The Best Beekeeping Books Part 2

For the second part of beekeeping books, here are more great books available for you.

4. Beekeeping by Kim Flottum: This is the latest book which has good photographs and illustrations.  It has various recipes for candles, skin care products and food. This book is helpful for beginners as well as experienced beekeepers.

5. Keeping Bees by John Vivian and Liz Buell: This paper bag edition guides a beginner through the fundamental aspects of apiculture ranging from building hive, bee management, honey harvesting and candle making. It also provides apiary expenses and accurate information on various bee diseases along with “Africanization” problem.

6. Beekeeping: A Practical Guide by Richard E. Bonney and Sandra Webb Bonney. This paperback provides useful information for new beekeepers as well as experienced one regarding every aspects of beekeeping like, acquiring bees, preventing tracheal mites, dealing with Africanized bees, etc.

7. The Honey Bee by James L. Gould. This book gives description of history of beekeeping along with biology of honeybees.  It is devoted to description of behavior of the individual bee and colony as a whole, communication within the colony, the scientific controversy surrounding nature of the dance language, programmed learning, navigation and the evolution of the dance language.

Honey Beekeeping

Honey beekeeping is very lucrative and interesting activity. Honey bees are hugely popular and economically advantageous creatures.  They provide honey and beeswax.  With modern techniques, honey bees can be kept in artificial hives.  Though majority of people venturing into honey beekeeping do it for earning money, some honey beekeepers are hobbyists who keep a few hives.  They just enjoy working with honey bees.

Once you decide to become honey beekeeper, you can keep bees almost anywhere.  Choose such area that has flowers as they help in production of pollen and nectar which is transformed into honey. The site must provide protection from winds and should be shaded.  It is prudent to avoid low spots so as to avoid dampness.  Inform your neighbors about it so as to know whether they have any objection to it or not.  This is mandatory by law.  Select a site that does not place hive on paths of sidewalks or playground along with any public area. Provide bees with water source such as a container so as to prevent them from venturing into neighborhood for water.

Next step in honey beekeeping is acquiring beekeeping equipment.  The first equipment required is bee hive.  There are movable hives, simple package hives which have a screened box that has honey bees and a queen bee, fixed-comb hive, etc.  Next equipment is bottom board which is a wooden stand that helps in resting hive.  It should be kept off the ground.  Next, hive body should be procured so as to help honey bees to rear brood and store honey.  Queen excluder should be placed between brood nest and the honey supers.  This helps in keeping queen in the brood nest.

Honey supers should be installed so as to store surplus honey.  Next, inner cover and outer cover should be installed so as to prevent bees from attaching comb to outer cover along with insulating dead air space and provide protection from inclement weather.  Smokers, gloves and gowns help in protecting from bee stings.

Next important step that honey beekeepers should follow is to get bees for the hive.  A simple package of bees can be opted that has a screened box along with honey bees and a queen bee.  These bees can be transferred in the hive and the colony can be allowed to be built.

After this, honey beekeeping management schedule should be followed.  Honey beekeeper should take care of feeding and medication so as to derive maximum nectar flow.  Once queens lay eggs, brood production speeds up and supplementing the bees with feeds and nutrition becomes important. Care must be taken to prevent disease and pest from attacking bees. 

Last stage in honey beekeeping is to process honey.  This can be done with the use of hot knife and slicing off the cappings away from comb of honey.  Uncapping of tank can also help in collecting honey that drips through the bottom of the tank. Other methods include extracting, straining and using storage tanks.

The Best Beekeeping Books Part 1

As beekeeping is a lucrative and interesting vocation and professional activity or even hobby, there are many books that have been written on beekeeping and allied activities.  These books provide insight into various activities and other information associated with beekeeping.  Various beekeeping books that have left mark are as follows:

1. A World Without Bees by Alison Benjamin and Brian McCollum. In this book on beekeeping, the authors describe the history and living habits of honey bees.  They detail the disorders that are associated with honey bees such as colony collapse disorder and threat from genetically modified crops.  They provide tips on how to avert these threats and disorders.

2. Teach Yourself Beekeeping by Adrian and Claire Waring: It is very informative paperback that helps in learning basics of beekeeping such as equipment, maintenance of hives and production of honey.

