Bee keeping 101 doug and melinda


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Bee keeping 101 doug and melinda

  1. 1. Beekeeping 101 What we learned our first year. Presented by Doug and Melinda Barlow
  2. 2. Where do we begin? If you decide to become a beekeeper, you will join over 200,000 beekeepers in the United States. Most are Hobbyists and with lest than 25 hives. Beekeepers come in all ages and sizes.
  3. 3. Why many do not keep bees! Fear of being stung! But you can dress to reduce the chance of being stung!
  4. 4. The Fear Factor The sting represents the defensive behavior of honey bees. Most often it is used in the defense of the hive. However, honey bees can be very aggressive during bad weather, when being harassed by skunks, and even the genetics of the queen determines aggressiveness.
  5. 5. You can protect yourself. It is highly recommended that new beekeepers work bees with a bee veil, gloves, protective clothing, and shoes. Smoke is used to control bees ; therefore, one tool to purchase is a smoker.
  6. 6. Honey Bees are beneficial insects Usually people think of bees for honey.
  7. 7. Honey Bees are beneficial insects. As pollinators— most valuable. It is better for thirty thousand people to have one hive each then it is for one person to have thirty thousand hives. • If the bee disappeared off the surface of the globe then man world only have four years of life left. No more bees, on more pollination, no more plants, no more animals, no more man” • Albert Einstein
  8. 8. Honey Bees are beneficial insects Honey bees produce honey, wax, propoli s, and royal jelly.  Some individuals use them for bee sting therapy (Apitherapy).
  9. 9. A look at some bee hive locations
  10. 10. What is needed for a good location Most important:  Are there any ordnances or restrictions on the use of your property in placing hives on the property?  Do you have a water source near-by? If you have a neighbor with a swimming pool or hot tub near, problems can be encountered!  Do you have enough property and space to locate hives on your property?  Do you rent? Check with landlord for permission to place bees.
  11. 11. Other Considerations • Does your spouse approve? • Do you or any member of your family have allergic reactions to bee stings? • Bee fever?
  12. 12. If you are still with me…. Then I guess we can begin to talk about the how to get into beekeeping.
  13. 13. Getting Started in Beekeeping Beekeeping is harder then having a cat, but easer they having a dog.
  14. 14. Beekeeping A person or persons keeping honey bees need protection from bee stings. So what do they need? A Bee veil,  protective clothing,  ……………….gloves, Good shoes
  15. 15. Tools needed to work bees You will find a number of items in bee catalogs that can be considered tools to use when working bees. However, you will need only two: A smoker A Bee Brush A hive tool
  16. 16. Where do you get Tools? My first suggestion would be for you to find a local dealer in bee supplies. • IFA • 1646 East 1100 South • Vernal, Utah 84078 • 7891-1616 • Cal-Ranch • 1180 West Highway 40 • Vernal, Utah • 789-6000
  17. 17. Getting Honey Bees There are four general ways to begin a colony of bees. Start with a swarm. Start with a package of bees. Start with a nuc hive. Start with an established hive.
  18. 18. Getting Honey Bees in a package. Start with a package of bees.  There are beekeepers who sell honey bees.  Often bees are brought into Utah from other states.  The package of bees includes a queen, syrup can to feed the bees, and bees.  The size of a package depends upon the number of pounds of bees put into the packages, most are 3lb.
  19. 19. Getting Honey Bees Start with a nucleus hive. This is called a nuc!  It will cost more than a package of bees.  It will contain at least two or three frames of capped brood, a laying queen, and eggs & larva in various stages of development.  The nuc will have drawn comb rather than foundation.  Watch out for nuc’s sold with just bees and new foundation. This is nothing more than a package put into a box. This kind of nuc will not develop much faster than a package of bees. The queen
  20. 20. Registering your Bees In compliance with provisions of the Utah Bee Inspection Act passed by the 1979 Legislature, you must register your bees. Also in Uintah County call the Mosquito Abatement office and register. 435789-4105
  21. 21. Getting Honey Bees I am sure you are ready to suit up, grab a hive tool, light your smoker, and get started…. But first, lets take a look at what honey bees are!
