Modern beekeeping is an intensive study of nature and the environment. Lots of experience and a good eye are needed to care successfully for a bee colony. The honey collectors with their defensive spines can not be tamed. They are wild animals, not pets. But if you turn out to understand their characteristics, they are excellent and valuable work colleagues. The bee has a very social being with a high value to nature. The bee is very adaptive and can react to colors, patterns, smells, magnetic fields. It can travel many kilometers from the hive and find its way back.
The queen is the only female animal in the beehive, taking care of the offspring. Every day she lays up to 2,000 eggs. This is more than her own body weight. To raise queens the beekeeper literally embeds just hatched larvae into a special chambers, the so-called queen cells. Bees can recognize it as the cradle of future queens and provide them with a very special jelly, the Royal Jelly. If they would not, the larvae would become worker bees.
Just 7 weeks after they hatch, queens will fly out for their mating flight, where they mate sequentially with an average of seven drones. During an artificial insemination the selection is kept under control. Beekeepers ensure that their queens mate with drones of perfect genes. The samen of drones are enough to deposit thousands of eggs until the queens live end.
In the summer colonies can grow of up to 60,000 members. Most of them are workers, of which each fly 8000 air miles to collect nectar and honeydew. Meanwhile, they maintain the brood chamber, build combs and keep the hive free of vermin. They literally work to death in 4 to 6 weeks, while winter bees live stress-free up to 9 months.
Life in the floor of the same order as follows nest in natural tree cavities, in which lived the honey bee originally. The focus is the breeding area.
Bees live for the common good. They are not individuals who act in self-interest. What matters is that the hive, the whole organism develops as good as possible. And this includes the collecting honey. In contrast to wasps, hornets or bumblebees, which have survived the winter only the queen survives in honey bees around a quarter of the people of the cold season, feeding on the supplies that were created in the summer.
Honey is a source of strength, the antibacterial effect and can be stored for years without spoiling. The man appreciates this quality product since the Stone Age. For a long time it was the only sweetener that was available to us. But the importance of the bee goes far beyond that. The bee carries great economic importance. Much is demanded of the idealism, to secure the population of honey bees nationwide.
Beekeeping is a passion. Bees are highly sensitive to any change in the nature. Thunderstorms make them nervous and aggressive. Similarly, the restlessness, the man carries in himself. Experienced beekeepers read the behavior like a book and respond accordingly. For no one can impose his will on bees. This respectful approach is the real fascination for many beekeepers. If the bees are doing well, the honey production happens all by itself.
In summer it is time to harvest the honey and extract it. Although honey is a completely natural product, to which nothing should be added or removed from, it is the busiest time for the beekeeper. The claim “sugar is honey” is wrong. Sugar is a highly purified product that contains raw sugar and glucose, while honey is a whole bouquet of ingredients with the main component of sugar. Substances which come with the nectar into honey, provide differences in taste and aroma. While various types of sugar taste only sweet or fragrant, various types of honey, such as chestnut, linden blossom, honey, canola unique. Honey also contains substances that can kill bacteria, due to the high sugar concentration and acidic pH which creates an unfavorable environment for the growth of bacteria.
“Food of the gods” it was called in ancient Egypt reverently. The medicinal properties of many bee products for humans has long been known, though not scientifically researched in detail.
After the summer solstice begins for the beekeepers, the time when they return to the bees, what they have received from them. To replace the honey, sugar & water is fed to the bees so they safely survive the winter. Beekeepers live in close contact with the annual cycle of nature and know the invaluable service bees have for human being for the pollination of crops.
Bees are the indicator of a healthy environment. Incorruptible they indicate if the human interferes too much in nature. Where biodiversity disappears and agricultural industry arrives, their colonies die and livelihoods. They can not be manipulated.
No bees, no animals, no plants, no human. “If the bee disappears from the surface of the Earth, man would have no more than four years left to live.” These words are attributed to Albert Einstein. However, it is doubted that they are indeed his. Basically, it is symbolic that we must look at the bee as an environmental indicator. If the environment has become so bad that the bee can not survive in it, it can also be the people’s bad. In terms of food resources, there are results and summaries, which show that about 10% of world food production through pollination is made by bees and 90% of plants that are not dependent on bees or other insect pollination. Cereal needs for example, no insects to pollinate. With bees in this context not only the honey bee, but all the bees or pollinating insects are meant.
In a few occupations man is so directly in contact with the pulse of nature such as when working with bees. Detailed knowledge about natural relationships and the nature of the animals is necessary in order to be able to act professionally. For beekeepers, it is the greatest joy, when the bees thrive. This is a recognition of the quality of his work. And each year the beekeeper learns more from his bees.
Every bee counts!