How I Became A Beekeeper

We moved to the Kuban. Bought a house with a plot on the edge of the forest. We should have some animals. We have a dog and a cat, we brought them with us. We do not need a cow, we need three liters of milk a week. A goat does not fit these parameters either. We eat three eggs a week - that's one chicken, but she would be sad alone. Rabbits still can, they are soft and fluffy, eat grass and vegetables, but very quickly reproduce - where to put them then? I couldn't bear to take them, soft and fluffy, and the prospect of an Australian rabbit tragedy is frightening. That leaves bees.

How I became a beekeeper
How I became a beekeeper

They will pollinate the garden and the garden, and bring honey. And honey - it is delicious in itself, also gingerbread, more mead, and nuts in honey... Honey - not a rabbit and not an egg, you can send it by mail to far living close relatives. And you can be treated not only with honey, but also with whatever else you can get in the hive.

How I studied the theory of the question

Beeeeating is a serious business, and was given half a year to prepare. As bees are breed, as a rule, in April-May (depending on the region), winter is just right for preparation.

First, of course, information. Enthusiastically plunged into the  boundless sea of information about keeping bees. After about two weeks, my enthusiasm waned dramatically. After another two weeks, I found myself at a crossroads.

What bee houses to choose? Lots of different designs, and every beekeeper proves the advantages of the one he chooses. How to place the hives on the plot more conveniently? Again a lot of contradictory information. How to treat bees from all kinds of diseases? They all have their own ways and methods. About all sorts of forums do not even want to talk: a spoon of useful - a barrel of trolling.

So there are options: choose one, the most favorite beekeeper and follow his advice, or study the scientific literature on the subject. I had time, and I dug deep into scientific literature. There the situation is better than described above. At least there was a primary understanding of the life of a bee family. And on the basis of this understanding, I chose the most appropriate to my idea of Internet blog to follow the advice of the author.

I made a very detailed list of things that are needed for a comfortable life of bees and beekeeper, watched all the videos, downloaded information, accumulated references, made folders ... I also studied the legal aspects. I'm sharing my information

How I became a beekeeper
The bees have to fly from the hive and the first meters over the native land, not over the neighbors or the road

Read our article How much does it cost to become a beekeeper or What to buy for the first apiary?

On the rights and duties of a beekeeper

The bees didn't write the law! But it is written to beekeepers. Even to the amateur, who doesn't plan to make beekeeping on commercial level, but does it all for himself and his numerous relatives and friends. And if you decide to start bees, you must first find out whether you can create the right conditions for bees on your property, so as not to fend off complaints of neighbors.

Firstly , on a summer cottage can keep up to 3 families of bees. This is more than enough to provide your loved ones with honey for the winter. The more that the concept of "family" with bees very extensible - from 20 to 100 thousand individuals (someone counted them!)

Second , to fly out of the hive and fly the first meters bees should be on the native site, not over the neighbor or road. Not only that, it is desirable to plant a few meters from the hive in the way of bees to fly out tall bushes, a sort of "springboard", so that bees gain height and fly above 2 meters, where the space and visibility is greater, and there are no obstacles in the form of people and animals.

For reliability, it is recommended to fence the area above 2 meters, or plant the perimeter of tall trees and shrubs, if the area allows.

Third, if the site is adjacent to a school, playground, kindergarten, or any other public institution, it is better not to start bees - more expensive. You can't prove it was not your bee that stung someone's child. A bee does not always have time to dodge when someone's fifth point lands on the pollinated flower with a swing.

Fourth , you should avoid chemical, perfume, confectionery plants with delicious-smelling waste products or components of production. Bees are bound to get in there. The story with the colored honey in France, when the bees were dragged by delicious-smelling dyes from the M&M's factory, is a vivid confirmation of this.

Fifthly,"we are responsible for those we tamed": we have to take care of the health of bees, that means, besides the treatment and prevention of diseases of bees themselves, we should stop using toxic drugs on our own plot.

Unfortunately, the neighbors usually don't understand beekeepers' problems and poison on their land everything from weeds to moles. Regarding the sad consequences of pesticides for bees in all regions of Russia, probably only on pornographic sites this year.

An interesting side note: the main function of bees is not honey production, but pollination. Neighboring an apiary increases crop yields by at least half. And we - with insecticides...

We are lucky: in front of the house - the river, behind - a hill with a forest, next door - an abandoned lot with huge hazelnut bushes. You could at least set up an apiary.

How I became a beekeeper
The main function of bees - not production of honey, and pollination, and the neighborhood with the apiary increases the crop of crops, at least by half. © nextnature

About bee homesteading

The bees are serious. The bee family is a highly organized community with no logistics, no management, no board of directors, but everyone works cohesively and constantly (every employer's dream).

The foundation of the family is the queen bee. It is an absolutely amazing creature, capable of laying 1.5 to 3.5 thousand eggs per day for 3 to 4 years after a single mating at a young age! (It doesn't lay in the winter, of course). Amazingly efficient use of seed material!

Further, it's pure housekeeping: all the unskilled work is done by teenage bees aged 3 to 10 days. This is the cleaning of vacated cells in the honeycomb, warming the brood, cleaning the hive. After developing feeding glands on their heads, they become nurse bees, processing bee pollen (pollen with a little honey), and nurturing queen, drones (male), larvae, and freshly hatched bees.

