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bee keeping | Beekeeping
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Beekeeping For Pleasure

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Beekeeping For Pleasure

Beekeeping for pleasure and profit is carried on by many thousands of people in all parts of the United States. As a rule, it is not the sole occupation. There are, however, many places where an experienced bee keeper can make a good living by devoting his entire time and attention to this line of work. It is usually unwise to undertake extensive beekeeping without considerable previous experience on a small scale, since there are so many minor details which go to make up success in the work. It is a good plan to begin on a small scale, make the bees pay for themselves and for all additional apparatus, as well as some profit, and gradually to increase as far as the local conditions or the desires of the individual permit.

Bee culture is the means of obtaining for human use a natural product which is abundant in almost all parts of the country, and which would be lost to us were it not for the honey bee. The annual production of honey and wax in the United States makes apiculture a profitable minor industry of the country. From its very nature it can never become one of the leading agricultural pursuits, but that there is abundant opportunity for its growth can not be doubted. Not only is the honey bee valuable as a producer, but it is also one of the most beneficial of insects in cross-pollinating the flowers of various economic plants.

Beekeeping is also extremely fascinating to the majority of people as a pastime, furnishing outdoor exercise as well as intimacy with an insect whose activity has been a subject of absorbing study from the earliest times. It has the advantage of being a recreation which pays its own way and often produces no mean profit.

It is a mistake, however, to paint only the bright side of the picture and leave it to the new bee keeper to discover that there is often another side. Where any financial profit is derived, beekeeping requires hard work and work at just the proper time, otherwise the surplus of honey may be diminished or lost. Few lines of work require more study to insure success. In years when the available nectar is limited, surplus honey is secured only by judicious manipulations, and it is only through considerable experience and often by expensive reverses that the bee keeper is able to manipulate properly to save his crop. Anyone can produce honey in seasons of plenty, but these do not come every year in most locations, and it takes a good bee keeper to make the most of poor years. When, even with the best of manipulations, the crop is a failure through lack of nectar, the bees must be fed to keep them from starvation.

The average annual honey yield per colony for the entire country, under good management, will probably be 25 to 30 pounds of comb honey or 40 to 50 pounds of extracted honey. The money return to be obtained from the crop depends entirely on the market and the method of selling the honey. If sold direct to the consumer, extracted honey brings from 10 to 20 cents per pound, and comb honey from 15 to 25 cents per section. If sold to dealers, the price varies from 6 to 10 cents for extracted honey and from 10 to 15 cents for comb honey. All of these estimates depend largely on the quality and neatness of the product. From the gross return must be deducted from 50 cents to $1 per colony for expenses other than labor, including foundation, sections, occasional new frames and hives, and other incidentals. This estimate of expense does not include the cost of new hives and other apparatus needed in providing for increase in the size of the apiary.

Above all it should be emphasized that the only way to make beekeeping a profitable business is to produce only a first-class article. We can not control what the bees bring to the hive to any great extent, but by proper manipulations we can get them to produce fancy comb honey, or if extracted honey is produced it can be carefully cared for and neatly packed to appeal to the fancy trade. Too many bee keepers, in fact, the majority, pay too little attention to making their goods attractive. They should recognize the fact that of two jars of honey, one in an ordinary fruit jar or tin can with a poorly printed label, and the other in a neat glass jar of artistic design with a pleasing, attractive label, the latter will bring double or more the extra cost of the better package. It is perhaps unfortunate, but nevertheless a fact, that honey sells largely on appearance, and a progressive bee keeper will appeal as strongly as possible to the eye of his customer.

By: Bill Ronin –

Article Directory: http://www.articledashboard.com

For further informative articles about bees, beekeeping, and honey – please visit our website: The Health Benefits Of Honey

Beekeeping Equipment

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When one ventures into beekeeping, beekeeping equipment or apiary equipment is very essential. The various beekeepers’ equipments are veil, gloves, clothing, smoker, queen excluders, bee feed and feeders, honey extractors and wax processors.

Protective clothing protects beekeepers from stings of honey bees. A smoker allows beekeeper to control bees and hence protects against stings. A hive tool helps beekeeper in gently prying apart top bars or frames thus reducing risk of disturbing the bees. All of these equipments can be made locally by tinsmiths or tailors. These can be procured through various beekeeping stores, associations or can be bought online. Beekeeping catalogue of reputed companies come handy in selecting the cost effective product. Internet is a very versatile source of finding beekeeping equipment suppliers.

