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Encyclopedia > Beekeeper
A commercial beekeeper working in an apiary.
A commercial beekeeper working in an apiary.
Two beekeepers in Cornwall, UK, checking their hives and using a smoker.
Two beekeepers in Cornwall, UK, checking their hives and using a smoker.

A beekeeper is a person who keeps honey bees for the purposes of securing commodities such as honey, beeswax, pollen; pollinating fruits and vegetables; raising queens and bees for sale to other farmers; and/or for purposes satisfying natural scientific curiosity. Persons who keep bees are usually classified as hobby beekeepers, sideliners, or commercial operators, depending on the number of colonies maintained. An Apiary in South Carolina, Langstroth hives on pallets An apiary (also known in the US as a bee yard) is a place where beehives of honeybees are kept. ... The honeybee is a colonial insect that is often maintained, fed, and transported by farmers. ... For other uses, see Honey (disambiguation). ... For the rock song by Nirvana, see Beeswax (song). ... SEM image of pollen grains from a variety of common plants: sunflower (Helianthus annuus), morning glory (Ipomoea purpurea), prairie hollyhock (Sidalcea malviflora), oriental lily (Lilium auratum), evening primrose (Oenothera fruticosa), and castor bean (Ricinus communis). ... Carpenter bee with pollen collected from Night-blooming cereus Pollination is an important step in the reproduction of seed plants: the transfer of pollen grains (containing the male gametes, sperm) to the plant carpel of flowering plants, the structure that contains the ovule (which in turn houses the female gamete... For the Queen bee in clique & social groups, see Clique Peanut-like queen brood cells extend outward and downward from the broodcomb. ... Farmer spreading grasshopper bait in his alfalfa field. ... Beekeeping, tacuinum sanitatis casanatensis (14th century) Honey seeker depicted on 6000 year old cave painting near Valencia, Spain Beekeeping (or apiculture, from Latin apis, a bee) is the practice of intentional maintenance of honey bee colonies, commonly in hives, by humans. ...

Contents

Definition

Beekeepers are also called honey farmers or apiarists (from Latin apis, bee; cf. apiary). The term beekeeper usually refers to a person who keeps honey bees in hives, boxes, or other receptacles. It should be noted that honey bees are not domesticated and the beekeeper does not control the creatures. The beekeeper owns the hives or boxes and associated equipment. The bees are free to forage or leave (swarm) as they desire. Bees usually return to the beekeeper's hive as the hive presents a clean, dark, sheltered abode. For other uses, see Latins and Latin (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Western honey bee and Bee (disambiguation). ... An Apiary in South Carolina, Langstroth hives on pallets An apiary (also known in the US as a bee yard) is a place where beehives of honeybees are kept. ... The honeybee is a colonial insect that is often maintained, fed, and transported by farmers. ... School of juvenile herring - many fish have the opercula wide open for ram feeding and you can see the red gills The term swarm (schooling or swarming) is applied to fish, birds and insects and describes a behavior of an aggregation (school) of animals of similar size and body orientation...


Classifications of beekeepers

Most beekeepers are hobby beekeepers.[1] These people typically work or own only a few hives. Their main attraction is an interest in ecology and natural science. Honey is a by-product of this hobby. As it typically costs several hundred American dollars to establish a small apiary and dozens of hours of manipulation and work with hives and honey equipment, hobby beekeeping is seldom profitable, however not largely in Europe, where the lack of organic bee products sometimes causes buoyant demand for privately produced honey, therefore maintaining this hobby greatly profitable.


A sideline beekeeper attempts to make a profit keeping bees, but relies on another source of income. Sideliners may operate up to 300 colonies of bees, producing 10 - 20 metric tons of honey worth a few tens of thousands of dollars each year.


Commercial beekeepers control hundreds or thousands of colonies of bees. The most extensive own and operate up to 50,000 colonies of bees and produce millions of pounds of honey. The first major commercial beekeeper was probably Petro Prokopovych of the Ukraine, operating 6600 colonies in the early 1800s.[2] Moses Quinby was the first commercial beekeeper in the USA, with 1200 colonies by the 1840s. Later (1960s-1970s), Jim Powers of Idaho, USA, had 30,000 honey producing hives.[3] Miel Carlota operated by partners Arturo Wulfrath and Juan Speck of Mexico operated at least 50,000 hives of honey bees from 1920 to 1960.[4] Today, Adee Honey Farm in South Dakota, USA, (40,000 colonies) and Scandia Honey Company in Alberta, Canada (12,000 colonies) are among the world's largest beekeeping enterprises. Worldwide, commercial beekeepers number about 5% of the individuals with bees but produce about 60% of the world's honey crop. Petro Prokopovych Petro Prokopovych (1775–1850, Ukrainian: ) was the founder of rational beekeeping. ... Moses Quinby (1810—1875) was a the first commercial beekeeper in the United States, a native of St. ... Official language(s) English Demonym South Dakotan Capital Pierre Largest city Sioux Falls Area  Ranked 17th in the US  - Total 77,116[1] sq mi (199,905 km²)  - Width 210 miles (340 km)  - Length 380 miles (610 km)  - % water 1. ... For other uses, see Alberta (disambiguation). ...