  22. 22. An Introduction to the Bee’s World
  23. 23. Honey Bees Have existed for a few million years. For ten thousand years, records have survived of man’s exploitation of honey.
  24. 24. An introduction to the bee’s world The honey bee is a highly socialized insect. – Apis mellifera L. • The scientific name for the honey bee. You will see the word honey bee spelled as two words and as a single word. But it is correct to spell it as two words like House fly, and bumble bee. Apis mellifera L. is the scientific name for the honey bee. The honey bee is an insect. Insects are classified as having • 3 body parts (head, thorax and abdomen) • one pair of antennae • three pairs of legs • and usually one or two pairs of wings
  25. 25. Apis mellifera L. • According to Theodore B. Mitchell who spent 38 years of his life studying bees "Bees are essential to our economy, being the chief pollinating agents of the flowering plants. They have a relation not only to agriculture, but to the conservation of wildlife and game management, and constitute an important element in the various ecologic factors that combine to form our environment. Thus the production of fruit crops such as apples, pears, melons, cucumbers, grapes, dewberries, h uckleberries and strawberries, as well as cotton and various seed crops such as alfalfa, several clovers, vetch, onion, asparagus, buckwheat and celery, are dependent upon a sufficient population of bees, either the domesticated honey bee or some of our native, wild, solitary or social species."
  26. 26. A Honey Bee Colony • Honey bees live in a colony of many individuals whose joint effort is required for survival. Within this colony of bees are both females and males. The males are called drones and are necessary for mating with the queen. They gather no nectar or pollen for the hive. They also have no stinger. There may be 300 to 500 of these in a strong hive. Each colony will have a queen. She is the mother of all the bees in the colony. The queen is a female as are her daughters the worker bee. Both the queen and workers have stingers but only the worker bee is usually associated with stinging. The queen uses her stinger to kill rival queens.
  27. 27. The inhabitants of the hive Meet the queen:  The queen is a mature female. She lays thousands of eggs during her life time. A good queen may lay over 2000 eggs in a single day. A queen has the longest live span in the colony living for up to five years. She is larger than the other bees in the hive and has a slim torpedo shape. She does have a stinger, but uses it to kill other queens. Under normal conditions a hive will have only one queen.
  28. 28. The inhabitants of the hive Meet the worker bee:  Worker bees are sexually underdeveloped females. They may number as many as 60,000 in a colony. The population of a colony depends on a number of factors such as: the egg laying ability of the queen, the space available in the hive (area where the bees live) and the incoming food supply. They are called workers because that is what they do. They collect food and water for the colony, build wax comb, do the housework, maintain the interior temperatures of the hive and guard the hive against intruders [in other words: they can sting]. Female worker bees under certain conditions can lay eggs but because they are not mated, they produce eggs that only develop into drones.
  29. 29. The inhabitants of the hive Meet the Drone bee:  Drones are the males in the colony. Note the general shape of the drone. Notice two things: 1) the head is large and the eyes predominate the head and 2) the rear-end of the drone is rounded --they have no stinger and can not sting. Although they are usually considered worthless, they contribute to the continuation of one generation to the next generation.
  30. 30. Biological Information • All honey bees come from eggs. • All honey bees develop into larva. • All honey bees go thru something called metamorphism. • The development times for all honey bees differ by caste. Lets look at each of these.
  31. 31. All honey bees come from eggs • A queen honey bee can lay over 2000 eggs in a single 24 hour period. • If your math is good, multiply this by 10, 20, 30, and 40 days the general life span of worker bees. • Eggs are deposited into cells.
  32. 32. All honey bees develop into larva • Larva in cells look somewhat like little worms. The body is composed of a head plus 13 ring-like divisions or segments. • It grows to fill the cell very quickly. Between the day it emerges from the egg until it reaches the fifth day of development, it will grow six times it’s body weight during each 24 hour period of development. • Healthy larva are white in color.
  33. 33. All honey bees go thru something called metamorphism • This means that the honey bee during its development into an adult will pass thru several distinct stages from egg to adult. • When a cell is capped – the larva transforms into a pupa. From a pupa it will develop into a imago. It then emerges as an adult.