3. Starting With Bees by Peter Gordon: This book describes necessary procedures that are associated with beekeeping, keeping in mind new beekeeper.

Beekeeping in Maryland

Beekeeping in Maryland has a long history and beekeeping is widely done in Maryland due to advanced and traditional knowledge related to beekeeping that has been passed on over the years. Beekeeping in Maryland is done under aegis of Maryland State Beekeepers Association. The Maryland State Beekeeper Association is a non-profit organization whose history dates back to 1908. It has been involved in improving beekeeping skills and advancement of beekeeping in Maryland.  The membership of this association is available at $10 for annual membership and $100 for lifetime membership. The members benefit by getting expert advice on beekeeping, bee biology and genetics along with host of other topic related to beekeeping. Association publishes newsletter, the “Beeline” which keeps members updated on news and events associated with beekeeping. Classes are conducted in Maryland which are delivered by local beekeeping association and clubs. These are held in spring each year and include instruction and hands-on experience with beehives.

Maryland State Beekeepers Association provides members with supplies that are helpful in beekeeping. The supplies include bees, hives, clothing, protective gears along with tips for its usage and care. These are supplied by members who have experience in beekeeping. Associations also have registered suppliers of finished products like extracted honey, cut comb honey, comb honey, crystallized honey, pollen, beeswax etc.

Another association helping out beekeepers of Maryland is Central Maryland Beekeeper’s Association Inc. Its history dates back to 1966 and it was incorporated in 1977. The membership fees of this association is $5 annually. The members benefit by meeting several associates who discuss on various topics of beekeeping, pests control, bee biology, candle making along with mead making in several meetings organized by the association. Association publishes newsletter the “Hive Tool” regularly which helps in keeping abreast of news and events associated with beekeeping. Other benefits of membership are five minutes update by Jerry which brings updates on state and national level developments in beekeeping.

The association has an extensive library which houses books, DVDs, videos, CDS on beekeeping related topics. It also has transcripts of colony collapse disorder which is common disorder associated with beekeeping. These transcripts are provides by various experts and researchers from Universities and beekeepers groups.

Central Maryland Beekeeper’s Association Inc. provides lists of members who are experts in bee equipment and are dealers in the same. Different products that are produced by members can be sold through County fair held on various dates. The dates can be checked on the association’s event calendar.

Association apiary inspectors check hive registration, swarms and guide beekeepers regarding laws of beekeeping in the state.

Also, bee events like club meetings and county fairs are held that help members and public in general to learn more about beekeeping and allied activities.

Thus, it is clear from so much activities in these associations that Maryland has a sound history of beekeeping and beekeeping is one of popular form of employment that is undertaken not only to earn a living but due to love and passion for the activities involved in beekeeping.

How to Build Bee Hives

Honey bees generally construct their nests in a cavity that attaches its upper part to the combs. The nest sites which are also known as hives are more often not accessible to the person who wants to gather honey. In case a colony is accessible, it might destroy the cavity as well as the combs to gather the hive products. How to build bee hives and manage them is based on manipulating the comb so as to adjust the space required for the colony or inspect the condition of the colony. Therefore, it is essential to construct bee hive that separates the brood nest from the honey stores, allowing separate access to each area.

The different types of hives and the method of building bee hives are as follows:

1. Fixed-comb hives: These are man-made cavities which can be bark cylinders, hollowed-out logs, clay pots, basket of straw, wooden boxes, bamboo or wicker, metal cans, wicker containers that are plastered with mud or drums. Hives can even be carved in the mud walls of houses.

In case of fixed-comb hives, the honey bees are attached to the combs directly at the upper surfaces of the hive generally to the sides. The space between the combs is left by honey bees naturally while they construct them. These hives cannot be replaced as it is possible to remove comb only by cutting them. This process can kill the bees.

The advantages of fixed-comb hives are that material required to build them are readily available and are free of any cost. The bee wax produced by this method is very high. The disadvantages of this hives are that they cannot be replaced and it is not possible to examine the condition of hive and manipulate them. Production of honey by this type of hive is limited and is of low quality.

