Animals

How much does it cost to become a beekeeper, or What to buy for the first apiary?

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In one of the Botany materials, I already told how I became a beekeeper. To begin with, I studied the theory of the problem for six months: the duties and rights of the beekeeper, bee house building, etc. After the information preparation, it was more fun, the search on the Internet began on a pre-compiled list of everything that is needed to equip the apiary and the beekeeper’s convenience. In this article I will share my experience of bee shopping - what should a beginner beekeeper get and how much does it cost?

How much does it cost to become a beekeeper, or What to buy for the first apiary?

How much is a house for bees?

Hives

I believe hives should be wooden. Penouliki (polystyrene foam) is very popular now: lightweight, hygienic, good thermal insulation. Thoughtful. 40 percent cheaper than wood. You can keep up with such evidence of average size of 3,000 rubles.

But I love the tree - its smell and structure - and I decided that the bees will support me, they are more familiar with the tree. Found in the vicinity of the manufacturer, ordered two large hive-loungers for 16 frames each of pine boards (the bees will be healthier).

Sun loungers - not then to be laid back on them, although there is such a method of therapy (they say it is very good for cranky nerves). Just a hive-lounger holds a lot of frames and does not require the second, third and further floors, which are necessary in the 6.8-frame hives. Sunbed - in order not to toss the heavy upper hulls.

These are beautiful polystyrene bee houses

Frames and partitions

I also ordered frames, a complete set and partitions. Partitions are needed to separate the nest from the empty space. The sunbed is designed for 16 frames, the bee package to be acquired - 4 frames. It is installed in the center of the hive, opposite the entrance. Partitions should be put along the edges of the bee packet.

The temperature in the nest for brood rearing should be about + 35 ° C, and the bees should not heat such a large space as a whole hive. That is, maybe they can do it, but this is an extra discomfort and a waste of energy. And they eat when it's cold, noticeably more.

Boxes for transporting bees

To the hives there are two more boxes for transporting bees with 5 frames. A standard bee package - 4 frames, but you never know what ... Boxes with lids, barred windows, closing with doors, such a bee "funnel".

This is the framework for the hive Partition for a beehive. In such boxes bee packages are transported.

Half-frame extensions

Additionally - store extensions with half frames. The store extension is not the top floor, but kind of like an attic. The dimensions are less than half the height of the main body and the frames there, respectively, are half smaller.

It is used when a strong bee family enters into a rage and coaches so much honey that there is nowhere to put it, but they cannot stop. And the beekeeper is a store extension with frames: drag them, dear ones, and more!

All this pleasure together (2 hives and sets for them) with delivery cost me 15 thousand rubles. It’s clear that this is only housing for bees, but much more is needed.

It looks like a 16-frame hive lounger with a store extension

Necessary materials and tools

Wax

Wax is intended to facilitate bee labor and is a sheet of wax with extruded blanks of cells. Bees, of course, can build a honeycomb themselves, but they will do it conveniently for themselves, and not for the beekeeper, which will create additional difficulties when pumping. And here is the template and the basis for the construction, which saves the strength of the bee family in order to increase the collection of honey.

To fix the sheet of wax on the frame, you need devices for mounting.

This is how a wax leaf looks, already fixed on a frame Devices for attaching wax to the frame

Bee feeders and drinking bowls

I also ordered feeders for bees and drinking bowls, but as further practice has shown, half-liter plastic bottles with a tiny hole in the side can fully cope with these functions.

Prophylactic against bee diseases

Bees, like all living things, are sick and it is better to carry out prophylaxis than to treat them later. Diseases are common, there are regional. We have here - a tick of varroa, fungal diseases, because of high humidity. As a prophylactic, I ordered a bottle of fir oil.

No smoker in the apiary. Climbing into the hive and working there without a smoker for a novice beekeeper is possible only in a spacesuit, but it is inconvenient. It is necessary to slightly smoke, then the bees will fill the goiter with honey and will calmly respond to the beekeeper's manipulations. (Eh, Winnie the Pooh didn't know!)

Apiary chisel

An apiary chisel will help to unfasten frames well glued by propolis, to pick up and remove the roof cover (there is such an element in the hive) - there the holes are also closed with propolis.

Holder

The holder is needed to raise the frame for inspection or for removal, if they are with honey. The honey frame weighs 3-4 kg on average, just holding it with your hands is uncomfortable. And so - with the holder to raise, admire, the bees neatly with a brush (you also need to buy a special one) brush it back into the hive (they themselves will not leave for anything!), And the frame - into the drawer and for pumping.