  34. 34. The development times for all honey bees differ by caste Egg Queen Worker Larva 3 days 4-5 days 3 days Pupa 8 days Emerge 16 days 5-6 days 12-13 days 21 days 6-7 days 14 days 24 days • Drone 3 days
  35. 35. The cells of honey bees differ by caste Queen cells Worker cell Drone cells
  36. 36. Some Facts About…. The queen bee • She develops from a fertilized egg. • She must mate with a drone to produce fertilized eggs. • She is the mother of all the bees in the hive. • She may live for 5 years or more. • Her role in the hive is to produce eggs and to release pheromone signals within the hive.
  37. 37. Some Facts About…. The worker bees • She is develped from a fertilized egg. • The worker bee lives for a short period of time – usually a period of about 40 days. • A worker bee spends its first 20 days in the hive performing various task – cleaning cells, feeding young larva, building wax comb, etc. • She defends the hive. It has a stinger. • The worker bee also has pollen baskets on her rear legs to gather and collect pollen while she is foraging for nectar outside the hive.
  38. 38. Some Facts About…. Drones • The drone is the male bee in the hive. • He develops from an unfertilized egg. Meaning he is passing on genetic material from his mother only. • He provides ½ of the genetic material in worker bees. • His life span depends on the health of the colony. During poor honey flows and honey shortages, drones may be driven from the hive. This happens at the onset of winter as well. • Drones can be created by laying worker honey bees.
  39. 39. Some Factsyou will observe within a hive of bees About…. What This frame from the brood chamber is close to ideal. Honey is stored at the top of the frame Capped brood fills much of the rest of the frame.
  40. 40. Some Factsyou will observe within a hive of bees About…. What Beekeeping may differ from region to region but in Ohio, beekeepers usually keep their bees in two deep hive bodies. Another term used is brood nest or brood chamber. Note that this hive is set up for 9 frames rather than 10. A hive should have a good population of bees. You will also see what is called a division board feeder in this hive.
  41. 41. Some Factsyou will observe about a hive of bees About…. What The equipment for a hive consist of: Top Cover Inner Cover Supers with frames -- What the bees put surplus honey for harvest into. Could be deep, medium, or shallow super. Some times a queen excluder Hive bodies and frames (Brood chamber) Bottom board with entrance reducer
  42. 42. Managing Bees
  43. 43. Beekeeping Management of honey bees Honey bees lived just fine until man came along and began to capture them. This is called keeping bees and managing them. In the wild they are just wild feral bees.
  44. 44. Managing Bees Where a hive/ hives should be located. Some general rules: 1. Your honey bees should not become a nuisances to your neighbors! If they do, you will face problems with their complaints. 2. It is often recommended that a hive of bees face toward the sun and away from prevailing winds. 3. It should be located within a short flying distance to a water source. 4. It should be protected from the heat of the sun during summer months. However, deep shade is not necessary. 5. Easy access to the hives.
  45. 45. Good Neighbor Guidelines • Being a good neighbor is not building fences as Robert Frost once put it. As a beekeeper our bees don't get fenced in. I always recommend common sense. • 1. Place your colonies of bees away from lot lines and occupied buildings. If near buildings, place colonies away from used entrances and lines of traffic. Colonies should be in full sun if possible. • 2. If your colonies are near the line, erect a six foot barricade between the bees and the line. Use anything bees will not pass through: dense shrubs, fencing, etc. An alternate solution may be to place the hives on a roof. Anytime bees are flying close to the ground and across the property line of a neighbor, there are potential problems. • 3. Bees may be annoying at their water source. If you do not live within 500 feet of a natural water source, or if you live near a swimming pool, place a tub of water in your apiary with wood floats in it. This is to allow the bees to drink without drowning. Change the water weekly to prevent stagnation and mosquito breeding.
