Some might find it quite surprising that an insect so small can play a role so large for the entire planet’s ecosystem. Those with an interest in beginning a beekeeping hive will learn that the role of the humble honey bees is quite extraordinary as they contribute in large to the pollination of several flowering plants. Caring for and raising this important species requires the beekeeper to understand many different things about bees, ranging from their home to their food.
With the fall in the population of honey bees, a great deal of people have taken to ensuring the species continued survival through backyard colonies. Several environmentalists have begun offering starter kits that the public can buy in hopes of reversing the recent decay in bee numbers. Their overall goal is to spread many honey bees all over the world to prevent the entire species from going extinct in case the commercial honey farm bees completely wither away.
It is not difficult to procure a bee colony starter kit as they are readily available for purchase in many gardening supplies stores and several online stores. Most kits come with everything one can need for the care of the bees to the extraction of their honey. Higher end kits will also include specific instructions on how to better care for their bees in the specific location the buyer intends to start the hive.
An important choice that keepers must make is what style of box hive they find most interesting. Though there have been quite a few modern designs made to keep bees safe while producing more honey, some require more heavy lifting and work than others. Most beekeepers, professional and recreational, will suggest that those interested in the field pick the top-bar type with a transparent wall.
Research indicates that a beehive that is constantly stressed for long periods of time will yield less honey and may be detrimental to the overall colony health. That is why many keepers choose the top-bar model as it provides fast and easy access to all of the honeycombs inside the hive as well as reducing the amount of stress that is placed on the hive. The light weight bars are also a convenience to many as the other models available are often heavy or difficult to use and operate.
Knowledge about the life-cycle of honey bees is the most important factor to keep a happy and healthy hive, and is necessary for keeping them from migrating away. A beekeeper can start their hive by either purchasing package bees to be shipped to them in the mail, or by having a migrating swarm captured and brought to the protected wooden shelter. After this, a keeper must be sure to learn the methods for spacing the structures the bees build, as well as how to keep the colony warm in winter.
It is important to remember that the food source available to the colony of bees is just as vital as the hive in which they all reside. There needs to be an adequate amount of flowering plants to produce pollen for the bees or else they will not have a proper substance of which to produce their own honey. Both beginners and professionals must make sure that there is a reasonably sized population of flowers for the bees to utilize.
Starting a beekeeping hive can be a great idea for anyone looking for a way to help the sustainability of the planet, or for a scientific hobby with tangible rewards. Beekeepers get the benefits of experimenting to find the best way to help a precious species flourish, and taste the varying flavors of honey made from different pollens. With a drive to learn and explore, anyone can enjoy this helpful hobby.
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