There are many benefits of beekeeping that beekeepers find irresistible. Keeping bees is among the simplest money-making activities that people can do at home. Bees are easier to take care of than animals like cows and goats. Success in beekeeping depends on how equipped a potential apiarist is. Being equipped means having the right tackle and knowledge in regard to bee nutrition, handling and health.
If bees are given everything they deserve on a daily basis a farmer is likely to enjoy numerous benefits of beekeeping. These advantages can be grouped based on the bees themselves and the products they produce. Bees produce their honey using nectar and pollen grains. The process through which they collect these ingredients from the fields is called pollination. Naturally, pollination is the process through which fertilization occurs in plants.
In other words, when a bee is correcting pollen on top of the male reproductive part of a plant (stamen) it naturally causes some of the grains to fall onto the female reproductive part of a plant (pistil) through pollination. Fertilization follows when a plant starts to produce seeds and fruit. Without bees and other pollinators such as wasps and birds it would be difficult for humans to eat fruits and vegetables. Pollination is therefore among the most popular benefits of beekeeping. They are needed by the environment.
Bees produce a product called honey. Everybody loves honey because of its sweetness. It is eaten raw mainly but some people boil it in beverages such as tea and coffee. Honey is one of the ancient medicines that were used to treat wounds, ulcers, skin and other parts of the body. Today companies that make skin-care products reap the most benefits of beekeeping. Not only do they use honey to make various skin beauty products but also royal jelly. Also called bee’s milk, royal jelly is a whitish fluid that is naturally produced by bees and it is a major ingredient in various anti-aging products.
Everyone wants to look young these days and bee’s products including beeswax have desirable properties known to keep the skin soft and healthy. As a beekeeper this means that keeping bees will guarantee more money. Honey, royal jelly and beeswax are all priceless products that most people demand on a daily basis. The benefits of beekeeping will not only come in the form of money a farmer could make after selling the above mentioned products. Bee farmers can also use these ingredients to improve their body health and skin appearance.
Anyone who has been following the news about bee farming knows that the honeybees have been reducing in numbers in the recent years. The major contributors of this are global warming factors that have ruined the environment greatly. This means that having an apiary in the backyard is beneficial to a whole community. It can become a learning centre leased by schools, botanists, nature centers and other organizations in a local area. What is more, the apiarist can personally get a chance to be famous if his or her apiary is used to conduct biological studies. The benefits of beekeeping are endless and the most important thing to do is to protect the bees.
So you are about to begin your new hobby or life style job of beekeeping, the first question you need to answer, is exactly what beekeeping equipment essentials are necessary?
The major Beekeeping Equipment essentials are explained below:-
The major issue to be first addressed is exactly what type of beehive you are going to utilise. There are many types to consider and each has its advantages and disadvantages.
Some of the issues needing to be considered are whether the beehive will be attached on a platform or sitting directly on the ground, its size and ease of access for cleaning, feeding the bees, etc. The best suggestion prior to deciding on the type of bee hive to go with is to visit some local beekeepers and see what they are using. Select the type that best suits your style and then either purchase from a supplier or build one yourself.
The bees will adapt to anything you provide, but the most important aspect is that the beehive needs to be dry inside.
Beekeeping Protective Clothing
Working with bees means you face the occupational hazard of being stung and thus to nullify the risk you need to consider the various beekeeping protective clothing that is available.
If your budget is not a problem, then buying the best bee suit available is an obvious choice. These bee suits are basically full body protection and all but eliminate the risk of getting stung. If money is an issue, then the minimum necessary is coverage for your head and shoulders and a good pair of gloves.
A hive tool is necessary in order for you to be able to work efficiently upon your beehive. The hive tool is used for scraping the wax, to loosen hive parts and manipulate the hive frames.
The Bee Smoker is used when the bees need to be calmed, smoke is poured into the hive and it acts like a sedative and is not harmful to the bees.
At different times of the year, usually winter, you will need to feed the bees to supplement their diet, when their natural food supplies are low. The bee feeder is a tool that allows syrup to be delivered inside of the beehive and there are many varieties on offer.
Once all the essential equipment has been decided on and purchased then obviously the most essential beekeeping equipment is the choice of the Bees themselves.
The choice of bees is obviously a very subjective and personal one, the best method is to ask around your local beekeepers to see if any of them have any on offer. Obviously you only want to purchase from successful beekeepers to ensure you get access to a healthy colony.
