Beekeeper - 养蜂人 - Peternak Lebah
A beekeeper is a person who keeps honey bees for the purposes of securing commodities such as honey, beeswax, pollen, royal jelly; pollinating fruits and vegetables; raising queens and bees for sale to other farmers; and/or for purposes satisfying natural scientific curiosity. People who keep bees are usually classified as hobby beekeepers, sideliners, or commercial operators, depending on the number of colonies maintained.
Beekeepers are also called honey farmers or apiarists (from Latin apis, bee; cf. apiary). The term beekeeper usually refers to a person who keeps honey bees in hives, boxes, or other receptacles. Honey bees are not domesticated and the beekeeper does not control the creatures. The beekeeper owns the hives or boxes and associated equipment. The bees are free to forage or leave (swarm) as they desire. Bees usually return to the beekeeper's hive as the hive presents a clean, dark, sheltered abode.
Classifications of beekeepers
Most beekeepers are hobby beekeepers. These people typically work or own only a few hives. Their main attraction is an interest in ecology and natural science. Honey is a by-product of this hobby. As it typically costs several hundred American dollars to establish a small apiary and dozens of hours of manipulation and work with hives and honey equipment, hobby beekeeping is seldom profitable outside of Europe, where the lack of organic bee products sometimes causes buoyant demand for privately produced honey.
A sideline beekeeper attempts to make a profit keeping bees, but relies on another source of income. Sideliners may operate up to 300 colonies of bees, producing 10–20 metric tons of honey worth a few tens of thousands of dollars each year.
Commercial beekeepers control hundreds or thousands of colonies of bees. The most extensive own and operate up to 50,000 colonies of bees and produce millions of pounds of honey. The first major commercial beekeeper was probably Petro Prokopovych of Ukraine, operating 6600 colonies in the early 19th century. Moses Quinby was the first commercial beekeeper in the USA, with 1200 colonies by the 1840s. Later (1960s-1970s), Jim Powers of Idaho, USA, had 30,000 honey producing hives. Miel Carlota operated by partners Arturo Wulfrath and Juan Speck of Mexico operated at least 50,000 hives of honey bees from 1920 to 1960. Today, Adee Honey Farm in South Dakota, USA, (80,000 colonies) and Scandia Honey Company in Alberta, Canada (12,000 colonies) are among the world's largest beekeeping enterprises. Worldwide, commercial beekeepers number about 5% of the individuals with bees but produce about 60% of the world's honey crop.
Types of beekeepers
Most beekeepers produce commodities (farm products) for sale. Honey is the most valuable commodity sold by beekeepers. Honey producer beekeepers try to maintain maximum strength colonies of bees in areas with dense nectar sources. They produce and sell liquid (extracted) and sometimes comb honey. Beekeepers may sell their commodities retail, as self-brokers, or through commercial packers and distributors. Beeswax, pollen, royal jelly, and propolis may also be significant revenue generators. Taiwanese beekeepers, for example, export tonnes of royal jelly, the high-nutrition food supplement fed to queen honeybees. Modern beekeepers seldom keep honey bees exclusively for beeswax production. Beeswax is harvested along with honey and separated for sale.
Some beekeepers provide a pollination service to other farmers. These beekeepers might not produce any honey for sale. Pollination beekeepers move honey bee hives at night in vast quantities so fruits and vegetables have enough pollinating insects available for maximum levels of production. For the service of maintaining strong colonies of bees and moving them into crops such as almonds, apples, cherries, blueberries, melons, and squash, these beekeepers are usually paid a cash fee.
Queen breeders are specialist beekeepers who raise queen bees for other beekeepers. The breeders maintain select stock with superior qualities and tend to raise their bees in geographic regions with early springs. These beekeepers may also provide extra bees to beekeepers (honey producers, pollinators, or hobby beekeepers) who want to start new operations or expand their farms. Queen breeders use Jenter kits in order to produce large numbers of Queen bees quickly and efficiently.
