Bees apiary

Categories: All about bees, Bee hive keeping, Bee kits, Buying bees, How to keep bees |

Production line apiaries
Bees make honey and wax. Multiplying the bees you can get new families. The use of bees for pollination of crops leads to a higher yield of the fields. An important source of income may be, for example, queen-breeding apiary, which breed bee queens for sale.

Organizing bees apiary, you should determine in advance its industrial character. To do this,  define what is the mainstream of given apiary – production of honey and beeswax, breeding bees and queens for sale, or mainly for pollination work of bees.

Bees apiary - honey apiary (3)

Depending on the main goal, apiary may have honey-wax, breeding or pollination direction.

This, however, does not mean that if you organized an apiary for honey and wax, the bees can not be simultaneously used for pollination, or queen, after the formation of new families can be saled.

Often apiaries are, when production of honey and beeswax is linked with a pollination and reproduction of colonies and queens for sale.

Most farms prefer mostly honey-wax direction of apiaries. Such farms pose the main objective the production of honey and beeswax. Bee pollination work has utility value hereWhen the food supply does not allow to increase the number of bee colonies without decreasing of honey and wax – they make mixed apiaries. In this case, along with the production of commercial honey and wax they sell bees from the honey apiary annually or periodically.

The organization of nurseries provides high income and at the same time is very important for the development and strengthening of beekeeping.

Dimensions of apiary
Sometimes small apiary tends to remain unprofitable and often brings loss. In these apiaries value, obtained from bee products do not cover production costs for the beekeeper, the guard, the construction of beekeeping buildings, the purchase of equipment and materials.As a result the bees in small apiaries are not got proper care. All this leads to the fact that the apiary prevents growth. Due to infectious diseases of bees and bad winter such apiary usually quickly cease to exist.

Only a well-studying of food resources and opportunities to improve it, you can more or less accurately determine the size of bee farms.

Selecting a location for the apiary
When choosing grazing – forage for bees – look for the best place for apiary, which will have the hives of bees and permanent apiary buildings.

Pay attention to:

1. Manor of apiary should be in the center of the land of honey.

The food supply for bees, as already mentioned, is made up of many honey lands of unequal values. It is important for growing around the apiary honey plants, which bloom at different times and create a source for continuous collection of nectar and pollen throughout the beekeeping season.

2. Place should be dry. If the apiaries are located in the lowlands with swampy soil with high moisture and frequent fogs – families often suffer, their development is delayed, the bees start work later and finish earlier.

3. Place should be protected from the wind, especially cold – of the northern and north-eastern direction. On windy spots the heat retains worse in the hives and  the development of families delays.

In the mountainous and rugged terrain area the point should be selected on the southern slopes of mountains or hills.

If there is no natural protection from the wind to create around the apiary you should plant windbreaks trees or tall shrubs as protective plantations along railways and highways. Apiary is immediately necessary to enclose with the fence or hedge.

4. In the forest areas to accommodate the apiary you should first clear the area, freeing it from the tall trees, provided shade.

Strong shading, especially on the east side, delays flights of bees in the morning. Similarly, the shadow in the afternoon causes premature termination of flights of bees. This can reduce the flight time of bee for 1-2 hours. Tall trees are uncomfortable by the fact that swarms go there that is very difficult to collect.

Moderate shade from small and rare bushes, on the contrary, keeps hives from overheating in the hot midday hours, which ultimately increases the productivity of bees.

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5. Do not install the apiary in the ravines and narrow valleys with a strong air draft when creating the so-called “tube”. The constant wind and cooling of hives will not only delay the development of bee colonies, but also will prevent flights of bees.

For apiaries are not suitable closed depressions (hollows), in which cold air is stagnant in the spring, and in summer it is too warm.

6.  The apiary should not be placed near broad rivers and large lakes, if the honey plants are on the opposite shore. Returning bees, especially in bad weather, will drown in the water.

It is better not to place bees near highways, near public facilities (markets, shops, hospitals, schools, clubs, etc.), or next to the farmyard, because bees can sting people and animals. If the bees are to be placed in such locations, you should enclose the apiary with a solid fence with a minimum height of 2 m (6.56”) or create a high and thick hedge.

7. The apiary should not be placed near large  industry – factories, large railway stations, depots, as the smoke and soot will interfere with normal work of bees.

When placing hives near enterprises processing sweeteners (confectioneries, jam plants, etc.), the bees will die masses, flying into shops and warehouses.

8. Avoid placing beehives on the flight, ie,  on the way of massive flight of bees from other apiaries. In this case, returning bees will settle on the others’ apiaries. The loss of bees can be particularly large during a sudden change in the weather – lightning storms and showers.

