Beekeeping Basics for Beginners

Bees NOT pets: not a single bee can distinguish the owner from the passerby. And yet they successfully propagated, receive products, guide the development. But it is necessary to understand beekeeping, only then you can use their instincts to your advantage.

This article contains basic tips for the novice beekeeper: where to start, how to choose the bees, the type of hives, the right care, and more.

Table of contents

  • How to start?
  • profitability calculation used hives
  • Biology bee family - the basis of bee species composition
  • Acquisition
  • bees work on an apiary seasonal
  • Care Tips
  • beehives beekeeper beginner mistakes,

results How to start?

with knowledge acquisition. It is required to have at least a green( but better - accurate and complete) understanding of beekeeping. Here will help books, articles, tips, beekeepers, their observations.

It would be nice to have the support of a nearby experienced beekeeper. Just have to try: to take the patronage of a beginner means to become a beekeeper for a year, to which not everyone agrees.

Beekeepers in the apiary with smoke

We select a place for a point. Behind the fence, preferably with growing trees( the shade helps insects in the summer to maintain the microclimate of the dwelling), a good forage base, next to the house and other buildings - omshanik, a warehouse, a workshop.

It is highly desirable to enlist the support or at least the indifferent attitude of the neighbors in advance! Nearby should not be colonies of insectivorous birds( European bee-eater, blackbird, coastal swallow)!

Do not set up an apiary in the valley: contributes to the development of diseases. Well, if the building or a solid fence cover the hives from the wind.

Purchased tools and equipment. Something you can do yourself, some that are used infrequently and are relatively expensive( honey extractor, wax refinery) things you can borrow, although it is better to have your own. But without buying a minimum — a face( preferably two) mesh, a dimmer, a bee-chisel, a small amount of honeycomb, a wire for pasturing — it's hard to do.

Examine the feed base. Taking into account the terrain within a radius of 2 km from the future apiary, this is the radius of the productive flight of bees. Bees fly further( up to 5–6 km), but the time and honey costs as fuel, and the troubles that lie in wait for long-distance flight — birds, cultivated fields, possible bad weather, wasted time — reduce the impact of departure. The frequency of the honey collection is also important, significant non-fetal periods lead to theft: insects in search of food are trying to rob the neighbors. What can turn into an attack when a robbed family is destroyed, and stocks are dragged by robbers to their nest. In bezvalochnoe time increases and bee malice , which can quarrel with the neighbors, and even the beekeeper is not a pleasure. Even in the absence of a bribe, families come to a swarm, do not work well.

Blending periods can be eliminated in two ways.

  1. Sowing honey plants , planting nectar-bearing trees and shrubs, blooming in the right time.
  2. By moving by moving the apiary to the countryside with the flowering honey plants.

We collect other necessary information.

At a minimum you need to know: the time of the last autumn and first spring flight, the period of the main bribe in your area.

All beekeeping works, one way or another, relate to these important dates.

We complete the first-aid kit. Not so for yourself( with time the sensitivity to bites decreases), as for possible guests or passers-by stung by your charges.1-2% of people are allergic to stings, so it is better to err. To avoid possible trouble.

Official registration. By law, you need to get a passport at the apiary, even if you keep a single family.

Calculation of profitability

Income part. These include the cost of bee products.

  • Honey.
  • Wax.
  • Propolis.
  • Royal Jelly.
  • Bee Packs.
  • Uterus.
  • Pollen.
  • Bee Poison.
Beekeeping Products

There are also unreliable but possible incomes. Payment for pollination or excursions in the apiary( if you find someone willing to pay).. Selling the asm of ( dead bees) or from wax moth larvae for “medical” purposes. In reality, the therapeutic effect differs little, if at all, from zero, but now the fashion for such a “treatment”.

Profit depends on the following factors.

