Table of Contents
- 1 What is beekeeping?
- 1.1 Planning for beekeeping
- 1.2 1.Nectar flow basics –
- 1.3 2.Biology of honeybees –
- 1.4 3.Planning according to beekeeping techniques –
- 1.5 4.Planning goals –
- 1.6 Beekeeping equipment and tools
- 1.7 Evaluation of the honeycomb
- 1.8 Beekeepers calendar
- 1.9 Step by step procedure of beekeeping in India for beginners
- 1.10 1. Buy the bees –
- 1.11 2. Get the Hive system in place –
- 1.12 3. Beekeeping supplies –
- 1.13 4. Introduction of the bees to the hive –
- 1.14 5. Keep the bees healthy –
- 1.15 Conclusion
What is beekeeping?
Beekeeping is also called apiculture is the practice of managing the honeybee colonies in an enclosure. There are various objectives to do the apiculture they are as follows,
- The large honeybees that are adults are used for nectar flows.
To provide the following such as
- Cross-pollination of the crops and to accumulate the flow of nectar by bees
- Raising honeybee colonies to provide sale to other beekeepers
- To accumulate bee pollen, propolis, and royal jelly.
Planning for beekeeping
There are four basic steps in terms of planning for keeping the bees they are as follows,
1.Nectar flow basics –
This provides the basic structure on various crops that provide bees with honey and food for them. Also noting out which crops provide nectar maximum in which season of the year. This helps the crops for the cross-pollination and accumulating nectar by the bees. This ensures that the colony of bees grows and if there are any shortages of food it must be supplemented with food.
2.Biology of honeybees –
This planning ensures that how to keep bees in colonies as the bees are very social in their groups. How to enhance the productivity of the bees, by understanding the honeybee life cycle, roles of different types of bees, seasonal cycles of the honeybee colonies, and the diseases of the bees. This knowledge helps in collecting enough nectar by the bees and processing the food for the bees.
3.Planning according to beekeeping techniques –
This focuses on health for the bees, and how to maximize the numbers by improving the health of the bees.
4.Planning goals –
The objectives must be planned well by ensuring that the crops provide enough nectar, cross-pollination, and the price of the honey to ensure keeping the honeybee colonies in large numbers for commercial uses.
Beekeeping equipment and tools
Artificial honeycombs are built in a space for the honeybees. The individual frames are built to remove them for inspection. The distance between each frame that is the bee space is approximately 8 mm. This is just sufficient for the bees to move and also ensures that too much space is not created to build another honeycomb in space.
The standard bees consist of the following,
- One queen excluder that prevents the queen to move from excluder to supers
- One bottom board
- 1 telescoping hive cover.
- 1 or more honey supers that consist of 10 frames
- 1 or 2 brood chambers that consist of 10 removable frames
- 1 inner cover and
Tools needed for beekeepers are,
- Hive tool
- Bee Veil
- Bee suit that consists of face cover and gloves and a bee brush.
Evaluation of the honeycomb
The following things must be examined,
- Is there enough space?
- Is the brood pattern good- that is there is no disease and the queen is healthy
- Does the colony have enough pollen and hone – which is it may need extra food if there is not enough food
- Are there fresh eggs present?
- Are there any diseases in the bees?
- February and March – Need to ensure that enough food and healthy honeybees are available. If the queen is poor then it must be replaced with a new queen bee or if the strength and number of bees are more than maximum they must be divided into half.
- April and May – There must be enough bees and there must not be any swarming of the bees as they outgrow in numbers. Swarming bees establish another colony outside and there is a loss of honey crops by the swarmed bees.
- June and July – The honeycomb must be examined daily as there is maximum honey collected in this season. The honey must be removed and collected and pollens must be stored in cold storage. And empty boxes are returned for collecting more.
- August and September – The brood is redistributed for making more colonies and the honey crop is gathered. The colonies are fed if necessary and colonies are made strong. In the colder season, the bees are wrapped with insulated blankets by October.
Step by step procedure of beekeeping in India for beginners
1. Buy the bees –
For beekeeping, the first step is to order the bees around January and then receive the bees around April or May. There are various ways to get the bees such as ordering the packaged bees, catching the swarm, or nurture bees. It depends on your knowledge and experience.
2. Get the Hive system in place –
There are 2 main systems for beekeeping They are as follows,
Langstroth boxes –
They are boxes that are stacked one above the other and each box contain frames where the bees build their comb and store honey. You can pull out the boxes for maintenance, to access bees and harvest honey. You can stack extra boxes if you need more.
Top-Bar hive –
In this system, the bee frames are arranged horizontally. In this system, the bees make the comb without any foundation. Each bar containing comb and honey is pulled out from the top.
3. Beekeeping supplies –
Once you have purchased the hive you need beekeeping tools and protective clothing.
4. Introduction of the bees to the hive –
Once you have all the equipment and tools you must introduce the bees to their new home. Do it slowly and steadily.
5. Keep the bees healthy –
As per the calendar keep the bees healthy and provide enough food if needed. Harvesting the honey in spring is the best.
Beekeeping can be a profitable business and you can start it small or do it on large scale commercially. Get to know the apiculture thoroughly and start the business. It is very interesting to do how you collect honey for yourself and for commercial purposes.