Bees apiary - honey apiary (1)

Organisation of the apiary
The land area is determined by the size of bee apiary. Apiary of 100 colonies takes approximately 0.3-0.4 ha.

The location,  selected and allotted to place apiaries, must be prepared in advance. The area should be enclosed  by a fence, you should make tracks, prepare a place for the hive, choose place for the buildings and make them. Hedge or fence are mainly to protect the apiary or to prevent the cattle entrance.

At the site, scheduled for placement of hives with bees, you should uproot stumps of felled trees, 
clean of debris and behold align. Then schedule the accommodation of the hives and hammer stakes.

In the forced crowding location of hives it is especially important to place in different places the landmarks that facilitate searching the hives for the beesTo do this, plant shrubs of various shapes and heights or arrange hives in groups, painted in different colors (white, yellow and blue).

When the location of the apiary on the slope of a hill make a terrace with a minimum width of 2 m (6.46”) or arrange a spacious horizontal areas with a slight slope to the south.

Place for  the hive should be about 1 square. m (10.7 sq.ft.) must be cleaned from the turf and you should drive four stakes into the ground so that the rear pair of stakes roses above ground at the level of 25-30 cm (10”), and the front – 1 to 2 cm (0.5”) below.

It gives a bias to the tap hole, which prevents wicking of rainwater to the hive. The front and rear pairs of stakes should be placed horizontally. To check  put the spare bed on the pegs and verify the correctness of their position with the water-level. Cover with the sand stripped of turf sites for beehives.

Notch of hives should be placed in the south-east, so the sun light entrance only in the morning before the heat. So  in the afternoon and later sun will heat the side wall of the hive, without creating the full sun near the front wall, where the entrance with a migratory board. Better not to stand hives facing north, as a cold wind will penetrate the tap hole.

Set a water bottle and arrange shelter for the controlling hive.

Around the apiary should be planted honey trees, tall shrubs and bushes and between hives – currants, gooseberries, etc.

On the territory of the apiary should be placed industrial buildings – wintering-building for bees and bee house where the beekeeper will perform work not related to the dismantling of hives (stringing wire of frame and waxing of artificial honeycombs, pumping honey, craft and repairing of the hives).  A storage for frames with honey, barn or shed for spare hives, as well as room for the guard must be designed near a bee-house.

Location of the production buildings must be planned so that they were convenient to use. Wintering-buildings should be at the center or near, and the bee house should be placed at a position that from it’s windows you can see all hives, it is better from the side of tap hole.

Placement of hives
Beekeepers in the pursuit of impressive appearance usually place the hives in the apiary in a checkerboard pattern,  so each row of hives is placed in between the two neighboring rows. Meanwhile, the location of beehives in a checkerboard pattern is the least successful of all the possible ways of placing of beehives in the apiary. Placement of hives in this way, especially if they are crowded and have the same appearance, and even have notch on one side, creates so much monotony,  that bees and queen badly orient and often fly into the wrong hive. This leads to wandering of bees impedes breeding of apiary, causes loss of young queens, returning from mating flights, increases bees irritability, develops bees theft and promotes more rapid spread of contagious diseases of bees.

Placing hives in the apiary must be done in the way so that the bees and queens have more guidance, so they could accurately distinguish their hives from others. These guidelines can be trees and shrubs, the variety in the placement of hives, different colors of hives. Green plants, in addition, will make shade from the sun.

Instead of placing beehives in the staggered placement of hives, it is better to use groups.

You can create groups of three, four, or more hives, having these groups of hives at a distance of 10-12 m (35 ft) from each other. Each group of hives should be placed around different landmarks, using the rugged topography of the soil and green vegetation (bushes, trees, flower beds).

Group of three beehives can be placed differently, avoiding a build in one line. Hives can be set in a semicircle, ie, turn front walls of the two extreme beehives in opposite directions from the central (middle) hive. They can be put in the form of a triangle, one hive in front, and two behind, or, conversely, two in front and one behind, having notches in three different directions.

Setting four hives near the bush, you can put two of them on one side of bush, and the rest on the other side.

In general, the more diverse group of hives and hives within groups will be located, the better it is for the guidance of bees and queens.

Various colors of hives – yellow, blue and white – also greatly help orientation of bees returning from work. This was confirmed by the following experience.

 The scientists set two empty unpainted hive at a short distance from each other. They placed a tin shield, painted in blue to the front of a hive, and to the other hive – a yellow shield. They put a swarm in the hive with blue board and watched the bees. Once the bees were accustomed to the blue color of their hive and fly only in it, shields were reversed, ie, the front wall of the hive of the bees has now become yellow, and the empty – blue. This sudden change of color led to the fact that about 71 % of bees, focusing on blue, their preferred color, flew into the blue, empty hive. When the boards were put again in the usual places, all the bees began to fly unerringly to the blue beehive.

