• To visit a hive, wait until the outside temperature is above 14 ° C. Opening a hive below this limit will cool the hive too much and may condemn it if it is weak. It is advisable to not open it before the month of March and to wait to have noticed the traces of flight that the bees inevitably do the  on the board during their flight of cleanliness. During the winter, the bees in the hive are only females, no drone survives to its expulsion caused by the avetta when the flowering and fertilization period ends.

    The equipment of a beekeeper and the harvest periods


    In a general way, bees like humans are more receptive and calmer in the morning, it is a privileged moment for the visits. It is interesting to wait until the sunlight hits the hive, it allows to have less population on the frames since foraging is an outdoor work. To be pleasant to these ladies, it is advisable to avoid to perfume and not to consume alcohol, certain smells do not please the bees.

    The tunic:

     

     

    The equipment of a beekeeper and the harvest periodsThe tunic is a light white garment. The weight of the cotton in which it is made is lower than that of a T-shirt. Very fine, it allows not to be too hot when operating above the hive. It should be remembered that the ideal temperature of the hive is 35 ° C, so you feel this hot flush that rises to the face at the opening of the frame cover. Thanks to its light color, the bees do not distinguish you, you appear to them a little like in a halo of fog and that will avoid them locating you too easily, and aim at the articulations which they will privilege if they sting. The tunic by its fineness of tissue doesn’t protect from stings. The beekeeper will avoid the attacks by remaining calm and the attention brought to the manipulations, will be made acceptable by the bees. The beekeeper still wears sorts of mesh sails to protect against bee stings in the face.

     

     

     

     

    The smoker:

    The equipment of a beekeeper and the harvest periods

    The smoker, through its smoke, will allow the beekeeper to intervene in the hive. The bee, like all animals fears fire, if the hive was to be caught in a fire, the reflex of the avettes will be to go to the food-bearing frames to take a maximum of provisions for the exodus. The beekeeper then traps the bees with his smoker, and by the dispersion of the smoke on the heads of the frames and on the flow of the curious who rises to meet him; it will have a direct effect by lowering the population in the hive

     

     

     

    The frame lifts:

     The equipment of a beekeeper and the harvest periodsThe frame lifter, half-way between a crowbar and a wood chisel, is adapted to take off the frame cover by its end wood chisel. The width of the latter avoids the tearing of the wood and helps to scrape off the propolis. To avoid the escape of heat leak interstices or cracks in the wood, bees clog the hive from inside with propolis, a resin that they harvest on the buds of some trees (willows among others). This resin is very effective and when the temperatures has cooled down, it is a real hard-to-cut cement. The crowbar side of the frame lifter allows the beekeeper to have an effective scraper and will be used to make lever on the vertices that he will have to take off at both ends before lifting it.


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  • In France there are several statuses of beekeepers. The family business has 1 to 49 hives,  this represents 50.361 people (92%). Some have from 50 to 199 hives, they represent 2.564 people (5%). Finally there are 1.669 (3%) professional beekeepers who own 200 or more hives. In total there are  54,584 beekeepers in France.

    There were 84.215 beekeepers in 1994 and now there are 54.584 (there has been a decrease of 20.000 beekeepers in 24 years)

     

    The regional distribution of beekeepers in France:

    The beekeping in numbers


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  • The beekeeper raises bees to collect the honey and royal jelly they produce. For this purpose, he has hives where the colonies are housed.

    Working as a beekeeper

    Depending on the location of the hives (in the mountains, in the meadows or on the roofs of buildings), the honey will have different flavours and colours.

    Working as a beekeeper

    To be a beekeeper, you need to know the bees' way of life and the rhythm of the seasons. Even if the bees forage alone during the flowering period, it is necessary to ensure their good health and the maintenance of the hives all year round.

    Working as a beekeeper

    Equipped with a special combination, hands and face protected, the beekeeper collects the honey without fear of stings.

    Working as a beekeeper

    It is a physical job, because it is necessary to move hives that are heavy and not to fear the bad weather.

    Working as a beekeeper

    Once the pollen, honey or royal jelly has been harvested, the beekeeper has to put them in pots before selling them.

    Working as a beekeeper

    Finally, he can be present on the markets to sell his products.

    Working as a beekeeper


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  •       There are two categories of beekeepers : you can do it out of pleasure or you can be a professional one. To become a professionnal beekeeper, there are several ways : you can follow a training course with an experimented beekeeper during one year or study farm exploitation management and become a farm manager with a beekeeping option. These course takes place in an apprentice training centre.

     

    How to become a beekeeper

     

           When being a salaried beepeeper you will get the minimum wage, but when you are a freelance, your earnings will depend on the harvest and the sales.


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