Beekeeping is the controlled raising of bees in hive in order to gather honey. It has a long history and is not only a wonderful hobby, beekeeping is also a profitable business. But in order to reap the benefits of this fascinating hobby, a good deal of knowledge must first be learned.
In order to get started in beekeeping, you have to make sure that you have the right equipment. The first thing that a beekeeper needs is the basic components of the hive.
Beekeepers can start their bee business by:
- buying package bees
- buying an already established bee colony
- or collecting by swarms
But for beginners it is recommended to buy packaged bees.
You will also need the following:
- protective gear
- equipment for handling the honey
- a bee source
Typically honey bees do not sting unless they have to defend themselves or the hive.
Beekeepers use protective gear like:
- beekeeping suits
They also use smokers to subdue the bees in order to work with the colony and the hive. A smoker is device that emits smoke. The smoke creates a response within the bees that makes them prepare to evacuate the hive due to a fire. It also distorts the pheromone that the guard bees release to the other members of the hive upon the realization of an intruder.
Honeybees are extremely social insects that live in hives as a colony that can contain thousands of bees. All of the bees work together to build a nest, collect food and to rear the young.
Beekeepers are able to work with the natural instincts of the honey bee to gather honey that can be used or sold for profit. Removing the honey from the hive can sometimes be challenging but it is important not to leave the honey in the hive for too long. If it is left in the hive for a long time, the color of the honey will be darker and the bees will not have more room to store honey.
The color of the honey does not affect the taste but most people would prefer light colored honey. It is equally important not to harvest the honey too soon. Honey that is harvested too soon contains too much water and it might spoil or ferment.
The best indicator of when honey is ready is the bees. When the beekeeper sees wax caps over the honey cells, then it is time for harvesting the honey. The best time to harvest the honey is during a sunny day or in the morning when your bees are busy.
Before one starts beekeeping they have to make sure that your local government allows beekeeping in your area.
But, the benefits of adding bees to an area are large. Without mellow honey bees dominating an area, larger and more aggressive insects like wasps and hornets will move in. Plus, as everyone knows, bees are the best thing for the local plant life. As long as the beekeeper places their hives in an area that is free from houses and recreational areas, your experience with beekeeping will be fulfilling.
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