What is Beekeeping you might ask? Well, beekeeping is raising bees in a controlled manner in order to get honey. Being an old hobby dating back thousands of years, beekeeping is also a lucrative business. However, to get profitable and to be successful at beekeeping, one must aquire a lot of knowledge.
To get started right in beekeeping, one must acquire the right amount and type of equipment. For starters, the components of a successful hive are needed. There are 3 ways to get the bees you start with. The first way is by purchasing bees. The second way is buying an already active hive. Last, you can collect them during swarming. The best way for beginners is to buy package bees.
Protective gear that includes a bee suit, gloves and a hat and veil is a must. Another piece of equipment that allows people to work with the bees is called a smoker. The smoker simulates the response that bees need to leave the hive due to fire. It also distorts the pheromone that guard bees use to tell the other bees to attack an intruder.
With a socially active nature, bees can make hives with many thousands of bees. The bees in the colony work along side each other to expand the colony, gather food, and to raise the baby bees. The beekeeper’s job is to work around the bees’ natural instincts in order to gather the honey for eating or selling to other people to eat. Getting the honey out of the hive can be difficult at times but it’s important to not let it sit too long in there or the honey will get very dark and the bees won’t be able to product any more.
Even though color doesn’t usually impact the flavor, most people prefer light colored honey to dark honey. On the other hand, gathering honey too soon usually means the honey will have too much water in it and will spoil quickly. In order to find the “just right” time to harvest the honey, look at the bees. They will tell you. When the beekeeper sees a wax covering over the comb, they should harvest the honey. The optimal harvest time is on a sunny morning when the bees are active.
Just remember, before you start keeping bees, check with your local government to make sure it’s ok. However, it’s important for everyone to realize that large amounts of honey bees benefit an area by preventing wasps and hornets from moving into town. It’s also common knowledge that bees are great for flowering plant populations. Just make sure you place your hives away from residential and recreation areas and you’ll have a great time raising bees.
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