Beekeeping Basics | Buzz Beekeeping Supplies - Part 2

Beekeeping Basics

Pros and Cons of Raising Bees for Honey

Pros and Cons of Raising Bees for HoneyStarting a new hobby is easy. But with just like everything else, learning the basics of raising bees for honey takes time and a lot of patience since there are a lot of things you need to consider.

Pros

There are a lot of benefits when you take up beekeeping as a hobby and/or business. Here’s some of them:

– They Produce Honey

This is one of the most common reasons why people want to take up beekeeping. Raising bees for honey means that you get to have fresh honey ready at your back yard – one which you’re sure that’s organic and free of artificial flavoring. Each bee can produce up to half a teaspoon of honey; imagine how much honey a colony with thousands of bees can produce.Raising_Bees_for_Honey

– Healthier Crops

Plants mostly rely on bees to propagate. The bees are an excellent plant pollinator. A lot of people has expressed that raising bees has made their landscapes healthier and they noticed that their plants and trees were producing bigger fruits.

– Wax

Bees also produce wax which they make into wax comb. There are a lot of uses for wax including cosmetics and creams.

Cons

Here are the downsides of raising bees for honey.

– Stings are Popular Among Honeybees

A bee sting can be very dangerous especially if you’re allergic to insect bites and stings. However, those with beekeeping business have developed immunity for the bee venom overtime.Raising_Bees_for_Honey

– Diseases in Bees

There are a lot of diseases that lead to the decline in the bee population. No matter how much effort you put in, there are just times when your beehive just won’t stay healthy.

– The First Year Can be Tough

It takes at least 3 years for the bees to produce a significant amount of honey. So you can’t really sexpect a productive first year for your beekeeping business.

Pros and Cons of Raising Bees for Honey

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All About Capturing a Bee Swarm

All About Capturing a Bee SwarmNo matter how much you take care of your bees, they will always end up leaving the hive together with their queen in order to create a new, independent hive. During this time, before your bee population gets smaller and smaller, you would need to find a new swarm of bees to replace the old one.

Steps to Take When Capturing a Bee Swarm

When you notice that your bees have started to become lesser and lesser, it’s an indication that you have to capture a new hive. Say that you saw a swarm somewhere near your house and you want to capture it with to replenish your beehive, here are the steps you can take:

1. Assess the Situationcapture bee swarm

Before you start cutting off the swarm, it’s important that you assess the situation first before taking action. If it’s just within an arm’s reach, don’t hesitate. However, if it’s up above a tree branch where you’d need a ladder to capture it and whether or not it’s dangerous or if it’s worth the risk or not.

When planning on capturing a bee swarm, you would need to do it fast since swarms usually don’t settle around one location for long. You also have to make sure that you’ll be capturing a genuine swarm and not an established hive already since it can be more difficult to relocate.

2. Prepare Your Tools

Wearing the right kind of protection is vital when you’re capturing bees. Although they can be submissive, it’s still important to keep yourself protected should the situation turn for the worst. The most important gears to wear are bee suit, gloves, and a veil to protect your face and head.

bee swarmWhen you’re ready to capture the swarm, you would also need a box to keep the bees in to get them ready to be transported to their new home.  For instance, a breathable cardboard box will do.

3. Secure the Queen Bee

A colony of bees won’t survive without their queen. One of the goals of capturing a bee swarm is to get the majority of it and the only way you can do this is if you catch the queen with them as well. The honeybees need their queen to successfully establish the hives.

In capturing the bees, if you see the bees hanging in a low branch, you can easily place a box underneath the branch and cut it off using a pair of clippers. However, if it’s in a larger branch, you can start shaking the branch slowly while holding the box underneath it. If you can’t get the majority of them using the previous steps, go in and transfer the bees to the box by your hands.

4. Take Them Home

Once you’re satisfied with the amount you’ve captures, it’s time to get the in their new homes. After transferring them to their new hive, you have to give them at least a week to regroup and acclimatize to the new environment. It’s also the time where the bees start creating a new comb without disruptions.

All About Capturing a Bee Swarm

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6 Things You Need To Know About Organic Beekeeping

Organic Beekeeping – If you’re new to organic beekeeping, there’s still so much that you have to learn. Keeping a bee farm on your backyard isn’t easy since there are a lot of things to consider. Before you go into any decisions, it’s better to have an idea about organic beekeeping so you can know what to expect.

Location is Important

When you’re considering on taking on the organic beekeeping hobby, the first thing you need to consider is the location where you’ll be putting your bees. For instance, bees have a lot of needs. organic beekeepingFirst, they need to be able to have easy access to fresh water to aid in their honey production. Secondly, they need to be away from traffic. And thirdly, they need to be placed where they can receive a considerable amount of sunlight – not too much but also not too little. If you live in a farm, you also have to look out for places where pesticides have been sprayed since it can damage the bee’s system and lead to their death.

