Experienced beekeepers, beginners, and amateurs can keep an apiary. The case is well developed and fully studied. The basics of keeping and breeding bees seem to many, but not everyone can learn the intricacies of the craft. It is important to study all the nuances of beekeeping in an accessible and understandable way.
Beekeeping for beginners where to start
Breeding bees is a rewarding, interesting and profitable activity. Beekeeping for beginners opens with the main question: where to start? Usually, the content of apiaries is inherited. You need to understand how the activity is right for you. There should be no allergic reactions to bee products. The state of health should involve heavy physical activity associated with caring for the apiary.
If there is a desire to work with special trepidation for beneficial insects, to gain deep knowledge and experience, to continuously improve, then the ability to drive bees will definitely come. Beekeeping fundamentals for beginners consist of gaining theoretical knowledge in practice.
How to choose the right place for an apiary
Beekeeping for beginners recommends organizing an apiary with the right location. It is easier for people living outside the city in the suburbs to place an apiary. City residents will need to purchase a land plot or rent it for a certain period. Perhaps relatives or friends will be able to help, who will not mind the neighborhood with the apiary. Taking into account the peculiarities of the region, many beekeepers make exports to flowering melliferous plants in forest areas, to entomophilous crops, to field lands, to mountainous areas.
If travel to the suburbs is not possible, beekeeping can be done even in the center of a large city or small settlement. Bees are kept on the roofs of multi-storey buildings. The sunny location provides additional hinged structures for sun protection and shade.
In villages and towns on the site, it is better to keep bees in the backyard, behind house buildings. Suitable fruit orchards with young flowering trees 30 – 50 meters from the road.
When the apiary is located next to the tracks, it is worth taking care of high fences. It can be a board fence up to 2,5 meters high or a hedge of evergreen trees, grape trellises.
The main requirement is a sufficient number of flowering plantations. It is not only a place for collecting pollen, but also protection from the hives from the wind. In the hot season, the shade plays an important role, protecting the hives from the sultry sun. In such conditions, peaceful bee families are formed. An open area, without trees and bushes, leads insects to aggressive irritation.
It is good to know that perennials serve as a reference point for the hive. The layout of the apiary on the personal plot implies the advance wiring of the necessary communications, the arrangement of access roads, and the planting of protective landscaping.
There are rights and norms for placing an apiary in accordance with the manual for beekeeping, approved by the veterinary rules for keeping honey bees in accordance with the legislation of the Russian Federation. Key points:
- Nomadic apiaries are located at a distance of at least one and a half kilometers from each other.
- It is not allowed to place on the path of summer to the previously placed apiaries.
- In settlements, keep and breed peaceful breeds.
- A stationary apiary is located at a distance of at least 1 km from farms.
- At least 100 m from educational institutions, health care, children’s, cultural, federal highways, railways, at least 500 m from industrial zones.
- The distance from neighboring areas is 3 m. Restrictions are removed if there are high fences of at least 2 m.
Which hives to choose
The choice of hives is determined by:
- the main focus is the cultivation or collection of honey;
- stationary or nomadic type of beekeeping;
- presence, absence of a body lift.
It is preferable to choose one type of all hives. This facilitates the work, there are no problems with rearrangement and interchange of some parts of the structure.
Log beekeeping – the most natural variant of bee hives. The deck represents a section of a barrel in the shape of a cylinder, with a full cut. It is completely closed from above and from below with special covers. Only the passage for the bees remains. It can have several tiers and represent a composite, collapsible or semi-collapsible type. A log apiary is most suitable for beekeepers without experience.
Alpine is a multi-hull model for a small area. Compact house for maximum reproduction of honey and brood. The disadvantages include high cost.
Multi-hull – offers lightweight complex work with frames. Designed for strong families with young queens.
Dadanovsky – Russian classics from spruce. The case consists of two magazines, accommodates twelve frames with good ventilation.
Sunbed – horizontal location of the nest. Separated by the number of frames. Designed for swarming by a large family. Takes up a lot of space, air circulation is difficult.
Cassette – thin inner walls make it possible to independently regulate the microclimate. The outer walls are very thick. Created to combat bee diseases.
Plastic – lightweight and airtight, suitable for transporting hives.
