How to Manage Your Honey Bees in the winter?

 bee keeping courses
Honey bees work hard all over the year through different climates in different seasons, so raising honey bees requires proper management all year round. 

Even though beekeeping is commonly regarded in the warm months, you should give attention to some information’s about what you should do to manage your bees during the winter months:

...If the bees have not stored up enough honey to survive the winter months, then they will suffer from difficult situations during these cold months and will start to exhibit signs of starvation.

Some bees may die out during this cold time and will need to be disposed of.

You should watch your bees carefully during the winter season to avoid this condition of starvation, and if you find out the food stores are low, then you may need to create some sugar syrup for them in order to maintain the remaining bees.

... To ensure that there will be enough worker bees available in spring for honey production and to gather pollen, you should get your queen bees ready.

Ensure that your queen bee is laying enough eggs so that. If you feel that your queen bee is not producing enough, then you can always re-queen by purchasing a new queen bee as a replacement.

...To avoid destruction of your colonies by diseases you should check your hives consistently for any signs of disease - Disease within a colony can wipe it out completely. 

If you find any signs of disease, then all equipment should be disposed of immediately.

These are just some tips to get you managing and raising honey bees effectively so that you can get ready for the spring months. Managing your bees can be a fun experience if you continue to work at it all year round.


Critical Beekeeping Supplies

bee keeping supplies
If you love beekeeping ,you need to keep some important beekeeping supplies

Self-safety is critical for beekeepers , Using protective clothing can be a good idea. 

The essential supplies like hats, mask, gloves and beekeeping suits can be handy.

Focus especially on the safety of your face. Skilled and learner beekeepers should remember this. You can use a hat and a mask for protecting your face. 

Using gloves during beekeeping tasks is a must for protecting your hands - especially in the instances when you extract honey and handle a honeybee colony. 

You should also use the beekeepers' kits to stay safe from bee venom. 

Using a "smoker" will help you in working with the comb or the bees. 

Smokers are designed to emit smoke that makes bees to seek out food, and that's apparent as the smoke makes them to leave the hive

The bees feel a sense of urgency anticipating a fire. Smoke can also trigger alarm pheromones to be released by the hive's guard bees as they sense an intruder. And the beekeeper's job becomes easier when the bees are confused. 

The smoke is produced by different kinds of fuels. 

Most beekeepers like to use a blend of those. 

There are eco-friendly natural fuels that you can use. Hessian (burlap) and twine are among the common fuels. 

Then again, pine needles and corrugated cardboards can be also used as smoke creators. 

Burning rotten wood or using typical pulped paper and/or compressed cotton work for some people. Finally, beekeepers also use aerosol cans to make smoke.

Bees are naturally experts in locating food, but arranging some extra sugar syrup can really help. 

This sugar syrup keeps them from starving. The syrup keeps them going when there isn't enough food around. Sugar syrup kindles the egg-laying capacity of bees .

Beekeepers also need feeders for feeding bees . 

Many varieties of feeders are available, but hive tops, pails or division boards are pretty common.

In summer, bees are constantly moving and tend to stay away from the hive most of the time. That's why it makes more sense using entrance feeders.

Beekeepers also use wax sheet foundations to make artificial hives for housing the bees .
This helps the bees to use the sheet as the base of the comb and they start building combs on the foundation sheets. 

These are quite useful when you need to extract honey

Bees need to work less hard to build their hive on these sheets.


Beekeeping Hives

bee keeping hives
Do you know beekeeping

Do you want to be a successful beekeeper ?

Beekeeping is not only about collecting honey and profiting from it, there are many other aspects such as understanding the species of bees you want to breed and the beekeeping station.

As a beekeeper, you need to be very familiar with the types of hives required, which hive goes well with which bees, the lifespan of the hives, and so on.

When you purchase a beekeeping hive to house your bees you have to keep in mind that the beekeeping hive you will go for should be able to bear the weather conditions of the place you live in..

There are three old types of beekeeping hives :

1- Mud and clay hive - this type beekeeping hive is made of clay and its origin is from ancient Egypt

Honey is collected from this hive by smoking one end of the clay which makes the bees fly off to the other end. Thereby, the honeycomb is left unguarded and collecting honey becomes easy.

2- Skep hive - this type of home beekeeping hive is actually a basket that has no inside structure. 

The way that bees move in and out of the hive, this hive has a single hole at the bottom. But there are two negative factors 
- firstly, you cannot inspect the internal structure of this hive. Secondly, to collect the honey, you have to destroy the hive and as a result, the bees would either fly away or get killed.

3- Bee gum hive - this type of beekeeping hive is located in the hollows of gum trees. 

It is better not to go for this type of hive because for collecting honey, you have to practice sulphuring. 

Sulphuring  is Insertion of a container of burning sulpher inside the hive. This action would directly kill all the bees at once, probably not the best solution if you plan on keeping your bees for seasons to come.

These beekeeping hives are made to serve two purposes.. The first purpose is, to extract honey and second purpose is, to create an avenue for pollination of nearby crops.

There are also two modern and most commonly used beekeeping hives readily available in the market :

Top Bar hive - used mostly in the UK.

Langstroth hive - used mostly in the US.

Both these hives share common features. 

They have removable frames that makes it easier for the beekeepers to inspect the bees, honey can be easily collected without killing any of the bees and their homes can be used over and over again for a longer period of time. The perfect choice if you're a serious beekeeper!


Bee Keeping History from Egyptians to Americans

honey bee keeping
There are many evidences from rock paintings and very old drawings of bee-keepers in the Niuserre's sun temple from the 5th Dynasty (before 2422 BC) that The Egyptians kept bees at the earliest centuries . 

These drawings show bee-keepers blowing smoke into the bee hives as they remove honey-comb .  

Pots of honey were found in the grave of some of the Pharaohs, including King Tut.

Beekeeping goes back thousands of years to the stone age, cave drawings of bee keeping dating back to 6000 B.C. -showing people collecting honey from bee hives- have been found in Spain.

Bee keeping has been practiced in all societies and in all continents (except Antarctica) throughout the world. 

At first, humans just raided the beehives and in doing so, destroyed the hives. But then somewhere along the line, humans began creating bee hives and domesticating the bees. Artificial bee hives were created in hollow logs, large pottery vessels, straw baskets, and boxes made of wood.

Beekeeping came to the U.S. in the 16th century and in the 1800s the first apiculture system was brought to Pennsylvania by John Harbison. 

During the Great Depression and World War I bee keeping become very popular due to sugar/food shortages and the high cost of food. People ordered bee hive equipment from the Sears and Roebuck catalog. 

Wild bees were then transferred from trees into the newly purchased hives. People had to make due back in those days, and bee keeping was a great help to many.

Unfortunately beekeeping lost popularity after World War II. But now with the Colony Collapse Disorder (bees simply vanishing from hives throughout the U.S) bringing attention to honey bees, more people are becoming interested in taking up bee keeping again.

That's wonderful news for the honey bees, and for our food system since without honey bees to pollinate our crops over 2/3s would not grow.

And the renewed interest in backyard apiculture is not just a rural thing. 

Big cities like Tokyo, Washington, D.C., Paris, London, New York City and Berlin are encouraging urban bee keeping. And these are some of the biggest urban beekeeping areas in the world.

With scientists still trying to figure out what is causing Colony Collapse Disorder its vitally important now that people begin to take up apiculture by the thousands. 

We need bees to pollinate our crops, flowers, apple trees, and many other plants. Plus can you imagine a world without honey, I don't want to. I love the stuff.

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