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  Beekeeping   Workshops   Queen Bees

So you want to become a beekeeper. This is how you start:

  • Take a beginners beekeeping course. (Now being offered by Master Beekeeper Joe Zgurzynski.)
  • Find a local mentor to help you learn the craft.
  • Join the nearest beekeepers association.
  • Register your hives with State Department of Agriculture.
  • Take your time completing the initial steps. Do not get the bees and equipment first.
  • Read our Suggested Beekeeping Calendar.

Urban Beekeeping


Rules of thumb for urban beekeeping

  • Keep only gentle colonies and employ good swarm management techniques.
  • Keep no more than four hives on a property of 1/4 acre or less.
  • All hives within 20 feet of a property line should have a solid fence or vegetative obstruction 5 feet or more in height between the hives and the property line.
  • All hives within 30 feet of a public sidewalk or roadway should have a solid fence or dense vegetative obstruction or be elevated so as to direct the flight path of the bees well above traffic and pedestrians.
  • An adequate supply of water should be provided by the property owner or beekeeper from March 1 to October 31. --From MAAREC

Urban beekeeping Resources


Master Beekeeper Joe Zgurzynski's Beginning Beekeeping Workshops! 

For information about the next class, email at Country Barn Farm or subscribe to our beekeeper information emails. 

Are you interested in seeing our hives? Take our Bee Tour. We have posted a photographically tour of our hives as well as a short video.

Recommended Equipment for the Beginning Beekeeper in the First Year

- Two complete Langstroth Hives
- Hive tool, 10"
- Smoker. Joe’s Dad says the bigger, the better
- Veil and helmet, or a veil built into a suit or jacket for extra protection

Click here for detailed information.

Country Barn Farm Beekeeping Equipment

Country Barn Farm stocks beekeeping equipment and can also drop ship whatever you need directly to your location whenever you need it.  We have hives, jars, protective gear and gift items always in stock in Pittsburgh!  We will help you select the equipment you need to be a successful beekeeper.  Let us help you!  Please email or call us for a price list or to place an order.  Hours are by appointment. 

We have developed an updated list of recommended supplies you need to keep two beehives for the first year. You can download it by clicking on this link.

Loaner Beekeeping Equipment

Country Barn Farm loans out the following equipment at no charge to customers as one of our many services that help beekeepers starting out:  

  • Honey Extraction Kit, including a four frame, hand crank extractor and an uncapping knife
  • Two Person Hive Mover, with ratcheting strap
  • Frame Assembly Jig
  • Electric Bee Vacuum
  • Solar Wax Extractor
  • Swarm Retriever with Extension Pole

Photo by Dan Dexter

Our local queen breeding operation is in full swing here at Country Barn Farm!  We have hand selected marked, mated and actively laying local queens raised by Master Beekeeper Joe Zgurzynski from our hives that are inspected by the Pennsylvania State Department of Agriculture for queen production. 

For more information, visit our Queen Bee page.


Country Barn Beekeeping Club

Our farm sponsors the County Barn Beekeeping Club.  This is a forum for local beekeepers to get together throughout the year and support each other.  For meeting information and to register for the club, please visit Country Barn Meetup.  The meetings are meant to be fun and informative for both beekeepers and anyone interested in becoming a beekeeper.




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