Beekeeping is all about bee farming. This type of farming is practiced all over the world. It is a source of income for countless farmers who sell their produce to people and organizations. Keeping bees is among the cost-effective ways of utilizing a backyard wisely. This beekeeping does not require big acres of land to be successful.
A small plot of land can be enough for both small and large-scale beekeeping projects. Anyone looking to make more money can farm bees on a part-time basis. Bees require very little attention especially during spring and summer when many different flowers drape the fields. This does not mean that a person can wake up one day and create do beekeeping. A potential beekeeper should take enough time to plan a project. In the course of planning he or she has to seek knowledge either by doing an elementary course or visiting an apiary to get practical lessons.
The most difficult part of beekeeping is the launching stage. Without knowing what one is doing it is possible to have a bad beginning. The easiest way to start is to search for a local beekeeper’s organization or association. The role of these organizations is to keep the members updated with any useful information regarding bees. Next, one has to determine where to position an apiary in the backyard.
Bees, as many people know, are stinging insects and they can be hazardous in homes that have children and pets. An aspiring beekeeper must choose a hidden area that is quite far from the home to start beekeeping. The apiary should be fenced around to prevent animals and little children from accessing the area without the knowledge of the bee farmer. When an area is selected, the next step is choosing beekeeping equipment.
The beehive is the shelter for the honeybees and it is therefore the most important equipment for beekeeping. There are different types of beehives but one should choose the types that are available in his or her country. Langstroth is used everywhere in the world. Its parts are easy to find when they need to be replaced. Other types include top-bar hives, national hives, WBC hives and commercial hives. Each beehive has its pros and cons that a customer must know prior to buying.
Beekeeping is also about knowing how each hive looks like inside. One should find out about the frames for wax combs and related details. Other necessary tools include precautionary clothing that includes a protective suit with a head veil. This protective clothing keeps one safe from bee stings. A smoker, hive tool, queen bee hair clip catcher, and bee brush are among other essential accessories.
Choice of honeybees is part of bee farming. When a farmer decides to buy only a queen bee his or her project might take a longer time. Bees are everywhere in the environment but it is not easy to attract them to a beehive. The best way out is to purchase a few packages of bees to start a colony with. The best beekeeping practice involves pure breeds of bees not the hybrid breeds.
This is the thing; bees WILL always sting! Honey can definitely get you money!
A beekeeping guide is absolutely necessary if you are looking to get it right with apiculture. Don’t you start getting delirious, going off getting awed by these insects that produce the sweetest food substance known to man, they certainly won’t kiss you back and can harm you very badly.
So what’s a beekeeping guide anyway you might ask? It is precisely that ‘a beekeeping guide’! If you are starting out, it is one of the things that you want to always have it nearby but even more importantly, always utilize it.
A beekeeping guide will broadly be based on the following key aspects:
Safety and best practices
Unlike most hobbies and commercial ventures, beekeeping is certainly a perilous one. Therefore, a guide should devote a substantial part to keeping you safe and protected from the bees. Though a sting is inevitable every once in a while, it should remain that way; once in a (long) while. This should include information on the protective gear you require and how to properly make use of them as well as maintain them.
About the bees
The guide should contain info on the different types of bees and their role in the colony, their behavior and characteristics, what the bees need and even the different species. Understanding the bee nature will prove to be quite useful when working around them and generally becoming sensitive to their requirements as a colony. This will ensure you get the most out of your bee colony.
Bee nice – maintenance tips
The bee colony always acts a unit and therefore if you fail to provide the ideal conditions for them to thrive, you will wake up to an empty hive. Though you may be keeping them, bees are not really ‘domesticated’ as with other farm animals – c’mon now, they attack you every time you visit the hive. The beekeeping guide should therefore include maintenance instructions and tips for you to ensure the bees don’t head for the hills as soon as they learn that you aren’t meeting your end of the deal. It also provides information on all the tools you need and a what-to-you-use-where-and-when section.
The beekeeping guide provides information on how and when to harvest the honey, handling of the combs and the hives, processing and packing of the honey and such general information as how to construct or purchase a hive, etc. A beekeeping guide will certainly ensure you are not only efficient but will go a long way in ensuring you get optimal results for your efforts and resources that you employ.
In establishing a business about beekeeping information must be made available especially if you are a beginner. Keeping bees at your own backyard has its own benefits and restrictions. Each State has its own laws with regards to beekeeping in residential populated areas. Therefore, if familiarization with the law is the first step for successful household beekeeping information must be given at the first start of the business.
