Beekeeping And You
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For more information on our course then please click the following link… Beginners Course in Beekeeping. Please feel free to contact us if you would like to join our marvellous group of beekeepers. Beekeeping for most of us , is our hobby.
Vermont Beekeeping Supply,LLC
We have talks and discussions during the winter months. During the summer months we tend our bees, and meet at local apiaries to discuss what we have seen during bee inspections, and any local and national news that might affect our beekeeping. We are a division of Hertfordshire Beekeepers Association and in turn are full members of the British Beekeepers Association. Why join a Beekeeping association? At North Herts Beekeepers , you will have access to hundreds of years of beekeeping knowledge and experience.
The association also has a number of sites where you can keep a hive or hives, as most of us do not have gardens of sufficient size, or neighbours accommodating enough to allow us to keep bees at home.
Members also enjoy public liability insurance and insurance cover for their bees against disease, through affiliation to the BBKA, as well as help and assistance in all beekeeping pursuits. We also run a scheme of mentoring for new beekeepers, where an experienced beekeeper will be available for the newcomer to contact and discuss any issues or worries that they might have concerning their bees. If you think you might have an interest and would like to find out more, contact the secretary for more information, and perhaps you can come along to a meeting and experience the bees first hand.
We have a number of protective beesuits available for you to borrow so there is no excuse to experience the thrill of being in the company of a colony of honey bees. The first step to becoming a successful beekeeper is to learn as much as you can about the bees themselves. Considering all the variables that may affect your honeybees, you may see something different every time you get into your hive.
In order to make appropriate management decisions, beekeepers must be flexible in their ability to figure out why bees are behaving a certain way, and how certain actions may impact their well being. We carry dozens of books that cover the basics. Pick one or three up to begin building a solid foundation of beekeeping knowledge. Apis mellifera , or the European honeybee is the most commonly kept species, and the only species kept in America. They are just 1 species out of 20, known bee species worldwide.
North America alone is home to 4, bee species including social bumblebee colonies, solitary tunnel nesting bees, and solitary ground nesting bees. Honeybees are the only insect that store food in excess. In America today, the value of honeybees has only increased, as they have become the linchpin in the current agricultural system as pollinators. Honeybees have three social castes, each with a specific role or set of roles that divide all of the labor inside a colony. The colony is made up of thousands of individuals functioning as a whole.
Each hive will have 1 queen bee who is the only reproductive individual in the colony. She leaves the hive under two circumstances: as a virgin queen to mate, and in some cases, as an experienced queen with a swarm. She will store all this sperm touse for the rest of her life, which can last up to 5 or 6 years. Watch our Encyclo'bee'dia video about the queen.
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Worker bees are sterile females who do all of the foraging, feeding of young, honey production and storage, wax production, cleaning, and defending the hive against intruders. Each worker bee will do a variety of jobs in her lifetime, which can last about weeks during the active season. As they age, their duties will become riskier, and require venturing further from the hive.
Watch our Encyclo'bee'dia video about worker bees. The only male bees in the colony are drones. Their sole purpose is to spread the genetics of the colony by mating with virgin queens from other colonies. Once they mate, they die successful bees.
Is Beekeeping For You?
Unsuccessful drones return to the hive to eat honey and pollen. Once swarm season is over, drones become a drain on resources inside the hive, and are evicted by workers. Watch our Encyclo'bee'dia video about drones. Bees become covered in pollen when foraging, and then groom the pollen into specialized structures on their legs called pollen baskets to bring back to the hive. On their foraging flights, bees collect nectar and pollen to take back to the hive. The nectar provides carbohydrates, which, when mixed with the enzymes in their honey gut, can be stored and dehydrated into honey.
Bees make a local impact with a global importance.
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Most animals, including humans, directly or indirectly rely on the pollination efforts of honeybees for their food. As a beginning beekeeper you will always be learning. If you stop learning you're doing it wrong! As a natural beekeeper you are joining an ever-growing and changing beekeeping subculture that is still not understood by the larger beekeeping community.
You may be scoffed at or ridiculed for your choice of hive designs or methods, but take comfort in the fact that a shift toward treatment-free, bee-friendly beekeeping is beginning, even among long-time traditional beekeepers.
Thinking About Keeping Bees, part 1 – Costs, Time & Intangibles
Join a local beekeeping organization, even if they don't prefer your methods or beekeeping philosophy. Work to educate them on your methods and you may win a convert. There is also a lot to learn from long-time beekeepers despite some of their disinterest in top bar or Warre beekeeping.