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Beekeeping

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Humans and bees have enjoyed a unique agricultural relationship for thousands of years. The Beekeeping is a fascinating art which can be initiated by anyone at almost any time of life, provided that certain sensitive facts are taken into account. As a hobby , one or two hives in the backyard is all it takes to get started, but you can also build many hives , managing hundreds or even thousands of them.

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What is beekeeping?

Beekeeping consists of taking care of a swarm of bees that is inside the hives to obtain from them honey and some natural products such as propolis , pollen , royal jelly and some types of medicines .

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  • What is beekeeping?
  • features
  • What is it for
  • Origin of beekeeping
  • History
  • Types of bees
  • The beekeeper
  • What material is used in beekeeping
  • Clothing
  • Process
  • What products are obtained
  • Beekeeping in the world
  • Importance
  • Beekeeping Books

What is beekeeping?

Beekeeping consists of a tradition that dates back thousands of years which consists of providing care to a swarm of bees within hives , in order to obtain honey from them . It also consists of obtaining a series of natural products such as propolis , pollen , royal jelly and medicines . The beekeeper is practically a farmer of herds of bees , and is in charge of taking care of them, multiplying them and giving them protection. It is a profession that goes hand in hand with sustainability .

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features

The most important characteristics of beekeeping are the following:

  • Bees are characterized by being insects capable of producing honey and storing it in wax hives .
  • Most of the bees used in beekeeping belong to the genus Apis .
  • Bees live in hives where they form colonies of bees .
  • The beekeeper generally has his hives in areas that are located in nature because the bees need flowers to be able to find the raw materials necessary for the production of honey, nectar and pollen .

What is it for

Beekeeping is a method that is used for the production of honey , propolis and other products that are marketed for curing diseases , food and for the manufacture of medicines, creams and cosmetic products .

Origin of beekeeping

The origin of beekeeping is found in primitive men who lived in prehistory , in the civilizations that inhabited the Mediterranean and in the Sumerians , who inhabited the areas of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers .

History

Man has been involved with honey bees throughout time. There are some cave paintings in Spain that reflect men collecting honey from trees dating back 15,000 years when the ice sheets were removed from Europe . In Egyptian tombs can be found pictographs showing a managed beekeeping makes the least 4,500 years. The apiaries are mentioned in the Book of the Day of the Last Judgment as an important part of any parish and at that time beekeepers were freed from the feudal system. Beekeeping, until the mid-19th century, used a container made of clay or straw of the correct size to house the bees and at the end of the season, honey and wax were collected by destroying some or all of the combs produced by the bees. .

In the mid- 19th century , discoveries were made that radically changed beekeeping. The simple discovery that if a gap between 6mm and 9mm were left, the bees would either not seal it with a rubber-like material (called propolis ) or would attempt to use the gap by building a comb through it. Consequently, this discovery led to the design of hives in which the combs could be housed and moved for inspection and is the basis of all modern hive design . Modern mobile frame hives are by far the most common type of hive used for managed honey bee colonies.

Types of bees

The types of bees that exist are:

  • Drone : it is the father of all the bees in the hive . It dies when it fertilizes the queen bee. A hive has approximately 200 of this type of bee and its function is only to fertilize the queen .
  • Queen bee : it is the mother of all bees and has no organs to produce work. Its function is limited to reproduction . There is only one queen bee per hive and it can live for two or three years.
  • Worker Bee : This is the bee that is the base of the hive . They are in charge of pollinating flowers and collecting nectar , storing it in their crop and taking it to the hive . They are then in charge of collecting and transporting pollen and nectar and producing honey .

The beekeeper

The beekeeper is the person in charge of practicing the beekeeping using techniques to improve the conditioning of hives, transport, application of health treatments, selection and breeding and feeding , and processing and marketing of the products obtained.

What material is used in beekeeping

It is important to have the necessary equipment to do reviews and among them we need:

  • Smoker : causes the bees to leave their house to be able to check the hive. The smoker is generally made of newspaper or some dry material that produces a lot of smoke . No type of pesticide should be used.
  • Spatula or tweezers : used to separate the supers or frames from the hive. It can also be used as a scraper element.
  • Brush : used to extract honey from hives.
  • Knife : used to remove the cover produced by bees when they seal the honey in the hives.
  • Extractor : the extractor can be electric motor, reversible, square and its size varies depending on its use.
  • Grids for propolis : to extract it, use the special grids.
  • Poison collector .

Clothing

To practice beekeeping it is necessary to use a veil which is also a safety tool to protect the face and neck from bee stings. There are several types of veils, but it is always important to keep your face away from bees. A hard hat or cap should also be worn , which is a complement to the veil. A jumpsuit should be worn over clothing and individual masks. You must wear light- colored work pants , and a blouse of those that have the mask incorporated in one piece. The maskIt can be made of wire or plastic and the footwear must be strong.

Process

The beekeeping process is as follows:

  • The first thing to do is choose the place where the activity will take place . Ideally it should be a place that has a lot of flora .
  • After locating the place, we will protect our hives .
  • The location of each hive must be determined and supports installed .
  • When transporting, the cover and sub-cover of the hive must be removed , place the transport cover and cover with foam .
  • The new hive is placed .
  • The development and preparation phase of the honey harvest continues and the hive must be visited every fortnight.
  • Finally the honey is extracted from the hives .

What products are obtained

The main products that can be obtained from bees through beekeeping are used for the consumption of the year, and among them we can mention:

  • Honey : it is a sweet that bees produce from the nectar of flowers . Both the pollen and the nectar that is collected are combined with an enzyme that is in the saliva of the bees and this is transformed into honey.
  • Propolis : it is a substance produced by bees from different plant resins , wax and their saliva which is used to protect the hive. It is a useful product in curing health products such as pharyngitis and tonsillitis .
  • Bee pollen: after being subjected to a dehydration process , it is packaged and put on sale as a food product and as a natural remedy . It helps in the growth of children and is beneficial in cases of anemia.
  • Royal jelly: it is a food that workers make for the queen and helps improve memory , slows aging and helps control blood cholesterol .
  • Beeswax : is a product produced by bees which is used to make candles , cosmetic products and molds.

Beekeeping in the world

  • Spain : in this country beekeeping reached its peak at the end of the last century. At present vertical hives are used as they are easier to use and produce a greater quantity of honey.
  • Argentina : beekeeping occupies a very important place in agricultural production . It is one of the best honeys produced worldwide and this country is the second honey exporter , after China . It is an activity that is practiced practically throughout the country.
  • Mexico : two types of beekeeping are used, one based on the European bee that was introduced during the colonial era, and that of theYucatan peninsula and other regions such as Puebla and Michoacán, which is based on the use of native bees .
  • Ecuador : the activity is considered to be a profitable and ecologically viable undertaking , as the country is rich in natural resources, full of eucalyptus forests that are considered one of the main sources of nectar, pollen and resins for the production of propolis .

Importance

Beekeeping is an important activity because it is seen as a means of strengthening the systems of life and development . Beekeeping manages to integrate the different life and development systems through the use of resources.In addition, beekeeping is the source of a series of important products for the economy of the countries because through it different products are produced that are imported and exported by different regions, increasing revenue and improving sustainability .

Beekeeping Books

Some beekeeping books that we can mention are:

  • Piotr Socha’s bees
  • Beekeeping by Jean Pierre Prost
  • The book of bees
  • The Philosopher and the Bee Book
  • Initiation to beekeeping . Technology and management. Robles & Savachúa
  • Bee-friendly beekeeping

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