If you are already engaged in beekeeping information with regards to dealers that sell bee equipment and supplies must be made available so that keeping bees at any part of the country is possible. Besides, beekeeping is being practiced all over the world and the value of honeybees pollination is important to the environment. It is worth billion dollars of agricultural fruits and vegetables. Indeed, if one of the precious ecological endeavors is beekeeping information must be disseminated at once to promote the industry.
Keeping bees to produce a pound of honey takes 10 pounds of extracted nectar from flowers within 4 miles around the colony. Beekeeping requires knowledge about the caste system of these hardworking insects: The Queen that maintains the colony population, the worker that does all the chores, and the drone (male bees) whose sole purpose is to mate with the virgin Queen. In order to be successful in beekeeping information like this must be known to analyze the sociological insights of the honeybees.
In keeping bees’ colony to a healthy state, a decision to replace the Queen is required if the need arises. Beekeeping should have a careful hive monitoring. If it manifests declined swarming with the Queen or the number of bee population is deteriorating, you can buy a Queen with more superior breeding. If a Queen replacement is needed in beekeeping information with regards to its suppliers are available from the local market.
Working on the beehive is the greatest challenge that beekeeping can offer. You must know the technique on keeping bees at bay while working on to extract honey and/or to replace the Queen. There are six tools that a beekeeper needs: smoker to calm the bees, veil for face protection, gloves to protect the hands, hive tools to separate frames, knife to open the cells of honey and extractor for getting the honey from the cells.
Honey is not the only reason why keeping bees as a business is profitable. Beeswax or “bees sweat” is naturally produced in the bee hive that can be collected for sale. Bee pollen and candles too are salable products from beekeeping.
Keeping bees is much harder now than it was before. Bees that roam naturally in the wild are susceptible to Varroa Mites. These parasites feed on bodily fluids of adult, pupal and larval honey bees and its present in almost all continents except Australia. Though beekeeping industry is recovering due to resistance selection breeding, more effort has yet to be done.
In the United States, various organizations and associations of bee keepers were founded to address the problems of beekeeping. From procuring supplies, implementing laws, marketing the products and assisting disease control-conventions are held in every States for the benefits of their members. So if you are ready to enter the industry of beekeeping information with regards to its membership must be sought to guide you all the way in starting a good, viable and successful business on keeping bees near your home.
A sting is probably one of the first lessons that you will learn as soon as you show as much as an interest in beekeeping. This in no way means that all the material and courses regarding beekeeping will only (or largely) be centered around how you can avoid getting stung while beekeeping. While you are ready trying to build a stingless-reputation, one more reputation concurrently builds up: a honey-less reputation!
It is human nature to prioritize safety before many other needs, actually except food only, safety takes precedence. While looking for info on beekeeping, learn as much as possible about all the other aspects that will ensure you tap into some honey at the end of the day – and not have a fat face.
Beekeeping, also known as apiculture is simply the maintenance of bee colonies with an intention of obtaining or harvesting honey either for sale or for personal consumption. Beekeeping is however not a simple activity that can be just handled as any other hobby. It is just as demanding as most other farming activities that involve breeding. You will certainly be required to put in the hours and the resources so as to obtain the best possible results, or else! For this one, you must get a little more detailed in your preparation. That could mean investing in related literature, watching the videos, sign up to the experts’ coaching programs, and anything that will help to stomp out the ignoramus part of you.
Here are some basics:
First off, you can either domesticate the bees and have your own colonies or do some wild harvesting of honey from the existing wild colonies. This is commonly done in parts of Australia, South America, Asia and Africa and basically involves invading and many times destroying the physical locations where the bees reside and getting the honey. This is rather cumbersome as compared to domesticating the bees in beehives that can be easily accessed, cleaned and maintained to ensure long term supply of honey. Unless there are a couple of bee colonies that have established their own hives, going off on a wild hunt for honey can be quite a hurdle. I suggest you be your own man/woman and establish your own colony.
Proper protective gear is a must! You may compromise on anything else but this. Make sure you don protective suit every time you are working with the bees. These are easily available these days in a wide variety to suit just about all the possible preferences. Bees will normally attack your head region so this should be given priority. However a sting is a sting, and it will hurt anywhere it is delivered and bees will go all out to protect their territory.
And because beekeeping is also a dangerous activity, you are required to get all the necessary approvals or licenses from your local so as to avoid any legal problems as well as endangering your own family as well as the community.