  1. Direction of the apiary .We work for honey collection or breeding of queens, getting milk, pollen or poison.
  2. Product prices .And if prices and the demand for honey are relatively stable, then another. .. The price of the queens strongly depends on the time of cultivation and their pure breed, and it has been documented. Poison and royal jelly, especially the last, very specific product: you need to find a buyer and strictly adhere to the rules of receipt, as it loses all its amazing properties if it is selected incorrectly.
  3. Productivity Apiary .It depends not only on the owner. Drought or unexpected frosts, like the weather in general, are not easily regulated.

There is also a profitable part, which is difficult to express in coins. The pleasure of messing with the bees. Increase the yield of his garden or vegetable garden. A positive effect on the health of one's own and those close to honey and pollen, as well as stings( apitherapy is a real method).

The basis of the expenditure part.

  1. Purchase of bees and queens .
  2. Acquisition of hives, tools, equipment or lumber and accessories, if you make beehives, frames and other necessary things yourself.
  3. Construction or rental of premises : warehouse, workshop, Omshanik.
  4. The cost of consumables : drugs, sugar, honeycomb.
  5. Payroll hired workers.
  6. If beekeeping is nomadic, costs for transportation of , watchmen, and fuel are added.
People work in the apiary

There are also unplanned, force majeure expenses: attorney fees / tests / experts, if there are any problems with the law or additional costs for an unexpected illness at the apiary.

It is not at all that is absolutely accurate in calculating future profits. If only because the nectar-bearing terrain year to year differs. But, preoccupied with the collection of information and planning out actions in advance( even better - by concluding contracts for the supply of products), it is easy to estimate future profits, if not to a penny.

Used beehives

Non-dismountable beehives ( decks, tree houses, sapettes) are now used a little, their time has passed. It is worth choosing between vertically( one-, two-, multi-corpus) and horizontally( sun beds) incremental hives. And also between made of wood or plastic. Foam polystyrene foam hives are becoming more and more fashionable.


deck Sun beds have a slight maintenance advantage: does not need to lift heavy bodies, it is easier to inspect families. At the same time, they are more bulky, more lumber is consumed for manufacturing, and transportation is worse.

Beehive lounger

Ukrainian ( Polish, Levitsky - other names of the lounger on the narrow-high frame) are better for wintering, otherwise the same as the most commonly used beehives for Dadanovsky, Ruta, Delovsky wide frames.

Corpus Ukrainian Hive

The choice of hive is made on the basis of the following considerations.

  • Apiary orientation: for honey collection or breeding. In the latter case, structures are chosen that favor the maintenance of several families in the hive. For cores, special hives are made for a reduced( usually - a quarter Dadanovsky) frame. The alpine beehive is good, too, on the frame of Roger Delon: the hull is similar in size to the nucleus.
  • Nomadic or stationary beekeeping is assumed.
  • Is there( or is it planned to purchase, manufacture) an lift for enclosures. And is there any power to raise the full section? If you plan to tinker with the bees in old age, you should not make a choice on heavy wooden hulls of 12 Dadanovsky frames in each.

In any case, it is desirable to have hives of the same type for the entire apiary. It helps in the work, the body and the frame are interchangeable, there is no problem with rearrangements.

The biology of the bee family is the basis of beekeeping

. The bee family is a single biological unit. Separately, the bee, the uterus, the drone live for a long time, let alone reproduce, simply cannot.

Uterus - mother to the whole family: only she lays eggs. All the rest are her children. Up to 3,000 eggs are laid per day( in the Italian breed, record holders in this part) eggs, the total weight of which exceeds the mass of the queen. The queen is constantly accompanied by a group of bees called the retinue: they clean, feed, protect.

Queen Bee

There is only one uterus in a family. In rare cases, a very short coexistence of several is possible: during swarming or in a landfill swarm, when several families sat down on one branch and transplanted into one hive.

