Bee keepers are people who keep bees and honey. A colony of bees is called a hive or beehive. The bees live in a hive and for the most part can be found there permanently. Some time the bees outlive their hives and leave them to die outdoors. Bees are very important for agriculture because they help with pollination.
Honey bee hives are large underground tubes that are made in the shape of a square or rectangular box. The inside of the hive is full of spaces that the bees fill with honey and wax. Honey bee keepers use tools like a smoker, a large drum to break up the honey combs, and a special smoker that makes the air in the hive smell like honey. Honey is the product of the bees process and is extracted from the frames through a strainer.
Bee keepers will typically own several apiaries. Apiary owners collect the bees that are in good standing and create conditions in each individual apiary. The conditions in the apiary may range from a small cage for the queen to a large field with many different types of frames to support the growing bees. Apiaries are generally larger than houses and have a central location that is not connected to any outside buildings or structures. The bees will usually populate an apiary with a queen or other dominant bee, but occasionally a drone will take over the place.
Honey bee colonies do not necessarily require one specific type of beekeeper to care for them. Apiary owners can select from a variety of species, such as European honey bee, and backyard hobby beekeepers can utilize a beekeeping kit to create their own bee colonies. Apiaries are usually constructed in northern areas where winters are milder and summers are hot and dry. Building the largest bee colonies possible is usually done during the cooler spring months.
Apiary owners commonly use two types of frames in their apiary: box style hives and movable frames. Box style hives are more compact in size and are similar to a standard window frame. These types of hives are made from wood, paper or fiberglass. They are often made from wood because it is a naturally strong building material. Box style hives are best suited for the larger honey bees that tend to make the largest amount of honey.
Movable frames are smaller than box styles. They are made from plastic or polyethylene. While movable frames are more compact and lighter than most traditional beekeeping frames, they do not provide the same insulation and ventilation that the larger box style hives offer. Movable frames are best suited for beekeeping hobbyists who are concerned about air flow and ventilation.
The majority of apiaries are located in locations that receive an abundance of sunshine and shade. The majority of beekeepers who raise bees prefer to raise their bees in sunny locations because it is easier to determine when a sufficient supply of honey is available. In addition to providing ample amounts of sunshine and shade, beekeepers also want to ensure that their apiary is situated in a place that provides a source of water. Water is a necessity for beekeepers because it prevents their bees from becoming dehydrated. Bees are easily able to become dehydrated when the amount of water available in an area is insufficient.
Apiary owners who are serious about increasing their honey production should invest in a portable air conditioning unit. Honeybees thrive in areas where the temperature stays consistently warm during the daytime and cool at night. Portable air conditioning units are able to maintain beekeeper’s honey production up to 60% when the outside temperature is constantly warm and continuous.