Beekeeping is just like taking up any other hobby, whoever inspires to part take in this incredible activity needs to have more than fascination for bees. Any tiny spark for beekeeping can soon become a fully fledged flame when one gets to know these exiting little creatures better and that fascination is turned into a skill, by then you’d see that every second spent with these creatures is worth it.
Some people think that reading about beekeeping on the internet qualifies them as beekeepers, but they are usually in for a shock when they get down & dirty with the business of beekeeping. The choice of acquiring extended knowledge of bees is totally dependent on you as there are many options to choose from. You may be wondering that what makes the importance of going through formal beekeeping lessons.
It is the hands on, step by step approach that makes an ordinary beekeeper into a master beekeeper most people aspire to be, some people have full-time occupations that would make attending classes difficult. In these cases online courses are ideal and many websites give away free beekeeping lessons and they are so comprehensive that you can quickly learn the pros and cons of the trade in no time.
Most online courses are in video format and they are most convenient for those individuals who aren’t keen on reading, plus visual learning offers that over the expert’s shoulder experience that will help you to become better as you practise the methods being taught. For individuals who are shaky and clueless, may be formal classes would be the best way to go as they give a hearty interaction with other beekeeping enthusiasts.
The instructors will do some live demonstrations and in latter stages of the classes, the trainee will be given a chance to handle bees while under the guidance and supervision of the instructor. Another bonus with formal classes is that they offer newbies a chance to network and learn more about various beekeeping techniques, equipment and reputable, reliable suppliers. How bad do you want to become a beekeeper?
If you really want this skill I believe you’d prioritise and make sure you don’t have a lot of things distracting you so that are able to focus and allow yourself to get overwhelmed. The next step is to get equipment just to show that you’re really committed and willing.
Before you buy anything, ask around for reputable suppliers of beekeeping equipment and choose a supplier who won’t just give you good equipment but they’ll be willing to give good advice about quality and durability for their products. Most suppliers out there all they care about is making a sale but very few would take the time and give you advice on stuff they sell you, so make sure you look carefully.
If you have a passion for bees and will stop at nothing to be not just another beekeeper, but a Master beekeeper, then I’d say you will enjoy beekeeping lessons offered in any format and the greatest thing is that you’ll make sure that you get best value for your bucks. You can never put a good enough price for good lessons as good advice from an expert beekeeper will go a long way in aiding you to becoming the best you can be.
A right set of gear and equipment is always required as a part of beekeeping. This beekeeping equipment can ensure you proper safety and protects you from the bees. Sometimes the bees are so dangerous that it can kill a person, so it is always advisable to have beekeeping equipment up to the required standard. The people who are beginners in the beekeeping business require necessary beekeeping equipments and specific pointers. There are many things a person should consider before heading to get honey from the beehives.
First step is to see that you are able to keep bees away from your sensitive parts like face, neck and nose. You can use a protective veil around, so that the bees are not able to enter your costume. Veil can also be considered as a part of the beekeeping equipment. There are many types of veil which are tie down veils, head veils, shoulder veils and zip up veils. You should choose a veil in which you are most comfortable but off course keeping in mind the safety first. Normally veils are not very costly and are affordable.
Always hire a professional smoker for the beehives. Professional smokers should produce enough amount of smoke that should work on dozens of beehives. But if you are bit low in your budget you can choose a less expensive smoker which can work on five to six beehives at a single time. But always take care and make sure that bee smokers wear leather billows, protective shield, hooks to hang and other required beekeeping equipments.
Next thing is to consider is to a person should have beekeeping equipment like full body protective suit, gloves and long sleeves. However, if a person has to improve its beekeeping skills, it is always useful to work without gloves to know and understand the temper of bees. It is also preferable to work with a hook ended tool with a scraper on the opposite side. Hook can be use to lift the frame from the hive. The main benefit of the hook is frame is lifted without using any hand. The time when the frame is removed; you can use a scraper to clean up the buildup and dirt. Cleaning can help to keep it free from the parasites. For more information on beekeeping equipment you can always take the help of the internet. Even you can purchase beekeeping equipment online with great discounts and offers.
Beekeeping goes back thousands of years. In fact, there is evidence from rock paintings that some of the earliest honey gathering goes back to 13,000 BC! And we know that the Egyptians kept bees because of very old drawings of bee-keepers in the Niuserre’s sun temple from the 5th Dynasty (before 2422 BC). The drawing show bee-keepers blowing smoke into the bee hives as they remove honey-combs. And pots of honey were found in the grave of some of the Pharaohs, including King Tut.
