Sunday, October 4, 2009

CONSERVATION: The Necessity of Bee Hives To The Environment‏

by Julie Landry

Managing and raising honey bees is an all season year round process. Even though the art of beekeeping is commonly regarded as taking place only in warm months, raising honey bees requires proper management all year round. Managing your bees can be a fun experience if you continue to work at it all year round.

Beekeepers have often suffered losses of their honey bees, but in the past those losses were slow and the beekeeper was easily able to find the cause, usually a bacteria, mite or some other pathogen and take appropriate action.

Not so with the recent colony collapse disorder, (sometimes called colony collapse syndrome or colony collapse disease). With this colony collapse disorder, more bees have been dying faster with no obvious reason and because only the queen and a few workers are left alive the colony dies.

If you want to get the honey from your beehive you may be obliged to extract the honey from the honey comb itself. This is where a honey extractor comes into play. You can buy one for $200 to $400. If there are other known beekeepers in your area you can pool your funds and buy one to share.

The common perception of a honeybee is the insect that has five eyes, two wings, and makes honey. What most people fail to realize is that honeybees have a lot more to them then these simple assumptions. For instance, they were brought here from Europe in the 1600's, and since then honeybees have become widespread across North America and are bred commercially for the ability to produce honey.

Honey bees are vitally important pollinators because they can be managed and easily moved to crop sites. They are biological indicators as well, meaning that their status is a reflection of the health of the general environment. If true, bee losses may be the beginning of a much larger environmental problem.

As you discover more about beekeeping, remember the honey bees know what they are doing. As a beekeeper you are attempting to manage them for your own benefit, for their honey and their pollination services. Although bumblebees are much better pollinators, they are too few in numbers to meet our needs, which is the pollination of one third of what we eat, vegetables, fruits and nuts such as almonds.

If one has some space to spare, you could offer a corner of your garden to a local beekeeper as a place to keep a hive or two. They will need to have regular access, so keep this in mind when considering a site.

The most essential piece of equipment that is required for beekeeping is the bee hive itself. You should take some time to figure out the structure and the necessity of the bee hive. It is not like you are required to go out and get yourself a natural bee hive from out of a tree. This is not at all advocated as these little insects are very possessive of their home and the residents so you may just as well land yourself in bed with several stings that may also prove fatal from time to time.

To learn much more about where to buy honey bees visit to find out more about beekeeping and honey bees.

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