In the interval bees form wax glands and stop working the foraging glands, feeders turn into builders (rebuild honeycomb), defenders (protect the hive from all those who want to get honey for free). At the same time they produce honey from nectar, remove excess moisture from it with increased ventilation, and seal the finished honey with wax caps. In general, the experts on all paws.

This period lasts up to 20 days, after that the bees become flying and begin to produce for the family nectar and pollen, and do for the rest of their days, another 20 days (these long-livers). Weak - 5-7 days.

But the drones all work is to fertilize the uterus. And those few lucky ones who succeeded, immediately die.

Read also our material Goat in the yard - 5 advices for beginners.

How I became a beekeeper
In these "pants" of pollen bees return to the hive. Nectar can't be seen, it is in the beehive.

What to eat in a bee hive?

If to look into bee hive you can see many interesting things.

Propolis

All the cracks in the hive are thoroughly filled with propolis- bee glue, a product of fermentation of resinous plant juices. It is found on both the frames and the walls of the hive. A very useful product that has anti-inflammatory, bactericidal, regenerating and analgesic properties. And it also smells great: such a pine-honey-wax aroma with a bitterness.

Zabrus

If you pull the frame during the active honey harvest, you can see, except for the bees, which express displeasure at the intrusion, sealed and open honeycomb. The open ones contain raw honey, which still has a lot of moisture, and the sealed ones contain honey preserved for the winter. The lids with which honeycombs are sealed are called zabrus.

It is cut off before the honey is pumped out of the frames. And it is usually mixed with honey. Such a sweet healthy wax gum. It improves blood circulation, activates metabolism, strengthens the immune system, treats gum disease.

Featherbed

In the same frame you can see inside the unsealed honeycombs dark or light dense mass is featherbed - mixed with honey fermented pollen, the basic food for the younger generation.

Fold more useful than anything else. With the richest mineral and vitamin composition, because collected from many plants. Fermentation contributes to better assimilation of it all and reduces allergenicity. The list of positive effects on the body is huge.

Main - immunomodulatory, cleansing blood vessels, normalizing the hormonal background, regenerating, maintaining potency in men. Thanks largely to the beekeeper in their old age are good cognitive functions. And with the physical health is usually not bad.

How I became a beekeeper
This is how propolis looks on the frame. © apiarius
How I became a beekeeper
The caps with which honeycombs are sealed are called zabrus. © delvinfarms
How I became a beekeeper
This is what a honeycomb frame looks like on a section. © ahoota

Wax

Well, and wax itself, from which the honeycomb is built up. Produced by special wax glands of bees and has strong bactericidal properties, in ointments used to treat skin and joint diseases, in pure form, you can treat many things - from lung to gynecological diseases.

By the way, the wax by itself is a wonderful product, but in a mixture with oleoresin (pine resin) turns into something incredible, because the bactericidal properties together with the regenerating many times enhanced and connected immunomodulators.

Honey

A honey, which is in the cell, as a useful product in recent years strongly discredited by a huge number of counterfeit. Happy is the one who knows the taste and aroma of real honey!

Honey solution is useful for washing eyes, skin after a honey mask is unusually velvety, stomatitis when smeared with ascorbic honey passes quickly and unnoticed, with a cold tea with honey - the first resort.

Our liver loves honey, it   improves its metabolism of tissues, helping to eliminate toxins. That is, honey is also an antidote. And also thin the blood, dilates blood vessels, calms the nervous system (before going to sleep it is good to drink warm water with honey). In order to get it with a guarantee, it is better to be engaged in beekeeping.

Lactic jelly

There is also lactic jelly , which produces bees to feed their larvae. It differs from ordinary royal jelly in concentration, because the superior productive properties of the queen require a special feed. This royal jelly is found in the cells of a growing queen bee.

It is clear that in a normal hive this is very small, as the bees do not need a swarm of queen bees. Natural royal jelly is almost impossible to buy, its shelf life is tiny, and processing leads to loss of many useful properties. Jelly tastes sour, and when absorbed penetrates into the blood immediately through the mucous membranes  with a maximum content of useful substances (vitamins, hormones, essential amino acids, enzymes, proteins, trace elements). Natural elixir of youth.

Mollokey

Mollokey different from royal jelly different from royal jelly, but it is often processed together with the larvae. It is considered, that such product is very healthy for men, such a natural "Viagra" with a set of additional bonuses in the form of vitamins, microelements, enzymes, essential amino acids.

Apitoxin

Apitoxin is the same poison, which the kamikaze bees inject into the offender before his death. In doing so, the bee does the offender a great favor, as apitoxin has a positive effect on the cardiovascular system, the nervous and digestive systems, and stimulates the immune system. In addition, it treats the joints. So it is useful to climb into the hive with those parts that hurt.

How I became a beekeeper
Bees are so useful creatures that even bee produce - bodies of dead individuals is used to treat many diseases. © hozidei

Podomor

The bees are such useful creatures that even podomor - the bodies of dead individuals - is used to treat many diseases. After all, each bee contains everything that is useful in the hive. In addition, there is chitosan, heparin, melanin, which  are also used to treat a long list of diseases.

And there is also information that the use of bee bugaboo helps quickly get rid of excess weight. Maybe also increases efficiency? It would be logical.

I end this bee literacy. In the next article I will tell what purchases and, accordingly, expenses are forthcoming to the beginning beekeeper.

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