THE ART OF BEE-KEEPING
Honey bees are known to live in hives, a community of bees is known as a colony. It comprises the drones(males) the worker bees and finally the queen and her young ones in their various stages of development. The worker bees build special structures known as combs in the hive, some of which are used for the queen to live in and lay her eggs.
The rest of the combs are used to store food such as pollen, royal jelly, and honey ane bee colony can number as many as 50,000 bees.
STARTING AN APIARY
An apiary is an area where bees are housed it can consist of one or more hives, which may be natural or manmade.
Bees prefer certain living conditions which must be put into consideration when building an apiary below I list a few of them.
Proximity to a water source, safety from man and animals and flowering plants which are their main source of food, and finally the distance of the apiary from your farmhouse.
When deciding what hives to secure one’s bees in, one must consider how safe the honey will be from the robbing predators that lurk around eg (the honey badger) the comfort, ease, and health of the bees should also be considered above all else.
THE TYPES OF BEEHIVES
There are different types of hives to choose from a few of which are the log hive also known as the traditional hive, the box hive, the tin hive which is made of metal containers, the Langstroth hive with several which has several vertical boxes, and the Kenya top bar hives which are recommended as the most suitable.
ATTRACTING YOUR BEES TO THE NEW HIVE
So you’ve created your apiary and chosen your preferred hive and location. It’s time to lure the bees in.
The following things may be placed in or around the hive: sugary fluids and fruits should be seared in or around the comb and finally some honey on there if all fails to trap the bees with a net or a catcher box and then transfer them to the hive.
When the above requirements are met the bees establish a colony where they breed multiply and gather food for the colony.
When the colony becomes too large the bees will select a young queen and fly away with her and install her as their new queen and start a new colony in a new colony this process is known as swarming.
The honey-making process takes 4–6 months farmers should seek advice on how to recognize the signs that there is honey in the hives which makes the Kenya bee top hive so convenient because you can easily open the top of the hive and check.
In conclusion, you should always leave some honey for the bees on your first harvest might just be your last.