2. Moveable-comb hives: These types of hives allow for attachment of the comb as they have a series of bars at the top. These bars are spaced so as to provide the honey bees
sufficient space to build a comb which can be centered on each bar and to spare a bee space between combs. This type of hive can be built from many materials, like bamboo, straw, metal, mud-plastered baskets or wood. Wood is considered the best choice for the top bars. The width of the top bars is very essential part. Generally, the sides of the hive are slopped about 120 degrees. This limits combs attachment to the hive’s side and thus removing them is easier without breaking them. These hives are also called intermediate or transitional hives because they present beekeeping technology which is economic as well as advanced form of hive making.

The advantages of moveable-comb hives are that they can be removed and replaced without destruction. This helps in beekeeping. These hives control swarming and help in increasing colonies with easy methods of queen bee rearing. They are simple and economic to build and produce high beeswax. High quality and quantity of honey can be harvested through these types of hives.

How to Buy Honey Bees

One of the most essential parts of beekeeping is beekeeping equipment and supplies. The most important supply of beekeeping is bees itself. Due to the availability of vast number of honey bees and as there are different types of honey bees with different properties and characteristics, it is pertinent to buy bees with utmost care.

First, it must be decided which type of bees to buy. There are different species of bees. Majority of the bees are solitary, but some are social and they live together in colonies. They divide the work to be performed among the individual bees. All bees collect pollen and nectar from flowers, but only some of the social bees store the nectar in the form of honey. Also, among those bees who store honey, even fewer store it in sufficient quantity so as to make the honey harvesting effort worthwhile.

The different types of bees are sting-less bees like, Melipona and Trigona. Apis which is the true honey bee has four species, three native to Asia and one to Afro-European region. All of these look similar, but have different size and color. They build vertical combs which are two cells thick.

The Africanized bee is characterized by its unpredictability and defensiveness. Their sting is fatal making them one of the most dangerous bees to keep.  European bees build large colonies’ and produce huge supplies of honey, sometimes yielding 100 kg per year or more under optimum conditions.

So, keeping in mind the characteristics of types of bees, one must select and buy bees for beekeeping. Some points that help in buying bees are:

1. High quantity of honey production
2. Low tendency of swarm
3. Calm on combs during work in colony
4. Disease resistant
5. Little use of propolis
6. Gentleness

Now the question arises, how to buy or from where to buy honey bees. While selecting honey bees to buy, one must keep in mind the cost effectiveness, guarantee offered, payment terms, source of purchase, etc. The easiest method is to check online. While buying honey bees online, check the reputation of the seller and the cost offered. Check whether shipment cost is borne by the seller or not. Another method of purchasing honey bees is to opt for packaged honey bees. You get one prescreened box that has honey bees and a queen bee. Transfer these bees in the hive and allow the colony to build. Other option is to purchase a full-sized ready made colony of honey bees.

The best and the easiest way to purchase honey bee is to buy two fully established colonies of bees from a reputable local beekeeper. This helps in allowing interchanging of frames of brood and honey in case one colony becomes weaker and requires a boost.
Before buying bees or colonies, it is advisable to inspect the bees or colonies. Request for a recent certificate of inspection provided by state Department of Agriculture. It is advisable to buy bees in standard equipment only. Also, check the condition of the equipment.

Beginner Beekeeping Review

Beekeeping for Beginners coverBeekeeping for Beginners is an e-book by Keith Gilbert. The e-book is proclaimed by the author as a complete guide that shows various steps you need to take to start beekeeping easily. It is aimed at the beginner and very simply helps you in starting an apiary through to more advanced beekeeping.

Beginner Beekeeping or as it is also known ‘How to Start Beekeeping Quickly and Easily‘, starts with the history of modern beekeeping that started with Charles Dadant, who is considered one of the founding fathers of modern beekeeping.  Camille Dadent, son of Charles, carried forward his father’s experience and wrote a book on beekeeping thus parting with secrets that he had learned from his father.

Beginner Beekeeping, in an informative way, guides the reader on how everyone can start beekeeping, step-by-step, how honey is ripened by bees, the time to start beekeeping, steps to be taken if a queen bee dies. The e-book reveals:

  • The kinds of bees one should keep
  • The watering strategies
  • The place to select for beekeeping
  • How to remove bees & Use of smoker to avoid bee stings
  • Plus much, much more

The e-book provides valuable insight into:

  • The direction the hives should face
  • How and from where to buy bees
  • Easy solution to avoid and treat bee-stings
  • How to safely handle bees
  • The best place to store the harvested honey.

