Eagle Times Bulletin

  • 2017-2018 School year begins Monday, August 28, 2017

Mysteries of Beekeeping

Katie Baker, Writer

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In the distant past, depictions of humans collecting honey from wild bees date back to 10,000 years ago, and on pottery vessels, began about 9,000 years ago in North Africa. Bee domestication appears in Egyptian art around 4,500 years ago. Apiculture, better known as beekeeping, operates as the maintenance of honey bee colonies, which remains a skillful and precise art that one must master to keep bees properly.

Ancient people used simple hives and smoke, stored honey in jars, and some appeared in the tombs of Pharaohs such as Tutankhamun. Not until the 18th century did Europeans understand bee biology which allowed constructing the movable comb hive so that a beekeeper could harvest honey without destroying the entire colony.

A beekeeper keeps bees to collect their honey and other products that the hive produces, including beeswax, propolis, pollen, and royal jelly, to pollinate crops, and to produce bees for sale to other beekeepers. They keep them in an apiary or “bee yard”. These colonies commonly live in man-made hives.

Beekeepers usually wear protective clothing, such as long sleeves, long pants, a ‘hat and veil’ or simply a veil, but an all-in-one garment with integrated veil people refer to as a bee suit. This protective clothing helps avoid potential bee stings.

Beekeeping remains important because bees function as a vital part of earth’s ecosystem, pollinating flowers and plants.  Bees provide food for animals and humans, representing a major food source for animals, such as insects, amphibians, birds, and some mammals.

Many apiarist move their bees to create a better pollination system, benefiting the bees, flowers, plants, and ultimately humans. Moving bees gives a better opportunity to extract good nectar and pollinate crops, creating an even more healthy ecosystem.

Beekeepers stand as an important part of the ecosystem benefiting all of society, so always appreciate their work!

 

 

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Mysteries of Beekeeping