Northern – a multi-housing house with small spaces. Designed to keep warm.
The large assortment complicates the choice, which depends solely on the preferences of the beekeeper. The main thing in the choice is quality, dryness and warmth.
Clothes and equipment for the first time
Acquisition of the necessary basic equipment and clothing for beginner beekeepers divided into groups in accordance with the purpose:
- Hive handling and care: boxes, brushes, chisel, scraper, spray gun.
- Tools for working with finished products: beekeeper’s knife, steam, electric, vibrating knife, sieves, sump, table, honey extractor, smoker, wax furnace.
- Special clothing and protective equipment: suit, mask and much more.
- Accessories for bees: distillation trays, drinkers, queen cells, feeders.
- Packaging of finished products: knives, spoon, watering cans, table.
- Reproduction of families, hatching of queens: dividing grids, uterine cells and caps, isolator, nursery and grafting frames, wax bowls.
- Machinery and equipment: on an industrial scale.
The list of inventory to pursue beekeeping may have no boundaries. Each beekeeper selects it according to individual preferences. The beekeeper needs equipment to perform specific time-tested functions with maximum technical convenience.
Having decided to take up the maintenance of hardworking insects, you need to learn everything about bees and beekeeping for beginners. The maximum knowledge gained will protect you from unnecessary waste and disappointment.
A beginner beekeeper can acquire an apiary by buying bees or catching swarms. You can buy whole families in hives, swarms or individuals in special packages with and without combs. Swarm fishing is considered a relatively cheap option. It requires the right approach, choice of location and high gambling.
When to buy bees
The time before the first spring flyby is best for buying bees. There is little brood in the hives, which greatly facilitates transportation.
When buying, you should pay attention to the quality of the family strength, the strength of the flight, the age of the uterus. The sealed brood should be light and even, consistently inoculated with no voids. Podmore is completely absent or in small quantities.
What breed to buy
Local bee breeds are already adapted to living conditions and are worth buying. It is more difficult for imported ones to adapt to the new climate, so the losses will be greater.
- Central Russian – common in the European part of Russia and in Europe. It has a strong constitution, the weight of a working individual is over 100 mg, the uterus weighs from 190 mg. They are distinguished by high anxiety, do not tolerate any interference. Families easily tolerate prolonged cold weather with temperatures of forty degrees. Popular in the northern parts of the country. Resistant to major diseases.
- Gray mountainous Caucasian – suitable for the south of Russia, Kuban, North Caucasus, Stavropol Territory.
- Yellow Caucasian – for lowland apiaries of the Krasnodar Territory, Kuban and Transcaucasia.
- Carpathian – for the Central zone of the European part, Siberia, the Urals.
- Italian – prefers short winters in the southern regions: Astrakhan region, Kuban, Volgograd, Rostov, Stavropol.
Features of bee nutrition
Bee larvae are fed with royal jelly, rich in sugars, protein, mineral salts, vitamins, enzymes, and fat. After three days, complementary foods from a mixture of honey and bee bread begin. Adequate nutrition in the first six days lays the structure of the body of the worker. The uterus feeds on milk throughout its life.
Nutrition and feed depends on:
- family numbers;
- the amount of reserves;
- climate and weather conditions;
- duration of wintering;
- from honey plants and flowering period;
- breed characteristics;
- technological methods of basic care.
The food consists of plant foods that are harvested and produced by the bees themselves. During the period of insufficient collection of nectar, fruit juice, honeydew secreted by aphids and other insects that feed on vegetable juice can be used.
Top dressing is carried out in summer with active egg laying and in the cold season. Additional food in the form of sugar syrup or diluted honey with water. As an additive, cow’s milk is possible, which is well absorbed by hardworking insects. Some people use nutritional yeast.
Water is also needed. A bee colony consumes on average about 30 liters of water per year.
Two ways to breed bee colonies:
- natural – vegetatively by sexual and long-term swarming process;
- artificial – the way of division, plaque on the uterus, the creation of layering.
Reproduction from one family is carried out in the morning, in clear weather:
- put a new hive next to the family;
- install a forage honey frame, with bee bread, two frames with brood, with one-day larvae, then honey and with bee bread;
- shake off the young from two frames into a new hive;
- put side partitions, insulate;
- cover the entrance, leaving only the passage for the bees;
- after a few days, you can rearrange the hive to a permanent place;
- two to three days to feed with liquid syrup and give water.
