display | more...

Beekeeping for begineers

I thought I would node this with the intent of sharing basic useful information about bee keeping. I have searched the internet high and wide for info and found everything assumes you know a little to start with. As I am a a complete startup newbie beekeeper I will add info as I gain it, hopefully filling in blanks and helping others.

Disclaimer: I write this from the perspective of a Australian, and although a lot of technices seem to be the same worldwide, I can not help with local weather, or environmental conditions elsewhere.

Intro: basics that you need to know. Beekeeping glossary

Bee basics:

Honeybees (Apis mellifera) are social insects that live in colonies of upto 60,000 individual bees.Their nests are made up of vertical combs of hexagonal cells that Workers construct using wax they secrete. Young bees, as eggs and larve, are reared and pupate inside these wax cells, and termed collectively as 'brood'. Pollen and nectar/honey are also stored in these cells (the part we humans use)

A colony consists of two female castes - the Queen and the Worker. The males are simply known as drones. There is normaly one queen to a colony and up to a few hundred drones (during main brood-rearing season) with the balance made up in worker bees.

The Queen is basically an egg laying machine, while workers preform several roles, from maintaining and defending the hive to collecting pollen and nectar.

Hive Construction

A hive is is name given to a box or container in which bees establish their home. Around the early 1800's a guy by the name of Rev. Langstroth developed a movable-frame hive. This is a box which consists of hanging side by side frames, that the bees build their combs on. The Langsthrop hive uses a 'bee space' of approx. 8mm -10mm which forces the bees to build in a controled manner, and allows us humans to maintain and manipulate the hive easier.

The hive body rests on a floor known as a bottom board, and a lid rests on the top. When hives require more space, another box of frames is added. This is termed a 'super'. You can add more and more 'supers' to a hive, eventually gaining many stories of boxes.

General Guide to backyard beekeeping

Hive construction
Frame construction

handling bees
The smoking of bees
bee sting
Swarms

Disease

European foul brood
American foul brood
sac brood disease
varroa mite

glossary

History

Protection against bees

sealing wax

More Nodes to follow:

Catching swarms
Hive maintenance

Log in or register to write something here or to contact authors.