Today, honey and beeswax are produced in large amounts by beekeepers from all over the world. There are plenty of beekeepers in the United States, Europe, Asia and Africa. The old method of beekeeping in its birthplace, Europe is a far cry from the current modern version, especially the ones in the United States. Each culture has a different way of doing things, and it is amazing to see how each unique culture has played a major role to determine exactly how it is supposed to be done.
Probably the best thing about honey is it is used on many religious occasions as an important ingredient in certain remedies and concoctions. Most Americans who produce honey sell it to the local markets, and some are shipped to foreign countries that do not possess their own beekeeping facility. Many of them are not advanced enough to mass produce the necessary amount to ship overseas to stores owned and operated in the United States like Whole Foods Market when they carry specific brands.
Beekeeping in the United States is so advanced that we can actually mass produce a single product such as honey and collectively cater for the worldwide market. The arrival of spring often keeps beekeepers pretty busy as this is the time for bees to become active again and start feeding and reproducing. The demand for honey is large among the American consumers, and most of the supply comes from its local beekeepers.
Many beekeepers find that spending time watching hives every 7 to 8 days is a very easy and enjoyable task. The maintenance of those hives is very easy, even at the midst of the honey producing season between May to in Sept, an hour a day is sufficient. Normally, up to 100 pounds of pure raw honey is produced each productive beekeeping season and the keeper can estimate how much money he can expect to make from the effort, depending on the current market price per pound.
Bumblebees are pests that can irritate even the most patient beekeeper, especially during the main beekeeping time. Honey bees have already visited and because these bees live underground they can be an annoyance to beekeepers when they swarm from the ground up. To avoid this problem, many beekeepers will move the hives to another location to find new supply of fresh flowers, in order to increase the amount of honey being produced. The types of honey produced form each flower type is different; when migration of the bee hives is done, the honey produced will be different from the ones that were produced the previous season, depending on the types of flowers available at the new location.
The Equipment Added
Beekeeping is fun if you knew the right way to do it. This must be available before the bees arrive. You will have to invest in the beehive before anything else.
You need to check if your beehive has five supers or not. Since the supers are the place where the bees will store their honey, you cannot neglect them. All the five supers must be placed in the space of the beehive between the bottom and the cover. Supers are not used just for storage of the honey, they are also used for raising the young bees. When the hive starts buzzing with activity, each of these frames will show nine to ten frames. You have two options with supers – the shallow ones and the deep ones.
The benefit of using a deep super is that you will have to buy foundation of a single size. Make your choice wisely though; for a deep super hive can weigh up to a hundred pounds. Take precaution to place your beehive on a level surface; otherwise there is the risk of the entire unit toppling over in a strong gust of wind. It is best to set up your beehive someplace where it won’t be ruffled by pets or by visitors. A spacer is a piece of equipment beekeepers use to keep an equal amount of space between the frames while they are in the super.
The next piece of equipment you will need is a smoker. Your smoker will assist you in directing the bees out of the hive as you start harvesting the honey from it. The smoker is a very simplistically designed device. Its main parts are a funnels, a chamber for combustion and bellows. Burlap can ignite quite easily and still it smokes and smolders a lot. You may also plan on using corn cobs, provided they are dried out. The bellows will allow the fire that you light in the combustion chamber burning and the funnel will allow you to maneuver the fumes into the hive.
The next thing you will need is a metal hive tool. Your metal hive tool will come in handy when you have to pry the hive open, separate the compartments of the hive and for its cleanliness. Think of it as the all purpose tool of beekeeping. You need a bee brush before you can complete your equipment and receive your shipment of bees. The bee brush will help to clear the bees from over the frames when you need to examine them.
You will need a fumer board when you decide to remove the honey. You can drive the bees away from the honeycomb using this fumer board because of its bee repelling chemicals. You can use them, if you don’t mind buying preowned material. You can get both professional and amateur beekeeping stuff from catalogs and websites.
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