Useful tools: smoker, sweeping brush, holder for frames, apiary chisel

Beekeeper clothes

Caring for yourself, darling, is beekeeper suit, beekeeping net and gloves.

On the one hand, it’s hot in summer and I would like everything from cotton, not very dense. On the other hand, thin bees bite easily. Therefore, the optimal quality of the fabric is approximately the same as for fishing suits. And the size is 2 larger - not to put on a naked body.

There are tons of photos and videos on the Internet where beekeepers work without gloves. These are experienced people who know their bees well, and the bees know them. A novice beekeeper cannot do without jerking movements, to which the inhabitants of the hive react very nervously. The beginner becomes even more twitchy from the bites, and so on. Snowball.

Honey seeds

For "sweet" I ordered honey seeds - there is nothing for my bees to roam around in other people's gardens! Clover, phacelia, alfalfa, bruise ... Looking ahead, I note that the bruise to bees is like a valerian to cats. They panted on it from 5-6 o’clock in the morning until late in the evening, pushing away bumblebees, which seemed to fly from all around.

The theme of melliferous plants fascinated me incredibly; I made a lot of discoveries for myself. I confess, in addition to the seeds of honey plants, I also wrote beautifully flowering trees and shrubs that give nectar and pollen. All her husband’s complaints that there’s nowhere to start, everything was planted, was broken by an iron argument: this is for bees!

In between shopping sessions, sewed the canvas, the substrate, pillows: for the winter, bees need to be insulated! My husband also advised me to sew mattresses with blankets and clothes with shoes for bees, but I stoically endured his sarcasm in the hope that I would win back when (and if!) There will be honey.

All together (the necessary tools and materials, the beekeeper’s clothes and seeds) cost me 7 thousand rubles. To buy 2 bee packages, you must leave more 8 thousand rubles.

From the very beginning she didn’t order the honey extractor, it is still unknown whether the bees will agree to work. The cheapest and smallest will cost approximately 6 thousand rubles

Prices for the "package" of bees fluctuate around 4000 rubles

How much are bees and which ones to buy?

There are many varieties of bees in the world, maybe not all are still found and described. There are African tiger bees, and killer bees, gigantic evil Indian, but you can read about them only out of curiosity, because not a single owner in their right mind in their area will lead such.

The most common in Russia: Central Russian, Carpathian, Caucasian, Italian, Krainsky and artificial hybrid - buckfast. As well as a huge number of "noble" bees, tenacious, like all mongrel.

Southern breeds of bees, peaceful but thievish, differ very much from aggressive Central Russian bees. On the Internet, one of the beekeepers shared his experience: "The apiary is far from home, I mainly keep the southern bee - you’ll bother them - after 2-3 hours everything calms down, they enter the normal working rhythm. But in case of departure, there are 4 Central Russian families - their before leaving, he threw up - no one will come to the apiary for 3 days! "

I think the Central Russians can be understood: in 3 months it is necessary to train for the whole year, half of the time from these summer months is rains, then cooling, then heat, then wind, then everything has faded. Yes, all sorts of climb for honey. You will be furious here !!

More comfortable in the south. And not only to bees. Winter is short and warm, hazelnuts bloom in February, spring is long and flowery, and even summer, and in the fall, something blooms. Beauty! And the southern ones multiply more actively (I'm talking about bees).

It is clear that it does not make sense for an amateur to breed a Caucasian breed in the north, they simply do not winter. But in the south, you can experiment. However, the majority prefers calm and working Krainsky or Carpathian. They have fertile uterus, and they fly out in the spring very early.

To find these breeds is not a problem, the prices for the "package" of bees hover around 4000 rubles. A “package” is 3 hive frames with bees and a uterus and one frame with food - the minimum that is bought in the spring for development into a full-fledged family.

This initial cell grows very quickly, if there is a good forage base, that is, there are a lot of useful things that bloom (if not, you need to feed). And by the end of June, you can take the first honey for a sample.

Until the fall, the bees will work hard, harvesting honey and pollen for themselves and the beekeeper, and then begin to prepare for winter. In winter, the bees sit in a warmed hive (in cold regions the hives are transferred to storage), straying into a club - such a large bee ball, maintaining the desired temperature, slowly eating up supplies. But in the toilet they, like the bears, go only in the spring outside the home.

If it’s good to winter without disease, in the spring such a strong family immediately joins the work and by the summer it will swarm - it will bring drones, queens, they will fly out of the hive and take away some of the young bees. If you catch this swarm, there will be another family. The old one will not go anywhere and will continue to work.

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