The Beekeeper

A beekeeper (or apiarist) keeps bees in order to collect their honey and other products that the hive produces (including beeswax, propolis, flower pollen, bee pollen, and royal jelly), to pollinate crops, or to produce bees for sale to other beekeepers. A location where bees are kept is called an apiary.

Bees are in danger of disappearing from our environment. The honey bee is under attack from a large wasp species not native to the UK called the Asian hornet. Varroa mites which are parasites that live on the body of the bees established themselves in the UK in the 1990s. Most wild honey bee colonies have died out as a result of Varroa mite. Pesticide use on farmers fields and in urban gardens and habitat loss in general are also a major concern. The beekeepers job is to understand and protect their colony from all of these different dangers and take care of their bees to put them under the least stress possible.

Every beekeeper should know the life cycle of their honey bees. This helps to assess the problems their bees may face, and helps the beekeeper understand what happens when a colony swarms. Swarming is a natural process of every colony and you must know the life cycle of the queen bee in order to understand the various swarm control techniques that are available.

This topic looks at the way bees are kept and how they are cared for and protected by the beekeeper. We will learn how the beekeeper is able to work safely.

Video Clips

Learning Topics

Collecting honey and beeswax           The Honey Judge               The story of honey          Beekeepers at work

In the hive                                       In the hive continued         Hives                             How bees make honey

The world of bees                             Arable beginners bugology Friends in the fields          Mosey in the Margins

Useful Resources

Ants nest                                         Apiary                              Bumblebee in flight        Butterfly – Peacock         

Bees collecting water                         Cricket                             Dragonfly                      Drone   

Fly                                                  Frame                              Moth                             Queen cells        

Swarm                                             White tailed bumblebee

Links

A huge thank you to our generous Bees in the Curriculum Sponsor, National Bee Supplies