Bees apiary - honey apiary (2)

Buying bees. Acquisition of beekeeping equipment and artificial honeycombs
For the organization of the apiary you can buy bees in the hive or swarm. You should immediately acquire 30-40 bee colonies or more.Free from others’ responsibilities beekeeper can work on the apiary of this size .

Better  to buy families in the spring, summer or after the main honey flow, but not later than the first half of September. Buy bees in  winter is not recommended, since it is difficult to determine the status of families and feed stocks.

When you purchase the bees in the spring and summer, dismantle the nest and get acquainted with the state of the colonies, to determine their strength, find stock of feed, check the quality of queens and make sure bees are not sick. By law, the absence of infectious disease in the apiary should be confirmed by a special certificate from a vet.

Acquired family should have a queen, adequate supplies of food,  quantity of the brood, corresponding to the season. Hive should be roadworthy and have 10-12 nested frames with honeycombs. It is desirable to have a body with a full set of rebuilt framework.

 You should buy only the strong and possibly new swarms.

New swarm must weigh at least 2 kg. When buying later swarms their weight should be increased accordingly. For example, a strong swarm, bought in the last week of June or in early July, must weigh 3 – 4 kg. Purchased swarms should be picked from the apiary on the date of exit and, in any event not later than the next day. When accepting the purchased swarm you should establish whether there is a queen, because a swarm flies off without a queen.

Delivery of swarms, especially over long distances – it troublesome and risky. It would be better to get bought swarms in hives, delivered in advance in the apiary. These hives, as agreed between the parties, you can even leave there until the fall. In the fall, when the bees have built up the nests and the weather is cooler, hives are easier to transport.

It remains to determine the need of artificial honeycombs for a seasonSince wax is equally necessary for existing apiaries (to change nests, to build bodies’ frames in the main families, equipment for the new families) and for the organization of a new apiary, we analyze some examples.

The first example. Last year there were 60 full staffed bee nests in the apiary;

There were 50 bodies with a complete set of combs (10 frames). Apiary has a production target: to increase the number of colonies by 25%, ie, 15 families, and rebuild 10 sets (100 frames) of bodies’ honeycombs.

Binding rules for beekeeping recommend annual change of at least one third of nests in the major families, ie, four nested frames. Thus, for each overwintered family should be purchased for at least four sheets of artificial comb-foundation, and for 60 families – 240 sheets of honeycomb. For building of complete nests for 15 new families, counting to 12 frames, we need 180 sheets, for detuning of 100 bodies’ frames- we need 100 half-sheets or 50 sheet of honeycomb. Thus, the total need of artificial honeycombs is 24+180+50 = 470 sheets. With an average weight of one sheet of honeycomb 70 g. it will require:

470*70 g. = 32.9 kg, or, rounded, 33 kg, ie, 550 g of honeycombs for one overwintered family.

On advanced apiaries, on which we should be equal, an increase of bee colonies is 50% or more and annually at least half of the breeding combs are updated. 

Here the consumption of honeycombs is usually in the range of 0.8 – 1 kg per basic bee colony. Therefore, a surplus of honeycombs you always need to keep in reserve.

A second example . Apiary is organised again. Purchase 30 swarms. On this apiary bee nests in all 30 families have to be rebuilt. Counting to 12 sheets on each nest we need to purchase 360 sheets of comb-foundation, ie, 70g x 360 = 25.2kg, or, rounded, 25 kg.

Fixed and nomadic apiary
If the apiary is always on the same place, it is called stationary. Apiary, which you carry one or more times to arrays of wild and cultivated honey plants during the season is called nomadic.

Under present conditions you can not always find a place with such a food source that would provide the bees with harvest for all periods of the season. Therefore, at the present time there is a fundamental breakdown of established traditions for centuries: many households are switching to a migratory beekeeping.

Of course, there is no need to perform migrations with bees, when there are all the conditions for stationary beekeeping. But when these conditions are not present, you need to plan only nomadic beekeeping.

On nomadic apiaries, depending on local conditions, you built wintering-building in the main place with ample main collection and auxiliary autumn collection or in places with good spring honey plants. Practice shows that the main parking of the nomadic apiary it is better to arrange in a place with many spring honey plantsThen the summer and fall migrations are made after the corresponding “intelligence” and the assessment of possible sites for the nomadic apiaries.

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Bees apiary

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