  46. 46. Good Neighbor Guidelines • 4. Minimize robbing by bees, since those which are being robbed become very aggressive. To accomplish this, work your bees only during a nectar flow, keep exposed honey to a minimum, and use entrance reducers on weak colonies. • 5. Try to prevent swarming. Though gentle, swarms are a nuisance. • 6. Do not keep more than three or four beehives on a lot less than one-half acre. If more colonies are desired, find a nearby farmer who will allow you to keep your hives on his land in exchange for some honey. • 7. Do not work your beehives when close neighbors are in their yards. • 8. If you have a mean colony that may bother neighbors when you are working it, re-queen it. • 9. A pound or two of free honey each year to neighbors bordering on your property often makes bees much more acceptable to them. • 10. Please remember: the successful beekeepers' bees are not a nuisance to his neighbors.
  47. 47. Management of a colony of honey bees • First, make sure all is ready. Do you have your hive tool? Is the smoker going? What about neighbors? Children? • Approach the hive from the side if possible. Do not stand in front of the entrance. If you do, you will notice a crowd of bees in a holding pattern behind you. • Use your hive tool to remove the top cover. I like to lay the top cover on the ground next to the hive with the bottom side up. Blow a little smoke toward the entrance. Notice that I said a little smoke. You don't need a lot. • Next remove the inner cover. Bee have a tendency to glue this down to the inner side of the hive with propolis, so you may have to pry the inner cover off. Keep your smoker handy. • Once the inner cover is off the top bars of the frames in the top box (super) are exposed. Bees will start to migrate toward the disturbance and you will notice them coming up between the top bars. You can apply a little smoke to calm them down. A few may become air borne and fly about you. Ignore them.
  48. 48. Management of a colony of honey bees • What you will see… • When the hive is opened the bees will investigate and begin coming to the top of the frames. • If the hive is very strong, the entire top will be covered with bees. • This is the time to use a gentle blast of smoke directly to where the bees are coming up.
  49. 49. Management of a colony of honey bees Smoke is a great help in controlling honey bees. However, don’t use too much. Good fuel to use in your smoker….. Wood shavings Burlap Pulk wood (decaying wood easy found in dead trees. Pine needles
  50. 50. Management of a colony of honey bees Work your hive from the side and not the front of the hive. A few puffs at the entrance and a little on the top bars is enough. Too much smoke will cause the bees to begin to run out of the hive.
  51. 51. Management of a colony of honey bees • Move slowly when working the bees. Fast rapid movement causes the bees to react to your actions. • Work bees during the mid day in good weather. • If the hive becomes uncontrollable, close the hive and wait for a better time of day.
  52. 52. Management of a colony of honey bees • Your hive tool is used to pry off the top cover, inner cover and separate the hive bodies. It is used most often to get frames out of hive bodies. • The hive tool is held in the hand ready for use.
  53. 53. Management of a colony of honey bees • What should we be looking for when we begin to work the hive? • First, a beekeeper’s job is to do the least amount of damage to the bees.
  54. 54. Management of a colony of honey bees • It is not necessary to find the queen each time we open the hive! • We can tell that she is present if you can see eggs in cells.
  55. 55. Management of a colony of honey bees • A hive should not be open any longer than necessary to do an inspection. • An inspection consist of looking for things that are not normal within a hive of bees. As you gain experience, this will become easier. Hold the frame so that the sun is reaching the frame from over your shoulder.
  56. 56. Management of a colony of honey bees. You should see: 1. A good population of honey bees. 2. Eggs, larva, and capped brood. 3. Honey and pollen. Hopefully you will not see: 1. Varroa mite that might be on bees. 2. Queen cells? 3. Other things in the hive such as mice, yellow jackets, wax moths, etc.+ We are going to look at each of these.
  57. 57. Management of a colony of honey bees. • What is a good population of bees? • If the bees are covering the brood areas of the hive in spring, this is a good sign. At this time of year, there may be only four or five frames of bees.
  58. 58. Management of a colony of honey bees. • Later in the season, you will expect to find bees in all parts of the hive. • At times they may even cluster on the front of the hive.
  59. 59. Management of a colony of honey bees. If you see a large population of bees in your hive, you should be looking for queen cells which indicate your hive may be about to swarm. A large swarm like this will reduce the number of bees in your hive. Would you rather have bees hanging in a tree or gathering honey?
  60. 60. Management of a colony of honey bees. • Honey and Pollen? • Cells with pollen • A hive needs food to survive during all times during the year. It is critical during times of brood rearing.