Posts Tagged ‘Apiary’


  

Beekeeping in Utah

Beekeeping in Utah has a long tradition and it has more than 300 registered beekeepers. All interested persons who would like to be beekeepers in Utah have to obtain a license from the Utah Department of Agriculture and Food. The cost of license is $25 per individual or business. All apiaries and hives in the State of Utah need to be marked with the owner’s or business’ name, UDAF license number and phone number. Markings should be legible and permanent.  To facilitate inspection of colonies of honey bees, they need to be maintained in hives that have removable frame equipment. To move bee colonies in and out of the State of Utah, inspection of bee colonies is mandatory. Residents of State of Utah need to contact local county inspector and non-residents need to contact the state entomologist for inspection before entry into State.

Utah Beekeepers Association keeps beekeepers in the State of Utah well-informed regarding events and news in the beekeeping industry. It helps in promoting beekeeping and production of honey for all types of beekeepers viz, commercial, hobbyist and sideliners. The association’s membership dues are as follows: for hobbyist who own 0-49 colonies – $10.00 per year, for sideliner who owns 50-299 colonies – $20.00 per year, commercials who own 300 or more colonies – $30.00 per year.

Another beekeeper’s association in State of Utah is the Utah County Beekeepers Association (UCBA). It is a group of individuals that shares a common passion for beekeeping, bees, and honey. Members’ participation is encouraged so as to have diverse views and opinion that helps in success of beekeeping and honey production. UCBA provides a forum for local beekeepers to share ideas, explore methods, discuss the culture and support each another. It educates general public regarding importance of beekeeping in Utah County in particular and in US in general. It aims at benefiting local businessmen, educationists and last but not the least, the beekeepers.

UCBA guides new beekeeper regarding time to begin beekeeping, temperament required for beekeeping, capital investment, supplies, equipment, selection of apiary site along with medicines and pest control information. It provides all the information regarding laws and regulations governing beekeeping in the State of Utah. It helps beekeepers regarding selection of bees, preparing hives, honey extraction, processing honey and wax and then selling processed honey and wax. The association also helps in giving tips on preparing various items like candles, polish etc. to its members.

UCBA has vast resource of books that help enrich knowledge and information for the members as regards to beekeeping. Books by renowned beekeepers are treasures that members can access and enrich themselves. The association makes available two magazines, American Bee Journal and Bee Culture which focus on broad areas of beekeeping and are helpful to all those who are interested in beekeeping. Association organizes classes for beginners each spring which lasts for six hours and it covers all the required information.

Thus, beekeeping in State of Utah has progressed rapidly due to informed beekeeping by its beekeepers and assistance provided by UCBA and Utah Beekeeper’s Association.

What is an Apiary?

An apiary, which is also known as a bee yard, is a place where beehives of honey bees is reared and kept. Beekeepers are also known as apiarists.  Apiary or apiculture, which derives its meaning from Latin word apis which mean bee, is maintenance of honeybee hives by humans. An apiarist might keep bees with the objective of collecting honey and beeswax or with the objective of pollinating crops or producing bees for sale to other apiarists.  Beekeeping apiary is one of the oldest forms of food production.

To start an apiary, two bee colonies is considered an ideal number. You can expand it in few years as you gain experience.  It is assumed that a single hive produces 50 to 100 pounds of honey every year. Start with right type of hive.  Assemble bees in hive using experts.  You can either build your own hive or get one build from local tinsmith.  You can also order all the parts of hives from a store. 

Plan bee apiary in upcoming season by ordering bees, hives and other apiary supplies and equipment well in advance.  Fall is the best time to buy all the supplies.  All the equipments should be assembled in winter so as to make arrangement for bees to be placed after arrival.  Then place hive at the designated place for the apiary.  At this juncture, you can become member of local apiary association to gain further information about beekeeping.  This will also help you in sharing your problems with more experienced apiarists who will eagerly help you out. 

Location of apiary is very important.  It is advantageous to place apiary where there is plenty of pollen and nectar source such as flowers and corn, ornamental trees and plants.  Apiary should be near a good source of clean water.  It is prudent to provide water source so as to prevent bees from moving into neighbor’s area in search of water. A bee apiary must face south or southeast along with a windbreak behind.  The area must not be damp and must have sufficient shade.  The apiary must be easily approachable for you to work around it.

Selection of correct apiary equipment is very essential.  Buy new equipment if you are new to beekeeping apiary.  If you purchase colonies or equipment from other beekeeper, get it tested by concerned department for any disease or pest stains.  Irrespective of how and from where you purchase your apiary equipment, it needs to meet the standard required by you.  Buy all the protective gear required for beekeeping apiary such as overalls, gloves, masks, veil and smokers so as to protect from bee stings as well as facilitate easy handling of bees.

Take precaution against spread of disease.  Use Terramycin twice every year before and after the honey flow so as to prevent foulbrood disease.  Use Fumadil "B" (Fumagillin) to control Nosema disease which inflicts adult bees.  Hive should be tilted slightly so that water does not accumulate inside.  The hive should be properly ventilated from top.  Food supply should be ensured to prevent bees from dying due to hunger.

The Best Beekeeping Books part 3

Here are another selection of useful books on beekeeping.

8. The Beekeeper’s Handbook: A Teaching Text for Beginner’s to Advanced Beekeepers by Diana Sammataro and Alphonse Avitabile.  This book covers changes in beekeeping.  It details the crisis created by the parasitic bee mites, mite detection and control.  It guides regarding selection and testing of bees that are tolerance to mites.

9. Queen Rearing and Bee Breeding by Harry Hyde Laidlaw and Robert E. Page: This book gives tips on Queen Bee rearing and bee breading.

10. Practical Beekeeping by Clive De Bruyn: This book provides complete guidance on bee and its management.  It covers bee and its environment, management of apiary, hives and other equipment and control of pests and diseases. It has good illustrations with photographs.  This book won Apimondia medal in 1999.

11. Bee Products: Properties, Applications and Apitherapy by Avshalom Mizrahi and Yaacov Lensky: This hardcover book is a collection of 31 papers on honey and pollen, propolis, royal jelly, venom, contaminants and toxicity, quality control, healing with honey, marketing, cosmetics and other topics relating to beekeeping and using bees.  These papers also include use of honey as an antimicrobial agent.

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.

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.