The newly uterus is called the barren . On 5–6 days, if the weather permits, she flies to mating, where she is fertilized by several drones in flight. After that, it is called fetal . Their seminal fluid is stored in special tanks - the testes . There is also the method of artificial insemination, , when a liquid obtained from drones is injected into an individual put to sleep by a special syringe. Two types of eggs are laid: are fertilized - they produce womb and working bees, and unfertilized - from these drones.

They remove the uterus from the usual fertilized eggs, but in special cells of a larger volume - queen cells. Food: a special biologically active fluid, royal jelly.

Lives for several years, usually two, then replaced by a beekeeper. The reason - the old uterus worse lays eggs. However, without a shift, they live longer. Uterus can be marked, a drop of paint is applied on the back, then it is easier to find. In addition, paint color shows the year of elimination: used 7 colors for 7 years, then the cycle repeats. In nature, the uterus changes in the following cases.

  1. Silent Shift. Few( usually 2–3) queen cells are laid, the bred individual replaces the old, sick, or mutilated. Such a change takes place without a perceptible change in the rhythm of the family, often unobtrusively to the beekeeper. Hence the name.
  2. Swarm. Several dozen queen cells are laid, the bred individuals are used for reproduction. On the eve of their exit from the queen cells, part of the bees with the old queen are gathering full gobies of honey. They fly out of a beehive, graft onto an inanimate object( usually a tree branch), hanging slightly, go to a new place of residence. The first( with the old, fetal uterus) such a new family is called a swarm-pervak. Next - a swarm-third, a third-party, and so on. All but the first come out with barren womb. The number of released swarms is a breed trait. On average, northern rocks release 1–2 swarms, southern ones can erupt: let go of many small, low-value swarms.
  1. Fistulous. Expel with sudden loss of uterus. Some cells in a cell with future bees already living in them are urgently reworked. The larvae themselves feed up the royal jelly, and instead of bees, they produce uterus. The quality( on average) is worse, especially if the larvae of older age, have been eating regular food for some time, and not royal jelly. Of the larvae older than two and a half days, as they do not feed, working bees hatch.

Working bees. Biologically it is underdeveloped females, they are not able to mate. Do all the work, except egg laying. There are failures in the life of the family. If the uterus is lost, but the new one did not work out, then a part of the bees, which had eaten, due to the absence of brood, the royal jelly produced by them, changes. Genital organs are increasing, bees are trying to carry eggs. Fertilized can not, therefore, all laid eggs are drone. The drones, bred in the bee cells, do not fit, stick out, they have to be sealed, not flush with the walls, but with curved, convex lids. Such brood is called humpbacked , egg-laying bees - tinder bees , family - aspired . What is sad: without urgent intervention by the beekeeper, the family is doomed to death, the existing bees gradually die off, and only the drones are removed. ..

The first time - to clean the intestines - the bee takes off on day 4 of .Typically, 7–8 days young bees work inside the hive, and they are called - beehives . Then they begin to fly for a bribe, they become flight bees . A bee lives from a little more than a month in the period of the main bribe to a little more than six months - wintering, little working bees.

Drone. A bee male, derived from an unfertilized egg. There is no sting, it is not adapted to any works, and does not even do them. The only function is to see the flying womb and mate with it. It is in flight, in the hive do not mate. To search, it has good eyesight and a good sense of smell, exceeding that of the uterus or worker bee. In the fall, the bees of the drones do not allow to feed, and when they weaken from hunger, they are driven out to the street. Having drones in a winter club is a bad sign. This happens only in a batteryless or family with a very bad, old womb.


The drone develops longer than the uterus, ready for mating only 2 weeks later( the uterus - 5-6 days after leaving the cell), and the cell does not develop 16, like a uterus, and not 21, as a working individual, but24 days. Feed to hatch requires three times more than for the bee.

