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Video: Tips For A Beginner Beekeeper
My beekeeping experience
Fired up with the desire to start an apiary and weighing all the possible pros and cons, the future beekeeper begins a period of accumulation of initial knowledge. This path is different for everyone. But the most optimal is training on courses. In St. Petersburg they are in the Gardener's House. The Beekeepers' Club also operates there.
Beekeeping for me, as well as for the majority of Petersburg beekeepers, is a hobby. I started my apiary in 2000, after taking a course from the teacher V. A. Ivanova.
What about the dream?
From a formal point of view, if you have complied with all regulatory restrictions, no one has the right to prohibit you from starting an apiary. But good neighborly relations for beekeepers are never superfluous, especially if the apiary is in horticulture. After all, bee colonies can sometimes swarm, and the swarms will be grafted behind a neighbor's fence. It should be especially taken into account that your family members and neighbors have medical contraindications to bee sting. By and large, bee sting is a health session. If the neighbors think so, then you will not have any problems.
When is it likely to be stung by bees?
If you breed aggressive cross-bees; if you do not conduct inspections of bee colonies correctly, they are slovenly dressed. Also, bees are irritated by strong odors: sweat, perfume, gasoline, alcohol. Bees are indifferent to the smells of onions and garlic. The smells of crushed raspberry leaves, cherries, lemon balm, as well as bee drones soothe.
How can the risk of bee stings be reduced?
First. Breed only generic bees. For the Northwest, the best is the Carpathian breed. The sale of these bees is well organized in St. Petersburg.
Second. Work only in clean beekeeping clothes. Always wear gloves and a front mesh. Clothes should be washed after each inspection of the bees.
Third. Use smoke skillfully. Do not use random combustible materials in smokers.
Fourth. Always warn neighbors about upcoming checkups. This will save you from unnecessary nervousness. Better do it in their absence.
Fifth. Always have clean face nets in the apiary for guests, neighbors, etc.
Sixth. The apiary should always have a first-aid kit, in which the presence of antihistamines is required: diphenhydramine, suprastin. Hydrocortisone ointment relieves swelling very well.
Present your neighbors with a set of facial nets and a first aid kit. And do not forget to treat the bees with something tasty after each inspection, for example, a piece of honeycomb
What should be considered before placing an apiary in the country?
Make sure there are major melliferous plants within a two kilometer radius. For the North-West, these are:
- early spring honey plants - mother-stepmother, hazel, alder, willow (delirium, goat, weeping, etc.), dandelion, maple;
- summer (honey plants of the main flow) - raspberries, fireweed (ivan-tea), white clover, sweet clover (white and yellow), meadow cornflower, thistle, etc.
- summer-autumn honey plants (aftertas of flowering grasses, some flowering garden crops).
Do not think that in horticulture, bees will collect honey from a blooming garden. This is just a supportive bribe
How do I place the hives?
Any quiet place is suitable for this. The main thing is that no one bothers the bees. For bees, it doesn't matter in which direction the entrances are oriented. They will be disturbed by both the sun and the constant shadow. It is good to place hives in the garden. In the spring, when there is still no foliage, the sun is only good, and in the summer the shade of the trees will protect the hives from overheating.
They do not like bees and drafts. An additional fence around the apiary or protection from the prevailing winds gives a very good effect. This fence can be a hedge made from a magnificent honey plant - yellow acacia. The hives should stand strictly vertically on stands. They must be accessible from all sides. Very good for giving is the option of lifting the hives up (balconies, terraces, attics, etc.). Then bees practically do not fly in the zone inhabited by people. In nature, bees prefer to settle in hollows at a height of about 7-10 meters. And they fly for nectar and pollen at the same height. I also have such hives.
Which hives are best?
It is difficult to give a definite answer to this question. It all depends on your preference, desire and capabilities. I will only express my point of view.
