Honey and beeswax are produced by thousands of keepers worldwide to supply to the food and medicinal industry. You’ll find a great many beekeepers in the United States, Asia, Africa, and some parts of Europe. There is a huge difference in the way beekeeping is being carried out in the United States and in its place of origin, Europe. Interestingly, it has not been affected by each cultural system and remains a part of a cultural heritage in many parts of the world.
It is useful to know that honey has been used extensively in religious rituals throughout the ages and during moments of special celebrations, where it is used as a flavoring to add that extra dash of sweetness to any meal. Americans who find this business attractive often enters this niche to supply to the local supermarkets and to buyers from all over the world, especially those that do not possess their own beekeeping industry. Honey bee producers in the United States often come with small processing and production facility and are therefore unable to tap into the larger market such as supplying to the retail giants.
Most overseas countries don’t have a beekeeping system the way the United States does to mass produce a single product like honey since we manage to harvest effectively which means we can produce enough to meet the needs of the 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. With bountiful harvests, the US honey production can usually keep pace with the demand from its own consumers.
It is crucial to spend enough time watching the hives and most beekeepers find it to be a nice and productive way to spend weekends doing just that. Hives don’t need a lot of maintaining just an hour a day in the peak season around May to September. 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.
One very irritating challenge for the beekeepers is the presence of bumblebees in the beekeeping season, because these large yellow and black flying creatures feed in the same areas as those honey bees. They are underground creatures that feed on the same flowers the honey bees visits. Many beekeepers will migrate the hives, move it to a new place to allow those bees to get access to fresh new supply of flower to feed on. 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.
Beekeeping Equipment Used
The first step to start this exciting hobby is to get hold a good set of beekeeping equipments. The equipment must be ready before the post office calls for you to get the bees. Your primary equipment would be the beehive itself.
Make sure that your beehive has five supers. Since the supers are the place where the bees will store their honey, you cannot neglect them. Make sure that the five supers fit in the space between the bottom of the hive and its top cover. Young honeybees will also be breed in the supers, apart from the storage of honey. When the hive starts buzzing with activity, each of these frames will show nine to ten frames. You can choose if you want a hive with shallow supers or deep supers. Only a single size of foundation will be needed with a deep super. But you must be ready for the weight – when full, a deep super can weight a hundred pounds. A strong wind may topple over your entire beehive. Keep it in a place where no one else or your pets can disturb it. 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.
After all this, you will need to get hold of a smoker. With the help of the smoker, you can drive the bees out of the hive when you want to remove the honey. The smoker is a very simplistically designed device. A smoker contains only three parts – a funnel, a chamber where combustion takes place and bellows. Burlap can ignite quite easily and still it smokes and smolders a lot. You can also use dry corn cobs. Allow the fire to keep burning with the bellows.
The next thing you will need is a metal hive tool. You can prise open the hive with this tool then the compartments can be divided and hygiene of the hive can be maintained. This single device is actually quite versatile in its usage for beekeeping. You can never be ready for your beekeeping shipment unless you have a bee brush. This is where your bee brush will come in handy.
When extricating the honey, you will have to use a fumer board. You can drive the bees away from the honeycomb using this fumer board because of its bee repelling chemicals. eBay has lots of inexpensive beekeeping material. You will also find equipment that is designed for the beginners.
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