The Art Of Beekeeping

1332 Words 6 Pages
Can the Average Homeowner Become a Beekeeper?

The honeybee is the epitome of hard-working, efficient, and self-sacrifice. Americans have a long love affair with the honeybee. The Virginia Company of London sent beehives to the Governor of Jamestown a year after the Mayflower arrived in America (History.org), furthermore; Americans consumed 410 million pounds of honey in 2010 (Honey.com). Honeybees are responsible for one out of every three bites of food we put into our mouths (Vanishing, @ 2:25; Honey.com). Pollination happens by insects and wind (Vanishing, @ 1:45), moreover; bees are directly responsible for pollinating 15 billion dollars ($15,000,000,000) of US food per annum (Vanishing, @11:55; WSJ.com). The neighborhood beekeeper
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So, How much time will it take to learn the art of beekeeping? The art of beekeeping is a continual learning process. One could read a book on beginning beekeeping in a few hours; or, take a month-long class from their choice of a multitude of community colleges and universities. The time spent learning the art reduces the time needed to continue the practice. The time commitment for the continued art of beekeeping is similar to other seasonal hobbies like gardening (“The Backyard Beekeeper”, pg. 10). A beginning beekeeper will spend about one and a half hours per week in the warm months attending to honeybees; while, the cooler months will require a few minutes a week (BBKA.org). I was surprised to find out how little time the are of beekeeping required. The majority of homeowners can spare a couple of hours a week for the bountiful return the honeybee contributes to our …show more content…
Bees sting (“The Backyard Beekeeper”, pg. 10). All beekeepers get stung (UGA.edu). The bee sting is a defensive (not offensive) act. Guard bees sting to protect their hive (“The Backyard Beekeeper”, pg. 66). According to the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI) an estimated 5% of the population are allergic to bee stings (ABF E-Buzz, August 2013). Some people are fatally allergic to bee stings. People that are; or, have close family and/or friends that are allergic to bees should consider another hobby. When contemplating the idea of beekeeping you should consider the Africanized bees. European honeybees ward of Africanized honeybees. Commercial beekeepers are not usually in urban and suburban areas.; so, the hobby beekeepers are the best defense against Africanized bees migrating to these areas (UGA.edu). Africanized bees are a little smaller, have a slightly different wing variation, and color markings. These differences are so imperceptible that few beekeepers are able to distinguish between Africanized and common European bees (UFL.edu). There are two differences that are effortlessly distinguished. First, European bees will defend their nest up to about 20 yards; while, Africanized bees will defend up to 100 yards. Second, European bees will defend their nest with about 20 guard bees; while, Africanized bees may defend with hundreds of guard bees. Death from an Africanized bee is due to the

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