A normal family consists of a queen, tens of thousands of bees, hundreds of drones. This is in summer, in winter there are no drones. The weight of bees is approximately 10,000 per kg. Heavy swarm bees, accumulated in the stock full of gobies honey - 7 000 / kg.

species composition In nature, the most common species of single bees are - leaf cutters, earthen and others known only to specialists. The reason - you will not collect honey from them. Leaf cutters are bred for pollinating alfalfa and clover, but not often.

Beekeepers work with public bees .Small and( more often) large Indian bee, but most of all - honeybee, in Apis mellifera in Latin.

There are many breeds, the differences between them are noticeable. All of them are able to mate with each other, forming a cross between.

When choosing, it is worthwhile to be guided by a local or localized breed in the place of residence. It is she who is best adapted to bribe and wintering in this area, with the latest, even the most wonderful breed can be problems. Plus, it is worth considering the features of the planned beekeeping .If you are going to grow breeding queens - we buy a specific( precisely the one that is going to grow) breed. And only her! In order to avoid getting mixed, not purebred queens. When the apiary is located at the dacha or when the apiary is kept as an emergency allowance( at school, technical school), gentleness is of great importance, even if due to medical productivity.

Acquisition of bees

Rare cases( inheritance, donated, flew unowned swarm to the cottage) is omitted: unlikely. Really consider it worth two ways of acquiring .

  1. Purchase. We get a specific breed, on time, with documents and of appropriate quality. Can not be purchased at firms, and from a friend beekeeper. Then there is plus : there is an opportunity to bargain, at the same time get a couple of tips and agree on assistance, if that. Minus - there are no documents( usually), and the quality of delivery directly depends on the good faith of the seller.
  2. Fishing Swarm. The minus of the is a greater percentage of randomness of the result, variation in the quality and pedigree of the caught swarms. Plus - cheaper. And the excitement, even a little, warms the soul. With the right approach in an area rich in bee colonies, the method is quite reliable.

Works on an apiary on seasons

Winter. Bees at the club, half asleep, barely alive, slowly eating honey stocks. Their goal - to endure, live to spring. Under spring, the uterus begins to read, the temperature in the brood zone is raised from the winter 14 ° C to 34 degrees required by the larvae. For bees, winter lasts from the last autumn( usually November) to the first spring( more often, March) flight. Understandably, in different localities in different ways, as applies to all other phases of development.

Spring. Overwintering individuals die off, new ones are developing. Families are trying to quickly build up strength and begin reproduction. In some localities, commodity bribes from early honey plants are possible, if there are many of them. From forest raspberries in Siberia, for example.

Summer. Families actively collect stocks of feed. More - the bees multiply, release swarms or beekeeper makes cuttings.

Autumn. The main task is to grow young, unexperienced insects, who manage to live to spring and have time to feed themselves a replacement. In rare places, late commodity bribes are possible - in the heather wastelands of Britain, but this is an exception.

Caring for bee colonies

Bees do not need guardianship as such, they will survive without human intervention. But a good beekeeper reasonably helps the family, due to which she will collect more honey, and will suffer less from unpleasant factors( winter, illness).

It is not possible to paint all the details of care for the apiary in the volume of the article. And in short - given the above written development of the seasons, the beekeeper helps the family with the minimum losses of and the maximum achievements to carry out the necessary work in each specific period. How? About this - in the relevant sections of our site.

Tips for a Beekeeper Beginner, Errors, Results of

Usually beginner beekeepers , after reading, having heard enough, having dreamed up, choose the best hive, and the best breed, and the best beekeeping in advance. .....

frame with printed brood It happens differently: , having heard a conservative beekeeper, take innovations in advance, trying to accurately copy the work in the old-fashioned mentor. ..

Truth in the middle. It will be true with the mind to use the experience of accumulated by generations of beekeepers, boldly experimenting. There are no error free solutions. There will be illnesses, disappointments, gatherings of swarms, and bad seasons, and the death of families in the winter. You should tune in advance to a positive( rather than perfect) result. With this attitude, beekeeping will bring both pleasure and profit. Sure to!

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