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Advice For Novice Beekeepers. Part 2
Advice For Novice Beekeepers. Part 2

Video: Advice For Novice Beekeepers. Part 2

Video: Advice For Novice Beekeepers. Part 2
Video: Флоридские пчеловоды, часть 2: производство королевы с Крисом Вернером 2023, March

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Keep bees - don't lie in the cold

Which bees to choose?

Most novice beekeepers are interested in bees that are peaceful, not very angry, especially if the beekeeper plans to keep an apiary in the country all summer. Peace-loving bees include: Caucasian and Carpathian bees, and evil honey bees - Bashkir forest and Central Russian. If you want to keep bees all summer only at your summer cottage, then I recommend opting for Caucasian and Carpathian bee breeds. But if in the summer you will take your apiary somewhere to remote places where there are few people, then I recommend using the Central Russian breed of bees. This breed is most adapted to central Russia, where winters are long, and there may be few summer days in summer. The fact is that in the Caucasian breeds of bees, according to experts, the intestine for keeping feces is designed for a period of only 4 to 5 months,and since in our area the cold period can be longer, the bees can stay in the hive from 6 to 6.5 months. Carpathian and Caucasian bees cannot stand such a period of stay in the hive, because of this they often empty their intestines right in their "home", which sometimes leads to the occurrence of various diseases. This is not observed in Central Russian bees, since this breed is designed for a long winter.


I keep Carpathian and Caucasian bees, as my apiary is at the summer cottage all summer. However, because of this, I cannot get young queens early. The reason is that there may not be any heat at which the queens of these breeds fly around in May and June. Bees intensively lay queen cells, queen bees hatch, but they cannot fly around - the temperature for a whole month may not rise to + 25 ° C. After some time, the queen becomes infertile, and the bees replace it with another. According to experts, if the queen has not mated with the drones for 30-35 days, then she loses the ability to mate, and the bees have to replace her. To do this, they need an open brood. If the beekeeper puts a frame with eggs (with open brood) from another hive in the hive, then the bees will be able to breed another queen and replace the old one with it. But if a bee colony lives in the wild and does not depend on a person, then such a bee colony dies, since they no longer have eggs to lay new queen cells.

In Central Russian bees, the queen flies around at a lower temperature, therefore in our region it always flies around. If the Central Russian bees were not evil, then I would keep them on my site, and I would collect much more honey.

Swarming bees

Many novice beekeepers believe that you can only put a beehive with bees on your garden plot, and it is not necessary to follow and care for the bee family. If you do this, sooner or later the bees from this hive will begin to swarm, and then they will completely scatter. Swarming is a reproductive instinct in bees. The harm from swarming is felt by the owner of the apiary, since a bee colony that swarmed at least once this season will bring significantly less honey than the colony that has never swarmed. Here is an example from my practice: a family that did not swarm gave me about 60 kilograms of honey, while another bee colony that was swarming gave me only one store - about 15 kilograms.

Experienced beekeepers know that if a bee colony is not brought out of its swarm state in time, it can form and release up to ten swarms. First, the first swarm, consisting of half of the bees that are in the hive, flies away, then the second swarm, consisting of the half of the bees that remained in the hive after the first swarm. And this will continue until all the bees fly away from the "grief of the beekeeper."

Basically, bees swarm until June 15, but due to some changes in the weather, swarming can sometimes last until June 30. In my practice, there have been cases when a bee colony swarmed even in July. If your task is only to get as many new families as possible, and you are not interested in honey, then you can wait for a swarm, and when it flies out, catch it and put it in a new hive. By autumn, a strong bee colony will grow out of it, which can then be sold or kept to increase the apiary.

Some novice beekeepers who catch a swarm for the first time tend to plant it in a new hive through its top (roof) by shaking off the bees. This is a gross mistake. With this method of planting a swarm, bees can fly away from the "home" you have provided them. So that your swarm does not fly away a second time, you need to plant it not through the top of the hive, but through the entrance. Each bee must enter the "door" of her new home, then she will be sure that she is in a new home. This procedure can take several hours (the time depends on the size of the swarm), but at the same time you can be sure that the swarm you have planted will not fly away from the housing you provided, but will stay in your apiary. I recommend planting the caught swarm only in an empty hive, having provided it with all the conditions for a normal life in the new "house" in advance:

  • be sure to put in an empty hive into which you will transplant the swarm, several frames with dry land - in them the bees will add honey, which they took with them on the road;
  • do not forget to put frames with stretched foundation - swarm bees have a lot of building energy, since they produce a lot of wax, they also need to provide a place where they use it;
  • I also recommend putting a honey-beech frame if you have one.

Read the ending:

Tips for novice beekeepers. Part 3 →

Dmitry Mamontov, beekeeper

Photo by the author

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