First. The hive should be on a standard frame. In Russia, standard frames have dimensions: 435x300 mm (the so-called Blatt frame). It is used in all kinds of hive designs. There is also a semi-frame with dimensions of 435x145 mm. It is used as a storehouse for storing honey by bees. It is used in conjunction with the main frame, which is also called nesting. Dimensions shoppingand nest frames are selected so that when two store buildings are installed, a nest frame is placed in them. Farrar's hive is now very popular in amateur apiaries. Frame size 448x156 mm (American standard). Russian analogue 435x145 mm. Beehives of this type are produced by the firm "ApiRuss". There is also a Langstroth frame with dimensions of 435x230 mm. Used in multi-body hives. These hives are also called Langstroth-Ruth hives.
Second. The hive must be industrially manufactured. Standard. Handicraft hives have a number of so-called rationalization proposals, which ultimately complicates the beekeeper's life.
Third. No alternative designs of hives (hives of Glazov, Andreev, Raav, R. Delon, etc.). These hives exist only on paper or in limited use. Don't trust inauthentic ads.
How does my apiary work?
The apiary is located in the gardening "Krasnogorskoye" Lomonosov region. A plot of 15 acres is adjacent to the forest. There is an excellent melliferous base. There are early spring honey plants, and honey plants of the main flow. But there are very few honey plants in the summer-autumn period of flowering. The apiary from the north is protected by an array of forest.
My hives are located both in the attic (pavilion) and in the garden.
In the attic, bee-beds for 24 Dadan-Blatt frames (435x300 mm) with shops (435x145 mm) of their own design and production. In 2005, I bought 12 ApiRuss beehives and placed them in the garden on long stands. The entire plot is fenced with a solid two-meter fence. I have more than 20 hives, and I really have no more than 12 families. I pump out honey either right in the attic or in the garage in a specially equipped place. It happens that bees also sting neighbors. But there have not been any emergencies yet.
Beekeepers have an opinion: in order to master the craft, you first need to make beehives. I must say that this is an insidious recommendation. Not everyone can refuse sunbeds later. Where to put them? Therefore, get multi-body immediately. Define the standard yourself. For example, I have a problem. Having initially accepted the standard of 435x300 mm frames, I cannot switch to the standard 435x230 mm. Where can I put a few hundred frames with dry land?
Where should I take my bees - in the attic or outside?
Everywhere has its pros and cons. The main disadvantage of hives in the attic for me is that I cannot observe the flight board and monitor the behavior of the bees. For a person studying the life of bees, this is very important. You can learn a lot from the behavior of bees on the landing board. For example, whether the uterus lays eggs or not; are there any idly staggering bees - harbingers of swarming; how many drones are in the family; whether pupae or bees with deformed wings are ejected.
I am not a supporter of classical beekeeping science, recommending numerous frame examinations to beekeepers. I am for industrial technology with minimal labor costs. Supporter of non-invasive technologies. I use in my practice the obligatory autumn feeding with sugar with the use of preventive treatment. Without speculative autumn feeding in our area, the family's strength cannot be increased in winter due to the lack of summer-autumn honey plants.
I consider it a prerequisite for the constant "renewal of blood" in the apiary through the acquisition of fetal Carpathian queens. They hibernate in the wild. Honey harvests vary from year to year: sometimes more than 40 kg from a wintering family, and sometimes less. For example, the 2006 season was more than successful. I received about a hundred kilograms of honey from a wintering family.
There is also a winter departure of bee colonies. This must be taken calmly. If the strength of the family in the winter is small, then it must be eliminated in advance. I am a supporter of wintering on a full set of combs. But for this, the hives must have improved thermophysical characteristics, and the corresponding family strength is needed.
They say that beekeeping is troublesome. It's not like that at all. With the correct organization of the apiary, work can be grouped, simplified or not carried out at all. Success in beekeeping depends on a skillfully chosen technology for a particular apiary. The use of industrial technologies makes it possible to engage in beekeeping even before retirement.