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Free images related to Beekeeping & Making Honey

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Right click on any portion of the image showing and chose "save as".  

Do you need a free slide presentation all about bees?
We've made one for you at
Our Natural World - Bees, Hornets & Wasps

 

 

What is beekeeping?

Beekeeping is known as "apiculture".  It is the management of honeybee colonies for a variety of purposes, some of which could be:

- to ensure that there is a healthy honeybee population;
- to provide pollination services for local food crops;
- to raise honeybee livestock for sale to other beekeepers; 
- to produce honeybee substances - bee pollen, propolis, royal jelly and of course, honey.

Beekeeping can be specific to your local area.  You need to be aware of local laws concerning the keeping and registering of bees.  Your best resource is always your local Beekeeping Association.  For example, in the Canadian province of Ontario, anyone who owns or is in possession of honey bees must  register annually with the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA).  Not only is it the law, but bee inspectors will help you to assess the health of your colonies and advise you about any potential threats found in your environment that might affect the health of your hives.

 

Basic Bee Hives

Some of the most popular man-made bee colonies mimic the nests that wild honeybees would build in the wild.  A "honey super" is a simple hive body box that is filled with removable frames onto which bees build their honeycombs.

 

Man-made bee hives.



Within each box are rows of vertical frames.

 

 

Bees inside their hive.

Bees inside their hive - 1

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Bees working inside hive.

Bees in hive - 2

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Bees working on cells inside their hive.

Bees in hive - 3

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A typical honeybee colony is home to 50,000 to 80,000 bees !  In it there is:

- 1 Queen (reproductive female that is fed Royal Jelly.  She will live 4-7 years.);
- 300 Drones (reproductive males);
- 25,000 Worker Bees that work in hive (young females).  Worker bees live about 45 days;
- 25,00 Worker Bees that forage (older females);
- 20,000 capped Larvae;
- 9,000 Larvae that require food;
- 6,000 Eggs. 

Beekeeping is a seasonal activity.  Busy times are in the spring and fall.  In the winter, one must check that the hives have not been damaged and that air flow is not being restricted by anything blocking the hive's entrance.

Hives need to be located about a metre apart.  Sunny locations are best.  The entrances should not be facing in the same direction since bees may become confused as to which hive is theirs.  Most important, bees need a food source - there need to be lots of plants with blooms around.

 

Vertical frames in a bee hive.

Vertical Bee Frames - 1

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Man-made bee hive with vertical frames.

Vertical Bee Frames - 2

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Frames in a bee hive.

Bee Frames - 3

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Wire wax foundation of beeswax for beehive frame.

 Bee Frame - 4
This is a new wire wax frame foundation.  
Made of beeswax, the new frame with the wax foundation is inserted into the hive 
Bees will begin using the foundation upon which to build their honeycomb.

Medium - 640 x 480  Right click on above image and chose "save as".

Large - 4608 x 3456  -  Still free, but now only available by email request.

 

 

How do Bees Make Honey?

Honey is basically nectar from which bees have evaporated most of the water content.  Worker bees fly from blossom to blossom collecting nectar.  Nectar is from 80 to 95 percent water and 5 to 20 percent sucrose (table sugar).  As the bee flies back to her hive, an enzyme in her honey stomach called "invertase" breaks the sucrose down into two simple sugars - fructose and glucose.

How is the Water Removed from the Sugar Solution?

Water is removed in two ways.  Bees pass the nectar from bee to bee and "drink" the water out of the nectar by absorbing it through the walls of their stomach.  In the hive, the nectar is stored in open cells.  Bees are busy vibrating their wings and creating heat and air flow thereby evaporating the rest of the water.

When most of the sucrose has been converted into fructose and glucose and the water content is at about 17-18 percent, we have honey!

In the hive, bees cap the honey with beeswax to keep the moisture content low.

 

Harvesting Honey

Years ago, beekeepers would crush the honeycomb that the bees had built to store the honey.  Liquid honey would flow from the comb or one would eat the honey and wax together, spitting out the wax like chewing gum. This, however, meant that the bees would have to rebuild their honeycomb and use valuable resources to do so.

