So You Think
You MIGHT Want to
be a Beekeeper?
Investment vs. Benefits
2010
Agenda
• Falling in love with a bug
• Starting the adventure
• Beekeeping calendar
• Sweet rewards
• 2010 Philadelphia Hon...
• Western Honey Bee (Apis
mellifera), an insect
• Superorganism: one
individual bee cannot
survive by itself
– Labor is di...
The Amazing Language of Bees
• Pheromones – “glue” that holds it together
– Queen Substance
– Workers’ pheromones
– Brood ...
Starting the Adventure
• Determine your potential
– Fear, allergy, location, laws,
money, time
– Basic protective equipmen...
Woodenware from the Bottom Up
• Cinder block
• Bottom board & entrance reducer
• Brood chambers with frames of foundation
...
Demonstration of Parts
City hive on front lawn, Philadelphia
Country hives on Saul High School
farm, Philadelphia
Thanks to the Good Rev. LLL
• The moveable frame hive allows for
manipulation of individual frames of bees
• Intense obser...
Which is more complex?
Which takes more time?
Beekeeping Calendar
• Jan, Feb – buy equipment & reserve bees
• Mar – assemble & paint your hives
• April – package bees a...
City hive on front lawn, Philadelphia
Country hives on Saul High School
farm, Philadelphia
Sweet Rewards
• Honey Harvest
• Wax, Pollen, Propolis
• Stress Relief
• Bees as Pollinators
• Being part of the big pictur...
Resources
• PhillyBeekeepers.org
• Montcobeekeepers.org
• Chescobees.org
• Beekeeping equipment suppliers
– Dadant
– Brush...
BACK UP SLIDES
2010 Philadelphia Honey Fest
• Celebrating Langstroth’s 200th
Birthday
• Sept. 10-12 and year-around
• Volunteers needed
2010 Philadelphia Honey Fest
• Arts/Culture: Hive art, “The Bee Man”,
candle-making, bee-bearding(!)
• Food/Beverage: Hone...
How & Why Bees Make Honey
• The colony requires about 80# of stored
honey going into the winter
• Honey is the fuel used b...
Nectar ÷ Enzymes - Water = Honey
• Nectar collected from blossoms by the field
bees is transported in the honey stomach
• ...
So You Think You Wanna Be A Beekeeper
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So You Think You Wanna Be A Beekeeper

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The whys and wherefores of bee keeping as a hobby. This presentation covers the basics of cost, timing, benefits and whether you have what it takes to love insects.

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  • Males (drones)
    Females (workers)
    One specialized female (queen)
    In nature they frequently build comb in hollow trees/stumps; can build comb in barns, houses and various man-made structures (electrical box, ex.)
    Old method of beekeeping employed skeps which required destruction of bees and comb to collect honey
    “Modern hive” is a standardized box with moveable frames invented by L.L. Langstroth, Philadelphian born in 1810 (celebrating his 200th birthday this year)
    Queen can produce up to 1500 eggs a day; laying up to 2/min
    Hive members are all daughters of the queen and sisters/half-sisters of each other
    Workers’ jobs: “housekeeper bees” 1-3 days old
    “undertaker bees” 3 - 16 days old “nurse bees” 4 - 12 days old
    “retinue bees” 7 - 12 days old “house bees” 12 - 18 days old
    “fanning bees” 12 - 18 days old “builder bees” 12 - 35 days old
    “guard bees” 18-21 days old “field bees” 22 - 42 days old
    Drones for mating
  • Chemical “scents” that animals produce to trigger behavioral responses from other members of the same species.
    Queen substance lets the colony know she is present and stimulates worker bee activities (absence of this signals the colony to raise a new queen)
    Other Queen pheromones act as a sex attractant OUTSIDE of the hive and as a regulator of the drone population INSIDE the hive
    Other Queen pheromones stimulate wax-building, brood rearing, foraging and food storage
    Workers’ pheromones help guide bees back to their hive (“fanning bees”)
    Other worker pheromones produce an alarm response (sudden aggression from the rest of the workers)
    Brood pheromones (from developing larvae and pupae) help worker bees recognize their needs, stage of development and gender.
    Dance Language – ref article from Bee Culture.
    Piping sound from emerging queens to call the workers to their aid and/or to locate competing queens for their fight to the death.
  • So You Think You Wanna Be A Beekeeper

