5 Ws and Hs about Beekeeping

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A short yet comprehensive guide on beekeeping

Covering all the important things related to beekeeping in one article is a somewhat difficult task as there are many factors that require individual coverage when it comes to explaining what beekeeping actually is. Here, we narrow down the information covering 5Ws and Hs that give you a brief glance of everything that matters in beekeeping.

What is beekeeping?

Beekeeping aka apiculture is the practice of maintaining honey bee colonies either for commercial or non commercial purpose. It is over 15,000 years now that people are doing it for the rewards they avail while practicing this art. The tracing of earlier beekeeping was found in Egypt and people there are credited for starting it first. Earlier, the trend to collect honey was limited within wild bee colonies and with the change in time, people started developing hives which offer safe shelter for the bees. This in turn grew into a popular practice as people started learning the benefits of keeping bees.

Why do it?

Beekeeping comes with a lot of advantages. Besides honey, a beekeeper can collect other hive products like royal jelly, pollens, beeswax etc. Bees are vital for ensuring a completely healthy food production system since their pollination accounts for one third of total human food supply. In fact many beekeepers offer pollination services too. Also, many people do it just for the sake of sheer enjoyment. It is a unique hobby that teaches the lesson of animal care. Many beekeepers or honey farmers believe it relaxes their mind and act as healing technique. Lastly, beekeeping may be done not only for material or sensual pleasure. Bees need protection and because of colony collapse disorders, their number are reducing. By giving them a safe home, we can protect their habitat too. So, beekeeping or apiculture is being practiced for a range of reasons.

Who does it?

There may be four types of beekeepers. One who does it commercially by growing many bee hives for increasing rewards. One who practices it as a hobby with honey as its by product. The last two types are namely sideline beekeeper who does it for money besides relying on any other form of income and beekeeper professional who works under any company or organisation as beekeeper either for rearing the bees, protecting the hives or any other beekeeping purposes.

Where are the bees grown?

Bees are kept in hives. There are many types of hives some of which include skeps hives, mud and clay hives, langstroth hives, top-bar hives, warre hives etc. Compared to the traditional hives, modern hives are easy to build, smart to operate. We will cover a separate article covering each of the hives types in coming articles.

When is the best time to get started?

Just when you feel you know the basics about keeping these magical creatures! Read guides, go to local bee exhibitions, keep in the know of latest beekeeping information. Start when nature is in full bloom and you have made hives you know well. If the first colony doesnt earn any result, start it again preferably when the year begins.

How to do it?

Nothing but learning from mistakes help you do it. Start with a small hive and gradually increase as you learn how to rear. Take timely action to counter the potential threats, use naturally sourced solutions, and regularly monitor how they are reacting.

Over to you now. Happy beekeeping!

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