Currently, beekeepers use an "extractor".  Using a hot knife, they scratch or slice off a thin layer of the beeswax to expose the honey.  The extractor is like a spinner that uses centrifugal force to spin the honey out of the combs.  The entire frame containing the honeycomb is placed in the extractor and spun.  The honey flows out of a spigot at the bottom.  The now empty honeycomb frame is placed back into the hive.  Bees repair any damage and begin again to fill the combs.   In this manner, the bees have a lot less work to do to use the honeycomb again.

 

Honeycomb cells.

Honeycomb - 1
A newly harvested honeycomb showing remnants of wax.

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Honeycomb empty cells wax.

Honeycomb - 2
A newly harvested honeycomb showing remnants of wax.

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Empty honey cells in honeycomb from bee hive.

Honeycomb - 3
Interior of a man-made hive with honey removed.

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Honeycomb cells.

Honeycomb - 4
Interior of a man-made hive with honey removed.

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Honeycomb on frame in hive.

Honeycomb - 5
Interior of a man-made hive with honey removed.

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About Honey

Did you know....

that you will find honey with a variety of flavours, colours, textures and scents?  All of these are dependent upon which blooms the bees gathered their nectar from.  Typically, a darker honey will have a higher nutritional content and be stronger-tasting versus a light-coloured honey.

Raw honey may be eaten as is or filtered, creamed or pasteurized.  Note:  Infants should not be fed honey since their digestive systems are not developed enough to deal with certain bacteriums found in honey and the toxins they produce. 

In Ontario, an average hive with yield about 70-90 pounds of honey.

 

Jars bottles of honey.

Honey - 1

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Jars of pure Ontario honey.

Honey - 2

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Jars of golden raw honey.

Honey - 3

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About Beeswax

Honeybees construct honeycombs to store their food and raise their young.  The honeycombs are made of beeswax.  But how do the bees may wax?  Honeybees eat honey and then rest.  In 24 hours their bodies have converted the honey into wax.  The wax is secreted out of glands located under the bee's abdomen.  Bees chew on the wax and mold them into a honeycomb structure.

Did you, that beeswax can clean your room?  

Burning beeswax candles produce negative ions that attract and neutralize pollutants like dust, odours, moulds, bacteria, viruses and other toxins.

Beeswax has many uses other than candle making.  It can be used for cosmetics and soap to name a few.

 

Bars of beeswax.

Beeswax - 1

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Beeswax candles.

Beeswax - 2

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Candles made of beeswax.

Beeswax - 3

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Please also visit the Bee Image Pages  

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Are You Baffled 
by Bugs ?

Did you know...

That all insects are bugs, but not all bugs are insects!

 


"I dreamed
 I was a butterfly,
 flitting around 
in the sky; 
then I awoke.  
Now I wonder:  
Am I a man 
who dreamt 
of being a butterfly, 
or am I a butterfly
dreaming 
that I am a man?"

~ Chuang Tse ~
Chinese philosopher

 

Insects have 3 body parts:  a head, thorax and abdomen.  They also have six legs and two antennae.

Spiders and Scorpions have eight legs and are not considered insects!

 

According to some sources, the total number of insect species is somewhere between 15 and 30 million!

There are 900,000 known species in the world.

 

Insane About Insects ?

 

Did you know...

Scorpions can live for more than one year without eating!

 

Mosquitoes have 47 teeth, but only the female mosquitoe bites using it's proboscis.

Fireflies, sometimes called Lightningbugs, are not true bugs or flies.  They are beetles!

Every year, insects eat about one third of the world's food crops.

Only male crickets can chirp.  They will chirp faster in warm weather.  

Most insects hatch from eggs.

The average bed contains 2-6 million dust mites!

 

Are You An Enthusiastic
Entomologist ?

Did you know...

Every year, the average person eats several insects while sleeping.  

Insects breath through a complicated network of air tubes called tracheae that open along the sides of the insects body.

Nearly all insect growth involves metamorphosis.

The average housefly lives only two weeks!

A female ladybug lays about 1000 eggs in her lifetime.

Honeybees fly at a speed of 13-15 mph.

Even though spiders have eight eyes, they still can't see very well.

A cockroach can live up to 9 days without its head!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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