    1. 1. So You Think You MIGHT Want to be a Beekeeper? Investment vs. Benefits 2010
    2. 2. Agenda • Falling in love with a bug • Starting the adventure • Beekeeping calendar • Sweet rewards • 2010 Philadelphia Honey Festival • Resources; next steps
    3. 3. • Western Honey Bee (Apis mellifera), an insect • Superorganism: one individual bee cannot survive by itself – Labor is divided within the superorganism – Multiple generations live together – Young are cared for cooperatively Falling in Love with a Bug? Resistance is Futile!
    4. 4. The Amazing Language of Bees • Pheromones – “glue” that holds it together – Queen Substance – Workers’ pheromones – Brood pheromones • Dance Language – Waggle Dance – distant location & type of food – Round Dance – near location & type of food • Piping
    5. 5. Starting the Adventure • Determine your potential – Fear, allergy, location, laws, money, time – Basic protective equipment & tools (approx. $100) – Basic hive “woodenware” (approx. $170/hive) – Package of bees (approx. $85) – Total startup cost ~ $355
    6. 6. Woodenware from the Bottom Up • Cinder block • Bottom board & entrance reducer • Brood chambers with frames of foundation • Queen excluder • “Supers” (boxes above the queen excluder) • Inner cover • Outer cover • Rock
    7. 7. Demonstration of Parts City hive on front lawn, Philadelphia Country hives on Saul High School farm, Philadelphia
    8. 8. Thanks to the Good Rev. LLL • The moveable frame hive allows for manipulation of individual frames of bees • Intense observation & experimentation opportunities • Ability to monitor the health of the hive throughout the beekeeping year • Flexibility in managing the colony & apiary • Sustainable economic industry: apiculture
    9. 9. Which is more complex? Which takes more time?
    10. 10. Beekeeping Calendar • Jan, Feb – buy equipment & reserve bees • Mar – assemble & paint your hives • April – package bees arrive/ install & feed • May – swarm watch & management • June – add chambers, excluder, super • July – harvest honey • Aug, Sep – feed as needed; make candles • Oct, Nov – make mead, prep hive for winter • Dec – relax, read back issues of bee mags
    11. 11. City hive on front lawn, Philadelphia Country hives on Saul High School farm, Philadelphia
    12. 12. Sweet Rewards • Honey Harvest • Wax, Pollen, Propolis • Stress Relief • Bees as Pollinators • Being part of the big picture: Save the Bees • Getting an education & passing it on • Meeting some interesting people • Philadelphia Honey Festival
    13. 13. Resources • PhillyBeekeepers.org • Montcobeekeepers.org • Chescobees.org • Beekeeping equipment suppliers – Dadant – Brushy Mountain Bee Farm • Bee-related courses, lectures and events – Check the county-specific websites
    14. 14. BACK UP SLIDES
    15. 15. 2010 Philadelphia Honey Fest • Celebrating Langstroth’s 200th Birthday • Sept. 10-12 and year-around • Volunteers needed
    16. 16. 2010 Philadelphia Honey Fest • Arts/Culture: Hive art, “The Bee Man”, candle-making, bee-bearding(!) • Food/Beverage: Honey tasting, mead & honey brews, cooking with honey contest • Hive and the Bee: Extracting honey, colony collapse disorder, alt. hive types • Science/History: Langstroth’s hive, the importance of pollinators to our survival
    17. 17. How & Why Bees Make Honey • The colony requires about 80# of stored honey going into the winter • Honey is the fuel used by the bees to maintain a temperature of 57ºF inside hive • Temperature increased to 95ºF mid-Feb as brood rearing begins • Shivering action of wing muscles, without beating the wings, converts the food into heat
    18. 18. Nectar ÷ Enzymes - Water = Honey • Nectar collected from blossoms by the field bees is transported in the honey stomach • House bees accept the nectar from the field bees (mouth to mouth transfer) • Sucrose is broken down to glucose & fructose • “Fanning bees” evaporate the moisture • “Builder bees” cap the cured honey with wax when moisture is down to 20%

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