You Don’t Have to Be Afraid of The Bees

Of course, you’d need to be wearing PPEs such as veil, gloves, and a full suit to avoid being stung. Since the bees’ instincts include attacking possible dangers to their colony, naturally they would attack you. The key to achieving the perfect technique in handling bee colonies according to an expert is to approach the colony gently as careful as you can to avoid agitating the bees. Provoking and overworking the bees can lead them to attack you.

Don’t Order the Bees Through Mail

Ordering bees online can’t assure you that you’ll be receiving a healthy set of bees. When you decide to start an organic beekeeping business, you need to be responsible enough to know where your bees come from. The last thing you want is to receive a set of unhealthy honey bees in your mail which you can no longer return.

Don’t Expect to Harvest Honey Immediately

organic_beekeepingYou can’t expect bees to produce honey right away. In fact, it may even take 2 years for them to produce a maximum amount of honey. This is because the bees need to build their colonies first and you have to wait for it to strengthen and grow. If the season is good, then you can expect to harvest a little bit the following year.

Never Use Pesticides Near Your Hive

Experienced beekeepers know better than using pesticides to kill parasites that could destroy their bee colonies. When you think about it, if these things are designed to get rid of other insects, then what’s to say that it can’t kill your colony, too?

Learn from a Mentor

The best thing to do when starting a beekeeping hobby is to learn from someone who has had years of experience on the field. Once you decide to pursue it, you have to keep the passion burning so that it will be a success. Once you get the hang of it, you’ll eventually be able to identify solutions to common bee problems.

6 Things You Need To Know About Organic Beekeeping

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Benefits of Beekeeping

Benefits of Beekeeping – For many people, beekeeping is one thing that they wouldn’t want to get involved in. Partly because they think that it’s not enjoyable, but mostly it’s because they think that beekeeping is one of the most dangerous hobby to take. But what they don’t realize is the fact that there are actually a lot of benefits of beekeeping that they are not aware of.

Benefits of Beekeeping

1. You Produce Your Own Honey

Honey might be one of the best benefits of beekeeping. The honey that is sold at your local grocery stores has already been mixed with preservatives to increase its shelf life. When you have your own hive in your backyard, you’ll rest easy knowing that it’s all natural.

2. You Get to Harvest the Wax

Beeswax is perfect for doing a lot of products. Candles, lipsticks, creams – you name it. The wax that the bees make has an antibacterial effect that can be a great addition to skin care products.

3. Bee Venom

benefits-of-beekeeping

Apitherapy is a method of treating health disorders using bee products. One of this is through the use of bee venom. This is used in a lot of patients suffering from

arthritis and/or other inflammatory problems in the body. This has been used since the ancient times in Egypt, Asia, and Africa and now, in the modern times, it’s still as effective as ever.

4. Bees are Great Pollinators

Beekeepers also observed that when they started their beekeeping business, they noticed a better productivity in their crops. The flowers were blooming better and fruits we’re bigger in size.

5. Relieves Stress

For many people, hearing the gentle buzzing of the bees on a warm, lovely day can be a great way to de-stress and relax. They’re also comforted by the thought that the bees are able to give them the honey that they need as well as an increase in the crops they harvest.

Benefits of Beekeeping

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All About Feeding Bees in Winter

The bees usually keep a stock of honey in their colonies for them to consume during the winter days. However, due to some circumstances, bees often face a lacking food supply during winter. This is why some beekeepers feel the need of feeding bees in winter.

What to Feed the Honeybees During Winter

Winter Patties

– Winter Patties are a good food choice for feeding bees in winter. It’s like patties that are smeared across a wax paper and fed to the bees. The label also says that it has added nutrients to help with the bees’ honey production when spring comes.

Sugar Blocks

– Sugar Blocks are the easiest to make at home. This can be made by mixing a cup of water and a pound of granulated sugar on a hot pan. The only downside to this option is that it can get messy and doesn’t have any additional supplements to help the bees.Feeding_Bees_in_Winter

Granulated Sugar

– Granulated Sugar are also a great food when feeding bees in winter. You can sprinkles some of it on top of your bee hive’s inner frames. The advantage of this is that if you have no time to prepare pre-mixed bee food, you can just sprinkle some of it on the top of the bee hives.

Fondant

– Fondant is a cooked sugar that has thickened and turned into solid. This is another great choice if you have a lot of free time on your hands to prepare.

