Vital Beekeeping Information
Article by Michael V. Taylor
How do you like that piece of information repeated over and over this page and all over the place? There are a whole lot of websites and blogs talking about beekeeping. This is great actually. Sadly, that’s what you get whenever you try to search for information on beekeeping – duplicity. No other insect has been written about as much as the honey bee. As a beekeeper, there is the basic information that you need so as to get the best output for your efforts. Everything else is just, well …Fill in the blanks.
Broadly: You need to learn about the bees and their nature. Bees are incredible insects that produce honey and live in large units called colonies. They are essentially social insects and very industrious like the ants and hence the term ‘busy bee’. There are three types of bees; the worker bees, the drones, and the queen. Each of these has a very specific role in the colony. The worker bees perform most of the ‘household chores’ in the beehive like clean up, feeding the young ones, making the honey, fetching the nectar, feeding the queen, making the honey combs, guarding the hive, among others. They are sterile females and make up the majority of the population in any colony.
There’s always one queen at any given time in each colony and her role is to lay eggs (about 1500-2000 everyday) to ensure the colony’s continuity as other bees die off. She is fed on royal jelly and can live for up to 2 years. The drones are the male bees. Their primary role is to mate with the queen after which they become useless in the colony.
As a beekeeper, you need to always have protective clothing when working around your bees. You see, bees don’t really get domesticated in the sense of the word. They will not take any intrusions lightly and will in many cases attack you by delivering a painful sting which contains some venom. These multiple stings from a huge swarm could be fatal and lead to death. Ensure you have a beekeeper suit complete with gloves and boots, a hat and a veil, and even a smoker to neutralize the bees. This suit should be white in color to reduce aggression from the bees.
You need to have adequate tools and equipment to make your beekeeping experience enjoyable and fruitful. Bottom line, you will need the following: A beehive, hive tools, a smoker, bee feeders, fume boards, and excluders which help keep the queen bee intact whenever you are working around the beehive. The entire colony revolves around the queen. These are the very basic tools that any beekeeper should have, though there are other specialized tools that are available.
Get a good beekeeping guide that you can always refer to whenever you need to do the routine maintenance tasks like clean up, repairs, and even harvesting of the honey. Finally, ensure you have complied with the regulations and that you have the necessary licenses to practice beekeeping.
His newest book,”The Ultimate Beekeeping Guide,” teaches Beekeepers everything they need to know about Beekeeping Information and caring for their bees.