Types of beekeepers

Most beekeepers produce commodities (farm products) for sale. Honey is the most valuable commodity sold by beekeepers. Honey producer beekeepers try to maintain maximum strength colonies of bees in areas with dense nectar sources. They produce and sell liquid (extracted) and sometimes comb honey. Beekeepers may sell their commodities retail, as self-brokers, or through commercial packers and distributors. Beeswax, pollen, royal jelly, and propolis may also be significant revenue generators. Taiwan beekeepers, for example, export tonnes of royal jelly, the high-nutrition food supplement fed to queen honeybees. Modern beekeepers seldom keep honey bees exclusively for beeswax production. Beeswax is harvested along with honey and separated for sale. Comb honey is produced by honeybees in a hive. ... For the rock song by Nirvana, see Beeswax (song). ... SEM image of pollen grains from a variety of common plants: sunflower (Helianthus annuus), morning glory (Ipomoea purpurea), prairie hollyhock (Sidalcea malviflora), oriental lily (Lilium auratum), evening primrose (Oenothera fruticosa), and castor bean (Ricinus communis). ... Royal jelly is a honey bee secretion that is used in the nutrition of the larvae. ... Propolis is a wax-like resinous substance collected by honey bees from tree buds or other botanical sources and used as cement and to seal cracks or open spaces in the hive. ...


Some beekeepers provide a pollination service to other farmers. These beekeepers might not produce any honey for sale. Pollination beekeepers move honey bee hives at night in vast quantities so fruits and vegetables have enough pollinating insects available for maximum levels of production. For the service of maintaining strong colonies of bees and moving them into crops such as almonds, apples, cherries, blueberries, melons, and squash, these beekeepers are usually paid a cash fee.


Queen breeders are specialist beekeepers who raise queen bees for other beekeepers. The breeders maintain select stock with superior qualities and tend to raise their bees in geographic regions with early springs. These beekeepers may also provide extra bees to beekeepers (honey producers, pollinators, or hobby beekeepers) who want to start new operations or expand their farms. Queen bee with attendants on a honeycomb. ...


Occupational information

The income for beekeepers varies considerably. In the USA, the average beekeeper earns about $40,000 per year. There are few benefits - beekeepers in the USA must provide their own retirement savings and health benefits, though in most other advanced countries of the world, beekeepers are eligible for medical benefits.


Almost all beekeepers received on-the-job training as apprentices to established beekeepers. Some vocational schools offer courses in beekeeping and most universities provide entomology and biology programs for those interested in honey bee research. Beekeepers must be good managers, independent workers, and must accept a high level of risk and frequent periods of low income. A good beekeeper can invariably earn more money in almost any other occupation, so beekeeping must be a passion as well as a vocation.


External links

See also

Beekeeping, tacuinum sanitatis casanatensis (14th century) Honey seeker depicted on 6000 year old cave painting near Valencia, Spain Beekeeping (or apiculture, from Latin apis, a bee) is the practice of intentional maintenance of honey bee colonies, commonly in hives, by humans. ... A gardener Gardening is the practice of growing flowering plants, vegetables, and fruits. ... Organic farming is a form of agriculture which excludes the use of synthetic fertilizers and pesticides, plant growth regulators, livestock feed additives, and genetically modified organisms. ... It has been suggested that Small-scale agriculture be merged into this article or section. ...

References and notes

  1. ^ Illustrated Encyclopedia of Beekeeping, Morse and Hooper, 1985, E.P. Dutton, Inc..
  2. ^ http://beekeeping.com.ua/html_en/prokopovych_en.html Biography of Prokopovych
  3. ^ Bad Beekeeping, p 277, Ron Miksha, 2004
  4. ^ Pequena Guia para El Apicultor Principiante, by Wulfrath and Speck, Editora Agricola Mexicana, 1955
Ron Miksha (March 30, 1954) is an American-Canadian beekeeper, scientist, and Canadian author. ...

  Results from FactBites:
 
Honey - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (2968 words)
The main uses of honey are in cooking, baking, spreading on bread or toast, and as an addition to various beverages such as tea.
Without commercial beekeeping, large-scale fruit and vegetable farming and some of the seed industry would be incapable of sustaining themselves, since many crops are pollinated by migratory beekeepers who contract their bees for that purpose.
The beekeeper encourages overproduction of honey within the hive so that the excess can be taken without endangering the bees.
Encyclopedia Smithsonian: Killer Bees (548 words)
Interbred colonies of European and Africanized honey bees may differ in pollination efforts, be more aggressive, excessively abandon the nest, and not survive the winters.
Further, beekeepers may not continue their business of honey production if faced with aggressive bees.
The second strategy is requeening frequently, where the beekeeper replaces the queen of the colony, thus assuring that the queens are European Honey Bees and that mating has also occurred with European drones.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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