Experts strongly discourage feeding the bees with syrup during winter. One reason for this is because there are relatively a lot of water in the syrup and it the bees can lose more energy spending time to remove the water from the syrup thus producing less honey.

All About Feeding Bees in Winter

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How to Raise Honey Bees

If even the simple thought of honey makes your mouth water, then you should consider learning how to raise honeybees so you wouldn’t run out of stocks. It’s easy, really. Basically, all you need to do is to find a perfect location and most importantly, keep them well-fed.

Knowing these facts, doesn’t it make you interested to learn more about beekeeping? If it does, then here’s the basics of how to raise honeybees:

1. Choose the Perfect Site.

The location for where you’ll be situating your honeybees in is extremely important. Honeybees need the following:

  • Shade when it’s hot out but they would also need sun. So it’s important that you give them a balance of the two.
  • Easy access to freshwater.
  • Protection from wind to avoid snow or rain from blowing into their hive.
  • Privacy and a place that’s away from heavy traffic.

2. Set up the HiveHow to Raise Honey Bees

The most important thing to remember is to keep their hive away from the ground so that they wouldn’t get wet and away from other animals.

3. Place the Bees in the Hive

The queen is usually separated from the rest of the honey bees and placed in what they call “Queen Muff”. The queen is left there for a few days while the workers are busy with the hive. Once the hive is ready, make sure to place the queen in the hive to prevent it from flying away with the rest of the bees.

4. Feed the Honeybees

Honeybees are usually fed with nectar. They would need the energy they get from it to establish their colonies as well as cover the cracks in their hives to protect their queen.  Nectar is easy to make. All you have to do is to mix equal parts of sugar and water. Fill up the quart jars with it and the honeybees will then just drink what they need from it.

5. Check the Hive

If you’re still a beginner in raising bees, then you’d need to do a simple observation at least once a week to learn. Make sure to keep the hive clean and free of ants. Check the hive for larvae on warm days. You should consult an expert if you don’t see any larvae in your hive.

How_to_Raise_Honey_Bees6. Keep the Hive from Pests

The most common pest that affects honeybee hives are the Varroa Mites. Without immediate intervention, it could eat and destroy your bee hive in no time. It’s important to detect any problems before the events turn out for the worst. In raising honeybees, early intervention is key.

7. Expand Your Hive

Once you get the hang of raising bees, there’s no stopping you from expanding the colony. If you started with one body-brood box and the bees has already filled it in, top it with a second brood box.

Honeybees are extremely easy to maintain. All you need is patience and the passion to propagate them. With enough care, your bees will produce a good quality honey that you and other people can benefit from.

How to Raise Honey Bees

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Why Cow Leather? – Cow leather Beekeeping Gloves

The best qualities of Cow leather are:beekeeping-gloves

• Cow leather is waterproof. durable, does not rip or tear easily and is resistant to sun and heat damage
• Cow leather can either be soft and furry or hard and slick depending on the way that it is tanned.
• Cow leather is strong and not as prone to cracking compared to most leathers.
• Cow leather is flexible, breathable, supple, and importantly it is comfortable to wear.
• Cow leather can be dyed a multitude of colors Lasts 5 times as long as fabric

 

Cow Leather Beekeeping Gloves for Men beekeeping-glovesand Women is Ideal for Professional or Beginning Beekeeper

🐝 TOTAL PROTECTION – Maximum Sting Protection – Extra long elastic wrist cuffs ensures NO bees can get in – Easily work with your hives and bees without the fear of getting stung – These sting proof beekeeping gloves are made of cow leather and heavy-duty canvas and are an investment in safety.

🐝 VENTILATED SLEEVES FOR COMFORT – High Quality Cow Leather and Heavy-Duty Canvas with Vented Sleeves for those hot summer days – Beekeeper essential equipment – A vital addition to your Beekeeping Supplies. Cow leather is thick leather that allows you to work your bees in comfort – These ventilated gloves may also be used for gardening as well.

🐝 DESIGNED BY BEEKEEPERS FOR BEEKEEPERS – We use what we sell – These gauntlet style gloves were designed to address problems we had with other beekeeper gloves.

When it comes to Beekeeping Equipment,

You Deserve Better!beekeeping-gloves

 

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Why Goat Skin Leather? – Goat skin leather Beekeeping Gloves

Goat skin leather products is better than other products of leather. Goat skin leather has another name for it called “Morocco leather” or the traditional Morocco leather. Goat skin leather has a number of great qualities which is why it is more preferable than others. Nowadays, several very well-known brands use goat skin for making their leather products such as bags, shoes, wallets, etc. because of how flexible and soft it is but also at the same time it is durable. The best qualities of goatskin leather are:

-Goat skin leather is suppler and softer because of the presence of lanolin in the leather.

