The BBKA Guide to Beekeeping, Second Edition

The BBKA Guide to Beekeeping, Second Edition


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The number of people interested and active in keeping bees at an amateur level has continued to increase over the past few years in both rural and urban situations. This guide, aimed at beginning beekeepers, and the only one to be endorsed by the BBKA provides an authoritative text, along with clear photographs and illustrations.

The book introduces the reader to beekeeping, including such areas as the workings of the colony, the structure of a hive, how to acquire bees and keep them healthy and what happens in each month in a beekeeping year.

Each chapter is accompanied by anecdotes, answers to frequently asked questions and fascinating facts about bees and honey.

The new edition includes new step-by-step sequences to illustrate procedures such as containing a swarm, identifying the queen, using a smoker and cleaning a hive as well as more information on different kinds of hives, disease management and many other key areas.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781472962430
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA
Publication date: 02/05/2019
Edition description: Revised
Pages: 224
Product dimensions: 7.40(w) x 9.60(h) x 0.50(d)

About the Author

Ivor Davis is a past president of the British Beekeepers Association, a Master Beekeeper and one of the few people to hold a National Diploma in Beekeeping. Roger Cullum-Kenyon has been a beekeeper for more than 30 years.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1 Bees and beekeeping 2

Honey bees and humans 4

What is a honey bee? 5

Solitary bees and bumblebees 6

Animal husbandry 7

The anatomy of the honey bee 8

Chapter 2 The colony 16

The queen bee 17

Development of the queen 19

Drones, mating and reproduction 21

Workers 23

Who does what in the colony? 24

Lifecycles, communication and pheromones 25

Food sharing and bee dances 27

Chapter 3 The hive 32

History and key components of the hive 32

Frames and foundation 38

Beespace 39

Hive materials 40

Types of hives 41

Chapter 4 The history of bees 52

The ancestors of the honey bees 53

Evolution of the European honey bee 57

Honey hunters 58

The origins of beekeeping 59

Myths about bees 61

Beekeeping distributes the honey bee 62

The development and history of hives 64

Modern frame hives and smokers 65

Chapter 5 The beekeeping year 68

Inspecting the colony 69

Colony numbers 70

Keeping records - the start of the beekeeping year 71

Preparing for winter 73

Spring and the first major inspection 78

Summer inspections 84

The end of the season 87

Important manipulations 88

Key elements and actions 95

Chapter 6 Queens and drones 98

The life of the queen 99

Colony replication 102

Drones, mating and breeding virgins 104

Colony characteristics 109

Marking and clipping queens 114

Chapter 7 Swarms 116

The swarming process 117

Selecting a new site 118

Colony replication 122

Triggers for swarming, prevention and control 123

Artificial swarms: Pagden and Snelgrove 128

Swarm collection and hiving a swarm 137

Combining two colonies 136

Chapter 8 Bee and colony health 142

The importance of hygiene 143

The Bailey frame change 144

The beekeeper's personal equipment 149

Pests, vandals and theft 151

Diseases: Bacterial, fungal and viral 156

Varroa destructor and associated viruses 163

Notifiable diseases and pests 167

Chapter 9 Plants and hive products 170

Communication between plants and bees 171

Nectar and pollen collection 172

Wax and propolis 178

Other products of the hive 180

Extracting and processing honey 180

Selling your honey 187

Chapter 10 Getting started 190

Bee stings 191

Learning beekeeping 192

Setting up an apiary 195

How to acquire bees 200

Basic equipment requirements 202

How to build a colony 205

Insurance and liabilities 206

Contacts, Glossary and Index 208

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