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Beekeeping: The Lost Art Essay

2355 words - 10 pages

Beekeeping is defined as the occupation of keeping and breeding Honeybees for their honey. Beekeeping has been around for centuries. Beekeepers are very experienced in handling Honeybees and the many rewards they can bring. To keep bees, one must know how bees work, the diseases of the Honeybee, and the types of equipment and the purpose each tool. It is also important to know why honeybees are disappearing and what society as a whole can do to prevent their disappearance.
Honeybees or Apis Mellifera as they are known to the scientific world, are very unique animals. Unlike most pollinating insects, Honeybees are highly social, and tend to live in large nests in the wild. There are three ...view middle of the document...

Forager bees are the oldest bees of the colony. They will leave the hive during the day constantly moving back and forth to transport nectar and pollen so the colony may have food to eat. If necessary, all bees will act to defend the hive if they believe the colony is in danger. The Drone Bees are the male Honeybees. Their purpose in life is to mate with a queen, but they will never mate with their own queen. The queen deposits unfertilized eggs that will become drones. When the queen deposits eggs into the Wax cells, they are fed a food called royal jelly. After they are hatched, they will feed the emerging “brood” or emerging adult bees a mixture of honey and pollen. This mixture is often called “Bee Bread”. After 8 days, the larvae will spin a cocoon to become pupae and the nurse honeybees will cap the cell with a wax capping. The pupa emerges into an Adult worker in 21 days. It takes only 16 days for a queen, and a total of 24 days for a drone bee. During the spring and summer, the Honeybee workforce will persistently work through the long days to preserve enough food for the winter. During winter, the bees including the queen will cluster in a central area and keep warm. The drone bees have been eradicated for the winter because the colony cannot afford to feed all of them. During this time, no young is raised. After winter is over, during early spring, the Honeybee colony will participate in a migration known as “Swarming”. Swarming is when the present queen will lay eggs that will become new queens, and then the Queen will leave the nest along with sixty percent of the worker population. Swarming is almost inevitable, but beekeepers have learned to control swarming with certain techniques. Like all animals, Honeybees are subject to a variety of diseases and pests (Flottum 101). However, all of them are curable or treatable. The most
common and threatening diseases are as follows: The Varroa Mite, American Foulbrood, European Foulbrood, Small Hive Beetle, Nosema Apis and Nosema Ceranae, as well as the Wax Moth. The Varroa Mite or Varroa Destructor is a honeybee parasite. The mites will find their ways into the Honeybee colonies and lay their eggs in pupating Honeybee cells. They transmit diseases such as Deformed Wing virus, which is a virus that causes the Honeybee’s wings to be deformed. The method of treatment varies for Varroa Mite, some use hard chemicals, and some used oil-based solutions. American Foulbrood is a disease of the brood only. Adult Honeybees cannot become sick from the spores of foulbrood. It is called foulbrood because the “brood” or developing adult bees smell foul when they are infected with the disease. The spores usually come from other infected hives and visiting honeybees become vectors for the disease. The spores are present in all hives but in small numbers, it is when the spores grow to uncontained numbers they become a problem for the bees American foulbrood is not treatable with medicines, it is only...

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