Bee Keeping Hive

6
Dec/06
0

Bee Keeping Hive

Basic Bee Craft

One of the most important aspects of a successful beekeeping operation is the placement of the hive. Bees can be kept almost anywhere but both bees and neighbours need to be taken into consideration when deciding upon hive placement. Here are some things to remember:

Bees do better if their sources of food and water are nearby. Locate hives near a source of nectar and a very shallow source of water. Bees drown in deep water. A shallow source of water beats the neighbour's swimming pool as the nearest water source for lots of reasons!

Hives should be placed so that cold winds don't blow on them. If it's too cold the bees will eat too much and are more likely to become ill.

Hives should have some shade but not too much. If it's too hot in the hive, bees won't work. Too much shade it makes the bees grouchy.

Hives should face the south or southeast, unless winds in your area come from those directions.

If it's hilly where you live, keep the hives in a valley. Bees fly uphill to gather nectar and back down when they've had their fill.

Don't place hives too close to sidewalks, roads, other people's yards, playgrounds, or where bees have to cross wide stretches of water to find nectar. Their flight paths can be a nuisance in such areas and bees loaded with nectar can drown when returning home over water.

A good beekeeper will spend time examining his hives.

An important part of bee craft is examining the hives on a regular basis. A good beekeeper will also look for signs that the bees might swarm, or that disease or pests might be present. Most of the time hives should be inspected once a month. There's a period of about six weeks when the colony starts expanding until the spring nectar flow. During that time hives should be inspected every week.

When examining the hives a beekeeper should be care to wear appropriate clothing and gear and to be calm, slow, and careful around the hive. The face should always be covered with a veil and all other skin should be covered. Bees don't like dark colours so wear light coloured clothing.

Always light a smoker before opening a hive.

Examine colonies when the bees are busy, usually from the middle of the morning until the middle of the afternoon. There will be fewer bees in the hive and the bees are the least irritable when they're busy.

New beekeepers should also be prepared to deal with bee stings. Avoid being stung by not walking directly in front of a colony of bees. If a bee flies towards a beekeeper, the beekeeper should remain calm and walk towards a building or a vehicle.

Stingers should be removed immediately. Scrape it out with a fingernail or a knife. Squeezing just gets more venom into the site of the sting.

Bees can smell the poison that's emitted during the sting and this will irritate them. The beekeeper should use the smoker to cover the scent and wash the area of the sting with a natural smelling soap.

Swelling, pain, and redness are normal at the site of a sting. Anaphylactic shock is indicated if pulse rate changes, there are breathing, fainting occurs, or hives occur. People who react like this to bee stings should never work with bees.

About the Author

My name is Nancy Ketner and I have been fascinated by Bees for as long as I can remember. Beekeeping can be a daunting hobby to start. Understanding Bees and the Bee Craft you need as a beginner can be difficult. I started Beekeeper Central as a free resource for others who wish to explore Beekeeping as a hobby or small business venture so people can get the most enjoyment they can from Honey Bees.


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