-Goat skin leather is more lightweight.

-Goat skin leather is known as one of the most resilient leather.

-Goats skin leather is naturally water resistant and has more durability.

 

Goatskin Beekeeping Gloves for Men and Women is Ideal beekeeping-glovesfor Professional or Beginning Beekeeper

TOTAL PROTECTION – Maximum Sting Protection – Elastic wrist cuffs ensures NO bees can get in – Easily work with your hives and  bees without the fear of getting stung – These sting proof beekeeping gloves are an investment in safety.

🐝 VENTILATED SLEEVES FOR COMFORT – High Quality Goatskin and Canvas with Vented Sleeves for those hot summer days – Beekeeper essential equipment – A vital addition to your Beekeeping Supplies. Goat skin leather is a pliable leather that allows you to work your bees in comfort – These ventilated gloves may also be used for gardening as well.

🐝 DESIGNED BY BEEKEEPERS FOR BEEKEEPERS – We use what we sell – These gauntlet style gloves were designed to address problems we had with other beekeeper gloves.

 

When it comes to Beekeeping Equipment,

You Deserve Better!beekeeping-gloves

 

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The Hive for Beginners – Wisdom from the Past

This article (edited) was written in 1883 in “The American Apiculturist” by J. E. Pond, JR.

Beehive“In selecting a hive, no one will pretend to think for a moment of using other than one that contains movable frames.

The day of hollow logs, bee-gums and box-traps, has gone by never to return; but in the selection of the frame, there is so great a diversity of opinion, that a beginner in bee-culture may well pause for a moment before he makes a permanent choice; and any advice or information that tends to clear away the doubts from his mind will probably be welcomed by him.

honey bee hivesI have been engaged in bee-culture many years, and during that time have experimented with most of the leading frames in use, and have adopted the standard Langstroth frame, as the one that seems to meet the many requirements called for, to secure the best results.

I do not propose to decry any other frame, and will say right here, that success in apiculture depends more upon the man who engages in it, than upon the form or style of frame he uses.

He who enters into this work intelligently, and with a well-rooted and grounded purpose, imbued with a strong determination to succeed, will hardly fail, no matter what frame he may choose; but if he makes the right choice at the start, success will be more easily achieved.

The Langstroth frame was the invention of one of the ablest apiarists the world ever saw; to him and his labors should be given all praise. The introduction of the movable, sectional frame, by the Rev. L. L. Langstroth, formed an era in bee-culture, and gave an impetus to the business.”

Today,133 years later, the Langstroth hive is still the standard in the industry 133 years later.

 

 

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Honey Bee Life Cycle

The Honey Bee Life Cycle

 Honey bee life cycle: a description, drawing and information about the colony.

 The honey bee life cycle goes through 4 basic stages.  More detail is added in the diagram below, but the key stages are:honey-bee-life-cycle

  1. Egg
  2. Larva
  3. Pupa
  4. Adult

All bee life cycles go through these stages, although there are great variations between the life cycles of solitary, honey and bumblebees, (as explained elsewhere on my site – see links.

But for now, let’s focus on the honey bee life cycle.   Here’s my little drawing giving an overview (you can download a larger PDF version below):

Unlike bumblebee colonies, honey bee colonies can survive the winter, provided they have enough food resources, are able to keep sufficiently warm, and are free of diseases and predators.

However, in the winter, colonies are smaller than in the summer: there are no drones, and perhaps part of the colony left the hive (in a swarm) to form a new nest elsewhere.

Read More…

Honey Bee Life Cycle – Mid-State Beekeepers Association

There are three kinds of honey bees that you will find living inside a beehive – the Queen, the Worker and the Drone. Honey bees are highly specialized.  A hive needs each of the hive members to perform their job well, or the hive will not prosper. They must work as a unit and be willing to sacrifice themselves if need be to keep the hive alive and thriving.

The Drone is the male bee.  He has a very large and thick body.  A drone performs no functions inside the hive. In the hive, he rests and is fed by workers. His sole duty is to fly around at an altitude of 40 to up to 200 feet in search of virgin queen bees on their maiden flights. His odds of finding one are slim, but if he is fortunate to meet and mate in flight, the virgin queen retains his endophallus (storing it inside her body for future use) and he falls to the ground and dies.

Read More…

 

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This jacket was recommended to me by a bee exterminator for handling bee and wasp issues as they arose. I have not needed to use the jacket in battle yet but did try it on to make sure it fit and did not leave any areas exposed. I was pleasantly surprised by how well made it felt. Lots of pockets too.

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