Layering from one family leads to a weakening, it is better to artificially propagate from several families. Such layers are large enough and need a uterine transplant.
Dividing by half summer
Layers with different age categories of bees are created. An almost natural division of the family. An empty hive is placed next to a strong family. Half of the frames are rearranged. In the evening, the hives are closed and placed half a meter from their original place. For an even distribution, you need the same shape and color of the house.
Effective rotary breeding maintains the health of the bees and prevents the development of diseases. The drone brood is removed regularly. New families are formed from old families. The hives are transported to a large number of honey plants.
Seasonal bee care jobs
The bee colony has its own planned annual cycle. The beekeeper should not interfere, but only maintain a schedule of the peculiarities of seasonal work.
How to care for bees throughout the year
There is an approximate beekeeper calendar:
- February – the beginning of the countdown of the new year of the bee family, it is important to maintain the air temperature within 35 degrees Celsius for the emergence of brood, cleaning the space for leaving the hives;
- March – a cursory examination and cleansing is carried out;
- April – the time of the main revision, disinfection and build-up of families are carried out, provision of complementary foods and drinkers, additional insulation is possible;
- May – expansion of nests, veterinary services, formation of new families;
- June – expansion of nests, formation of layering, replacement of old queens, prevention of swarming;
- July – removal for migrations, addition of additional honeycombs;
- August – removal of unfinished frames, reduction of the taphole width, elimination of cracks;
- September – an audit is carried out, blanks of bee bread and honey are installed, free combs from brood are removed, feeding is prepared;
- October – sorting of honeycombs, cleaning up extra buildings, removing equipment for migrations;
- November – treatment for wax moth, preparation for the new season;
- December – warming of hives, drifting into the winter house;
- January – constant control of the required temperature and the amount of podmore is maintained.
The time for honey collection begins when the beekeeping product is fully ripe and enriched with useful substances. Sealed honey is considered mature. Bees cover the honeycomb with wax, isolate from the external environment.
During productive bribes, frames with foundation or honey collecting extensions are placed. They are removed after maturation, at the end of the honey collection.
The first collection is carried out in spring or with the onset of summer. It all depends on the climate. The last honey pumping takes place in August. From the end of summer, the beginning of autumn, preparations for wintering begin. During this period, blanks cannot be neglected.
Preparation for wintering
For teapots, the apiary begins preparatory work for the wintering of bees in the fall. But it is not so. Preparation begins with the first spring flights. It is important to adhere to the annual work plan of the beekeeper for the most comfortable winter conditions.
Tips for future beekeepers and beginner mistakes
Recommendations and advice for a novice beekeeper how to properly care for:
- buy inventory in specialized stores;
- to acquire hives with the onset of spring, bees – from friends, trusted beekeepers;
- carefully monitor the health of the bee colony;
- start with 4 – 5 hives;
- do not refuse the help of experienced people;
- prepare for wintering from the first spring flight;
- keep work clothes and apiary clean.
- unwillingness to self-education;
- lack of basic basic care skills;
- admitting bee diseases;
- weakening of bee colonies;
- inappropriate feed stock;
- wrong choice of honey collection;
- improper storage of bee products and beehives.
In order to avoid major mistakes, it is worth purchasing a beekeeping manual.
Income and expenses are there any benefits
The profit of the apiary depends on:
- directions – work is aimed at collecting beekeeping products or breeding queens;
- price – the demand for products, the hatching of queens at a certain time of the year affects the formation of value;
- productivity is a combination of the beekeeper’s work and unregulated natural conditions.
The income part consists of:
- royal jelly;
- bee venom;
It is possible to receive additional income for conducting excursions in the apiary and pollination of crops.
The consumable part is:
- acquisition of a queen and bees;
- purchase of beehives, the necessary inventory and equipment;
- possible lease of land, premises;
- transport waste during transportation and travel;
- remuneration for hired labor.
It is almost impossible to calculate the expected exact profit. The amount of nectar changes every year, depending on weather conditions, human factors, for example, the development of vacant lots with housing stock or enterprises. Disease in bees can also affect profits.