It also provides important guidelines as to which type of cloths to wear while working in an apiary, how to divide bee colony and more.

The e-book, Beekeeping for Beginners, also defines the advantages of beekeeping.  Surprisingly, it states getting exercise as the first benefit of beekeeping. It reasons that as people get an opportunity to move out and get fresh air, beekeeping helps in getting exercise. Next, beekeeping helps in learning about nature. It reasons that as man comes in contact with bees and other natural surroundings, his knowledge about nature expands. Another advantage according to the book is the use of time in a constructive way. Instead of wasting time in watching TV or gossiping, time is spent in an effective manner while beekeeping.  Last but not the least, one can enjoy natural honey which is tasty as well as nutritional. One can also sell it and make a tidy profit.

The author Keith Gilbert charges $27 for this e-book along with two free bonuses.  The first bonus is an e-book named “Beekeeping Quick Start Guide” that informs about things to be considered when starting beekeeping, list of equipments needed to start beekeeping, “best resource” list for purchasing beekeeping supplies, ways to acquire the bees needed for colony, to management and raising queen bees, etc.

Second free bonus is an e-Report “How To Extract Honey”. This report gives insight into the tools required to extract honey, easier ways of extracting honey, and other equipments that are used if there is lots of honey to be harvested from multiple colonies.

This e-book can be bought online using Visa, MasterCard, Echeck, PayPal and uses 100% Secure Ordering System. It comes with money-back guarantee also.

Overall, the Beginner Beekeeping package is a very concise, intelligent, well researched and well written one. It is aimed at beginners to beekeeping but the information soon moves on to more advanced topics. So, anybody with a passion for bee keeping will find plenty of benefit from this fabulous product.

How to Start Beekeeping

The first step that is important for a beekeeping startup is to know the seasonal cycles. As there is no period during which the colony is fully inactive, careful planning of the timing or seasonal cycle is very important.  Flowering of plants, nectar flow are influenced due to seasonal change in weather pattern.  So, first check out the seasonal cycles before venture to start beekeeping.

Next step to start a beekeeping is to manage honey bee colony.  Honey bees generally build nests in a cavity where the combs are attached to the upper part. To manage hives, you need to manipulate the combs so as to adjust the space needs or to inspect the condition of the colony. Hence, a practical system is a prerequisite to start beekeeping that allows easy replacement and removal of combs without destroying them.  Knowledge of bee space also helps in construction of hives that separate the brood nest from the honey stores.  This allows separate access to each area.

Next step to start a beekeeping venture is to select hive.  There are many options like movable hive, simple package hives which have a screened box that has honey bees and a queen bee, fixed-comb hive, etc.  Whichever type of hive you select, it should be cost-effective and provide the desired result which is speeding up the process of obtaining honey.

Next step is to select arrangement of the apiary and placement of hives.  To protect bees from toads and ants, you can opt for putting hives on stands that are at least one to one-and-half foot above the ground.  Tall grass and weeds need to be cut so as to lessen the number of ants and other insects and to keep the apiary clean.  You should not place hive close to each other in long straight rows as this might results in drifting and may confuse the bees of different colonies.  This can also lead to transmission of disease.

Once the hive place and type are decided, it is important to have a proper gear to work with and equipment needed to start beekeeping.  As it is well -known face that bees sting, to protect from bee stings, the person working within the apiary should be well-protected.  A smoker helps in controlling bees and thus minimizes stings. A veil is important part of protective clothing.  This can be made of plastic screen or metal screen or nylon mesh or mosquito net.  A veil should cover full face as well as neck.  Rubber or elastic bands can be used to hold it in place or hold it over a hat.  The veil material should be dark as it limits reflection and help in clear visibility while working in sunlight. Gloves and loose fitting full body gown are a must while working in an apiary. 

Next, find a source of bees.  You can get them from a bee farmer or other bee keepers or local outlets.  Place these bees in hive and let the colony built.  Next reap the fruits of your labor by extracting honey and selling it to make a tidy profit.