Whatever the mode of procuring beekeeping equipment, it should meet the requirement and must be cost effective and durable.

The various beekeeping equipments are

1. Veil: A veil is the most important equipment required by a honey beekeeper. It can be a plastic or metal screen, nylon mesh or mosquito netting. It can also be made to fit over a wide brim hat that holds the veil away from the face and neck. Elastic or rubber band is used to hold veil onto the hat. The color of the mesh material should be dark so as to limit reflection and help in visibility.

2. Gloves are another apiary equipment that is needed in case the bees are volatile. These can be made of leather or cloth. Buy that reach up to elbow so as to cover maximum part of the hand.

3. Clothing forms an important part of honey beekeeping equipment. they must be light in color and loose-fitting as bees do not get attracted towards light color. Overalls are the best option as they cover the whole body.

4. Smoker is essentially protective equipment in the sense that it prevents bees from stinging the beekeeper. It helps in making bees consume honey instead of flying and stinging. A smoker has firebox along with grate that holds the smoldering material. It has a nozzle which directs the path of smoke.

Locally made smokers go a long way in meeting the exact requirement of an apiary. As local tinsmith can understand the requirement and design smoker as per your description, this form of smokers are the best choice. Otherwise, you can check in used beekeeping equipment shop for a smoker that meets your requirement.

5. Honey extractors: These beekeeping equipments are very essential once honey is formed and needs to be extracted. You can go through beekeeping equipment catalogue for the best honey extractors.

6. Honey and wax processors: Once honey is extracted, it needs to be processed so as to refine it and clean it of all impurities. This processed honey is the honey that is sold and has huge demand. Likewise, beeswax needs to be processed so as to be fit for use in shoe polish, candle and other such products. Honey and wax processors can be purchased online from any beekeeping equipment supplier.

Beekeeping in Utah

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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.

Compact Bee Hives

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A beehive is an enclosed structure that houses and raises honey bees.  Natural beehives, also called as nest, occur naturally on natural structures like trees, bushes etc. and are occupied by honey bee colonies.  Honey bees that are domesticated for production of honey are housed in man-made beehives.  Generally, only subgenus Apis species reside in hives, and out of these species only Apis mellifera, also known as Western honey bee, and the Apis cerana, known as Eastern honey bee, are domesticated.

The internal structure of a hive consists of a matrix that is densely packed with hexagonal cells that are made of beeswax.  This is referred as honeycomb. These cells are utilized to store pollen and honey and for providing shelter to eggs, larvae and pupae.

A man made small bee hive should be economical, compact and easy to handle.  There are various types of hives:

Fixed-comb hive: This is man-made cavity that can be bark cylinders, hollowed-out logs, basket of straw, wooden boxes, bamboo or wicker, metal cans, or drums.   You will find honey bees attached to the combs directly at the upper surfaces of fixed-comb hive generally to the sides. There is space between combs left by honey bees. This hive cannot be replaced as comb can be removed only by cutting it.  This kills the bees.  Though this type of hive is economical, it is not widely used for this reason.

Langstroth hive, which is widely used hive for domesticated honey bee, is moveable frame hive.  It is so named because it was invented by Rev. Lorenzo Langstroth.  It is used in 75% of beekeeping around the world.  This small beehive is compact hive which provides bee space which helps them to propolize small spaces which is less than 1/4 inch.

Langstroth hive makes use of standard size for hive body that is a rectangular box without top or bottom and a frame.  The parts are interchangeable and the frame can be
removed easily to inspect and replace without killing the bees.

Langstroth hive body is rectangular-shaped styrofoam or wooden box which is stacked to expand the space that can be used by the bees. Frames inside the boxes are hung in parallel fashion.  The size of the hive depends on air temperature outside along with source of food in winter.  In winter, large food storage is required.  The box is made slightly deeper in winter. 

Langstroth frame is a thin rectangular structure that can be made from plastic or wood.  It has plastic or wax foundation that is the base for honey bees to draw out the comb. The frame holds the beeswax honeycomb that is manufactured by honey bees.  Generally, 10 frames that are side-to-side fill the body of the hive along with leaving the required amount of bee space between each frame.  This also leaves enough space between the end frames and the hive body.

Langstroth frames should be reinforced with wire.  This helps in extracting honey in centrifuges that spin the honey out of the frames. The empty frames are reused next season.

The Best Beekeeping Books part 3

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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

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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

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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

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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.

Beginner Beekeeping Review

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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.