Monday, July 31, 2017

Honey bee farming/Beekeeping / Apiculture

Diversified farming based on season.- Beekeeping (Theneecha krishi in Malayalam language)
While reading a few articles on diversified farming and season based farming, I realized and planned to start as an experiment with 10 boxes/colonies. To start with as a new business opting 10 colonies was not appropriate as it is not easy to manage beekeeping when we are new to this farming. However end of the season with the help of my father we managed to extract Honey worth 15 Kg from 5 productive boxes. To start this as a hobby it is better to start with 2 colonies and it helps in learning and understanding the nature of this farming and also learn the behaviors of Bee.

Honeycomb extracted from the honey chamber from the box also called - Super
Comb is built by female bee who are also know as worker bee.
With in the box each racks/frames that support in holding the honeycomb vertically.

End of the season, each of the rack/frames should be taken out from the super (not from the Brood- bottom most box) one by one and then place the frame(s) into centrifugal extractor and process it to extract honey which is collected at the bottom of the extractor. Replace the frame with wax/comb bac to the Super and close the box.

How to feed bees 

Smoker is used while handling the racks in the colony , as it helps and protect us from bee stings. The equipment is filled with coconut husk and will be lighted to pump smoke on top of the beehive when it is opened.

Honey processing mechanisms. Raw honey is rich in nutireis and can be consumed directly and no harm in it, however ensure that it is filtered properly from the extractor and other equipments used are clean.
If you want you can process it while placing the half filled honey container (I used Steel) on top of a larger container with warm water not more than 40 degree Celsius. If you notice a thin layer of foam appearing on top of it, not to worry as I heard that they are the air bubbles from the raw honey.

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