There are also cave drawings of bee keeping dating back to the stone age that have been found in Spain. Cave drawings that date back to 6000 B.C. show people collecting honey from bee hives.
And the Tacuina Sanitatis, a medieval handbook written in the 14th century, also show bees and bee hives.
So we know bee keeping is a time honored tradition that dates back thousands of years. And its been done pretty much the same way for thousands of years. And why wouldn’t we humans be beekeeping all this time – as honey is so delicious.
Bee keeping has been practiced in all societies and in all continents (except Antarctica) throughout the world. At first, humans just raided the beehives and in doing so, destroyed the hives. But then somewhere along the line, humans began creating bee hives and domesticating the bees. Artificial bee hives were created in hollow logs, large pottery vessels, straw baskets, and boxes made of wood.
And there is also evidence that a highly organized and advance bee keeping system was in place in ancient Israel about 3,000 years ago. Archaeologist Amihai Mazar (Hebrew University of Jerusalem) found bee hive ruins dating from to 900 BC that held around 100 hives, and more than 1 million bees.
Beekeeping came to the U.S. in the 16th century and in the 1800s the first apiculture system was brought to Pennsylvania by John Harbison. During the Great Depression and World War I bee keeping become very popular due to sugar/food shortages and the high cost of food. People ordered bee hive equipment from the Sears and Roebuck catalog. Wild bees were then transferred from trees into the newly purchased hives. People had to make due back in those days, and bee keeping was a great help to many.
Unfortunately beekeeping lost popularity after World War II. But now with the Colony Collapse Disorder (bees simply vanishing from hives throughout the U.S) bringing attention to honey bees, more people are becoming interested in taking up bee keeping again.
That’s wonderful news for the honey bees, and for our food system since without honey bees to pollinate our crops over 2/3s would not grow.
And the renewed interest in backyard apiculture is not just a rural thing. Big cities like Tokyo, Washington, D.C., Paris, London, New York City and Berlin are encouraging urban bee keeping. And these are some of the biggest urban beekeeping areas in the world.
With scientists still trying to figure out what is causing Colony Collapse Disorder its vitally important now that people begin to take up apiculture by the thousands. We need bees to pollinate our crops, flowers, apple trees, and many other plants. Plus can you imagine a world without honey, I don’t want to. I love the stuff.
There are about seven officially recognized species of honey bees out of about 20,000 species that have been discovered thus far. In truth, nearly all the bee species make honey but these are singled out for their unique characteristics that make them perfect for beekeeping and honey production. Three of the most commonly domesticated species are the Eastern species, the European (Western) honey bee and the Africanized honey bee.
The Western honey bee is probably the most domesticated species. It nests in cavities and produces multiple combs which make it perfect for beekeeping honey which it produces in excess. If you are looking to get into commercial beekeeping, these are the recommended species.
There are so much more benefits that come from bees other than just honey. Bees also produce wax and are considered the pollinators of the earth. Much more research and interest has been given to the bees than other insects because of their critical role in the human food chain.
Let us have a brief look at how these incredible insects go about making that sweet tasting food substance you cannot resist:
Worker bees are primarily responsible for making honey. They set out and visit the flowers to gather nectar. Flowers actually use nectar as bait to attract the bees which in turn transfers the pollen grains from one flower to another in the gathering process. Through the production of an enzyme called invertase, the worker bee converts the complex sugars into much simpler ones like glucose and fructose. A second enzyme, glucose oxidase, converts part of the glucose sugar into gluconic acid and hydrogen peroxide making honey into an acidic medium but with a low pH. This is an extremely hostile environment for bacteria, fungi, moulds, any other such micro organisms giving honey its antiseptic qualities. Personally, this is not hard to imagine as I have long given up my throat lozenges in favor of a scoop of the magical healing honey! One final process which takes place is when the bees reduce the moisture content in the nectar which gives honey a very high osmotic pressure. This is why honey can last for a couple of years without going bad – and without any artificial preservation techniques like refrigeration.
Like I earlier mentioned, there is more to bees than just honey. Bees are key pollinators of a good number of the foods that we consume. It is certainly welcoming news to learn that beekeeping is increasingly gaining popularity as a hobby and commercial venture. This will help to mitigate the disastrous effects of the recent chants about CCD (Colony Collapse Disorder) that have surfaced from many an analysts’ reports. Kevin Hackett, national program coordinator for the USDA’s bee and pollination program has been at the fore front to ensure the honey bees are not wiped out. In his own words; “… so if the collapse worsens, we could end up being stuck with grains and water”.