• What is Beekeeping and Honeybees

    What is Beekeeping and honeybees?

     Beekeeping is when a person looks after and hopefully helps a colony of honeybees for the purpose of extracting products such as honey, beeswax or just for the shear enjoyment.

    • Honey bees produce – Honey, Pollen, Beeswax, Propolis and Royal Jelly.
    • Queen – Mother of all bees
    • Worker – Females do all the work
    • Drone – Mating is their only known job, they have no stinger

    Honey bees complete a total metamorphis, just like a butterfly, egg->larvae->cocoon->bee in less than 30 days.

     Honeybees – Apis Mellifera is their scientific name meaning Bee Honey-Bearing. There are a large number of different types. The British Black Bee came very close to extinction in 1906 due to a disease named Isle of Wight. Luckily, one of the greatest beekeepers of all time, Brother Adam, a monk that kept honey bees had mated the British bee with other honeybee strains from around Europe and that mixture was able to survive the devastation. My honey bees are descendents of these very precious bees.

     Today our honey bees are very much under threat. Beekeepers used to be able to be hands off and let the honeybees do their thing. Sadly due to today’s virus’, pests and diseases and with the constant threat of more, the hands off approach is no longer the case. Honey bees now need help to survive and swarms of honeybees without a beekeeper to look after them will unfortunately succumb to one of the many ailments overtime and die. Purely wild honey bees no longer live in the UK! This is slightly incorrect as an interesting fact; all bees are classified as wild (i.e. non-tameable) whether they are kept by a beekeeper or not. These creatures cannot be tamed, if they want to swarm, no matter what you do, they will still probably swarm. This is not a bad thing.

     Swarming is not something to be afraid of. Quite the opposite, honey bees that are swarming are amongst the calmest bees you would ever meet. I would compare it to a few moments after completing your exams for the year and receiving A*’s, or getting a huge promotion at work. You would want to celebrate and the last thing on your mind would be stinging someone. It is the same for the honey bees, swarming is their way of reproducing and increasing their colony numbers. It is what they aim to do.

     

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