Proper Ways Of Managing Bees And Hives
Article by Rodolf Stinger
Household pets like cats, dogs or birds don’t require much specialised tools or equipment, but when you’re dealing with bees it’s a different case altogether. Beekeeping will challenge you to take the time to educate yourself about procedures, techniques, equipment and supplies needed for raising healthy productive bees.
Lack of proper knowledge when it comes to handling bee colonies can put you in harm’s way, remember that bees are gentle insects but they can be very dangerous should they feel threatened or if the safety of the colony is compromised, so safety is of utmost importance in beekeeping.
Anyone starting in beekeeping needs a good quality suit made specially to be bee-sting proof; it will consist of a long sleeved jacket and long pair of pants, a hat that has veil, gloves and boots. Always keep a beekeeper’s first aid kit close to the apiary; it’s made up of a pre-loaded syringe of epinephrine hydrochloride & antihistamine tablets. In cases where a bee-sting victim has hypersensitivity, it’s highly advisable that they should receive immediate medical attention to avoid any further complications.
Management of bees and their hives will get easier with practise and experience, these insects really know how look out for themselves but now that you are keeping them so they can produce the best out what they do naturally you want to give them assistance here and there. By knowing the diseases, pests and predators that could hinder them from functioning optimally and eliminating them you give your hives a greater chance of doing really well and producing that quality honey you want.
Bees are competent foragers and their lives are dedicated to finding food for the colonies, but a good beekeeper will always provide additional food and water sources by means of sugar syrup & water ponds (ensure that you put wood floats in the ponds to prevent the bees from drowning) which will be placed not far from the hives. By doing this you preserve your bees energy as they won’t have to travel too far to acquire food and this will mean that you hive productivity can doubled.
In order to check up your hive, the bees will need to be smoked up just a bit to have them calm during the inspection process. Be careful not to overdo it as it may cause them to be drowsy and less productive, in some case bees have died because of being over smoked.
Regular hive inspections are something that a good beekeeper will do frequently, it is routine to check for any diseases and mites and to monitor if your hives are in danger of predators.
There are things to look for during inspection like; Pearly white larvae as they’ll indicate health, in cases where the larvae looks yellow, brown or black then you’d know that disease is present and to take necessary steps to prevent further damage.
Check on the Queen’s egg laying pattern, if the queen is prolific she will not skip cells of brood when laying eggs. Also check the cell caps to see if there are any cells that are sunken or perforated. Healthy brood can be identified by convex cell caps, concave and perforated cell caps with small holes identify the presence of disease.
Continue to inspect and check for honey and pollen stores, the frames of the colony must be at least filled with caped honey on average a single frame holds about 15 to 18 pounds of honey. This inspection process must be applied to all the frames in the hive and any cases of disease being detected antibiotic treatment will be ideal, also as part of routine weekly inspections change the water, feed and replace damaged combs.
An excellent beekeeper doesn’t just inspect at random, rather he/she keeps a journal for notes and a calendar for all activities, as a plan will show you how to time your inspection intervals and colony manipulation so to detect problems early and stop them from wiping out your colonies.
About the Author
Want to learn more about how bees keep healthy and productive? Visit my website at http://www.beesandhivesmastery.com for helpful tips and information on managing hives and the bees that live in them, how to detect diseases early and stop them from wiping your colonies out.