens.

You can also purchase locally raised queens from Country Barn Farm, SteffesWood Apiary or from Meadow Sweet Apiary.

Is there a local dealer to purchase bee equipment?

Absolutely!  Joe Zgurzynski of Country Barn Farm is a dealer of Brushy Mountain Bee Farm equipment.  He carries many of the common items (hive bodies, frames, foundation, tools, smokers etc) and if he doesn’t have it he can get it for you!

A cluster of bees landed in my tree, what do I do?

You have just seen a swarm!  Swarming takes place April through June in Western Pennsylvania.  They are very docile and will not “attack” or sting if they are left alone.  Contact Steve at meadowsweetbees@gmail.com or 412.445.7872 and he will assist you in getting them relocated.

Help! I need a Mentor!

We can help!  Send us an email at info@burghbees.com and let us know where you live and we will do our best to put you in touch with a veteran beekeeper near you.

How much space do I need to keep bees?

In an Urban environment such as Pittsburgh and its suburbs, it is suggested that no more than 2 hives per 2,000 sq. ft.  It is recommended that a water source, a flight path away from high use areas, good sunlight and gentle bees are all key to successful urban beekeeping.

Are there laws against keeping bees?

Check with your local government to see if there is an ordinance in place.  In the City of Pittsburgh, an Urban Agriculture Ordinance was passed that permits beekeeping as a regulated activity.  A one time permit is required  and there is an application that needs to be filled out.  Contact us and we can provide some good “know how” to assist you in applying.

Do I have to register my hives with the state?

Yes! It is required by law to register your hives with the Department of Agriculture.  This is done to protect you the beekeeper.  The Dept. of Ag will notify you in any type of spraying conducted by the state is going to occur in your area and also allows for the monitoring of honeybee diseases, especially American Foulbrood, by the state bee inspectors.

Where can I purchase bees?

There are many sources of bees from packages to local nucleus colonies.  These lists change all the time.  Contact us and we can provide lists of some of our preferred sources.

I want to start beekeeping, can you suggest some good books to read?

There are a lot of great books out there, some are even at your local library!  We suggest reading books such as First Lessons in Beekeeping by keith Delaplane, Honey Bee Biology and  Beekeeping by Dewey Caron, Beekeeping Basics by Mid-Atlantic Apiculture Research & Extension Consortium (MAAREC) and The ABC and XYZ of Bee Culture by A.I Root.

Why cant I feed my infant honey?

Infants under one year of age should not be fed Raw honey due to the chance of Botulism.

Do you offer tours of the apiary?

Yes, we do!  We offer tours and closer looks of the inside of the hive once a month.  These “Open Apiaries” are announced through our monthly News Blast which you can sign up for by becoming a member!

Do you have a need for volunteers?

Always!  We can use volunteers for doing work on site at our community apiary with things such as mowing grass, weeding, planting, clean up etc.  We always have educational programs that we have to turn down because of the lack of help…don’t worry, we can train you before you are on your own!

To become a volunteer, please fill out this form or send an email to volunteer@burghbees.com.

Can you do presentations such as presentations to scouts, civic groups, garden groups, schools or other interested parties?

Absolutely!  Just to here to request a presentation for your group. You will need to supply information about the date, time, type of program requested, number of people an location and we will do our best to set something up for you!