References and notes
A Bee Keeping Introduction
If you are considering bees as a hobby or as a sideline business, there are things you will want to keep in mind before making that decision. Since there are many factors involved with making money with the honeybees produce, you might want to start doing it as a hobby. There is a significant amount of money in the start-up of beekeeping. Before investing any amount of money in your beekeeping project, you might want contact beekeepers in your area. As a rule, they will more than happy to share their experience with you. Most beekeepers love keeping bees and to them it is just a "hobby", but they can give you some insight into beekeeping. Take plenty of notes. More likely than not you will need them.
In making the decision of becoming a beekeeper, you will want to consider the safety of family, friends, and neighbors. You wouldn't want someone to get stung that is allergic to bee stings. The best course of action on that account is to ask your neighbors and friends, if any of them are allergic to bees. You will also be able to find out if there might be someone who would not like beehives so close to their proximity. You will also want to check with the county you live in. You will want to know about any ordinances or laws prohibiting beekeeping.
You will also want to consider whether or not you have a location that would be conducive to maintaining bees. You will also want to consider where the bees will have to fly to retrieve nectar and pollen. Keeping plants they like close by is not a bad idea either. Since bees need water every day, you might want to have water for them close at hand. You don't want them visiting the neighbor's swimming pool. Here is a list of spots unacceptable to the health of the bees.
How many months of the year will pollen and nectar will be readily available to the bees?
Will you have to feed them in order for them to survive and how much of the year?
Is there a water supply available year round for the bees? They need water every day.
You will need to consider what will be underneath the bees as they fly to get the nectar and pollen they require. The bees will defecate as they are flying and their feces will leave spots on everything below them. The feces can even ruin the surface of a vehicle. There are methods to use to force the bees to fly at a higher altitude, such as a tall fence or thick tall plants near the hive.
You want the hives accessible year round.
You will want to avoid low spots for your hives because they hold the cold, damp air too long.
You will also want to avoid high spots for your hives because that would be too windy.
These are just some of the things you will want to consider before taking on this hobby.
During a nectar flow, many of the older workers will be in the field hunting for food. This is the best time to examine the colony. During the summer more bees will be in the hive and the situation can change, especially between the nectar flows. There can be some robbing going on at this time, which will make the bees even more defensive at any intrusion to their hive. Leaving the colony open for more than a few minutes can accelerate a robbing as can leaving cappings or honey exposed. It will become a necessity to reduce the entrance of a weak colony to prevent stronger hives attempt to rob from it. A honey flow will reduce the likelihood of robbing.
The mood of the bees can have a lot to do with the weather or the time of day. On the days of rainy weather, cool temperatures, early in the morning or late in the afternoon will be more likely to make them angry and they will attack. Always inspect them on warm, sunny days in the middle of the day when most of the bees are foraging.
Keep a constant warm water supply for the bees to cool the hive and dilute honey to feed t heir young. They will collect water from the closest water source. If you do not have a constant supply of shallow water for the bees, they will look for it somewhere else, like the neighbor's pool, birdbath or wading ponds. The bees are more likely to drown in those sources. If you have a water supply for them when they first fly out in spring, they will not go anywhere else for water. Once they find a water source, it is hard to keep them from going back to it.
A beekeeper must keep the bees in control every time the hive is open. A typical hive can house thousands of workers all capable of stinging. There are measures a beekeeper can take in the open that he can not take in the city because of the closeness of other people.
Smoke is the most important tool for the beekeeper opening a hive. Smoke should be used in moderation, but the smoker should be capable of producing large volumes of smoke on short notice. The beekeeper must smoke the entrance of the hive, under the cover, and periodically smoke the frames while the hive is open. Try not to jar the hive or the frames as that may anger the bees, which will make it hard for a beekeeper to do his work. The beekeeper must work quickly and carefully. By going through the frames several times a year, the beekeeper keeps the frames movable. Remove any excess combs.