Beekeeper
Overview
A beekeeper is a person who keeps honey bee
Honey bee
Honey bees are a subset of bees in the genus Apis, primarily distinguished by the production and storage of honey and the construction of perennial, colonial nests out of wax. Honey bees are the only extant members of the tribe Apini, all in the genus Apis...

s for the purposes of securing commodities such as honey
Honey
Honey is a sweet food made by bees using nectar from flowers. The variety produced by honey bees is the one most commonly referred to and is the type of honey collected by beekeepers and consumed by humans...

, beeswax
Beeswax
Beeswax is a natural wax produced in the bee hive of honey bees of the genus Apis. It is mainly esters of fatty acids and various long chain alcohols...

, pollen
Pollen
Pollen is a fine to coarse powder containing the microgametophytes of seed plants, which produce the male gametes . Pollen grains have a hard coat that protects the sperm cells during the process of their movement from the stamens to the pistil of flowering plants or from the male cone to the...

, royal jelly
Royal jelly
Royal jelly is a honey bee secretion that is used in the nutrition of larvae, as well as adult queens. It is secreted from the glands in the hypopharynx of worker bees, and fed to all larvae in the colony....

; pollinating
Pollination
Pollination is the process by which pollen is transferred in plants, thereby enabling fertilisation and sexual reproduction. Pollen grains transport the male gametes to where the female gamete are contained within the carpel; in gymnosperms the pollen is directly applied to the ovule itself...

 fruits and vegetables; raising queens and bees for sale to other farmers; and/or for purposes satisfying natural scientific curiosity. People who keep bees
Beekeeping
Beekeeping is the maintenance of honey bee colonies, commonly in hives, by humans. A beekeeper keeps bees in order to collect honey and other products of the hive , to pollinate crops, or to produce bees for sale to other beekeepers...

 are usually classified as hobby beekeepers, sideliners, or commercial operators, depending on the number of colonies maintained.
Beekeepers are also called honey farmers or apiarists (from Latin
Latin
Latin is an Italic language originally spoken in Latium and Ancient Rome. It, along with most European languages, is a descendant of the ancient Proto-Indo-European language. Although it is considered a dead language, a number of scholars and members of the Christian clergy speak it fluently, and...

 apis, bee
Bee
Bees are flying insects closely related to wasps and ants, and are known for their role in pollination and for producing honey and beeswax. Bees are a monophyletic lineage within the superfamily Apoidea, presently classified by the unranked taxon name Anthophila...

; cf.
Encyclopedia
A beekeeper is a person who keeps honey bee
Honey bee
Honey bees are a subset of bees in the genus Apis, primarily distinguished by the production and storage of honey and the construction of perennial, colonial nests out of wax. Honey bees are the only extant members of the tribe Apini, all in the genus Apis...

s for the purposes of securing commodities such as honey
Honey
Honey is a sweet food made by bees using nectar from flowers. The variety produced by honey bees is the one most commonly referred to and is the type of honey collected by beekeepers and consumed by humans...

, beeswax
Beeswax
Beeswax is a natural wax produced in the bee hive of honey bees of the genus Apis. It is mainly esters of fatty acids and various long chain alcohols...

, pollen
Pollen
Pollen is a fine to coarse powder containing the microgametophytes of seed plants, which produce the male gametes . Pollen grains have a hard coat that protects the sperm cells during the process of their movement from the stamens to the pistil of flowering plants or from the male cone to the...

, royal jelly
Royal jelly
Royal jelly is a honey bee secretion that is used in the nutrition of larvae, as well as adult queens. It is secreted from the glands in the hypopharynx of worker bees, and fed to all larvae in the colony....

; pollinating
Pollination
Pollination is the process by which pollen is transferred in plants, thereby enabling fertilisation and sexual reproduction. Pollen grains transport the male gametes to where the female gamete are contained within the carpel; in gymnosperms the pollen is directly applied to the ovule itself...

 fruits and vegetables; raising queens and bees for sale to other farmers; and/or for purposes satisfying natural scientific curiosity. People who keep bees
Beekeeping
Beekeeping is the maintenance of honey bee colonies, commonly in hives, by humans. A beekeeper keeps bees in order to collect honey and other products of the hive , to pollinate crops, or to produce bees for sale to other beekeepers...

 are usually classified as hobby beekeepers, sideliners, or commercial operators, depending on the number of colonies maintained.

Definition

Beekeepers are also called honey farmers or apiarists (from Latin
Latin
Latin is an Italic language originally spoken in Latium and Ancient Rome. It, along with most European languages, is a descendant of the ancient Proto-Indo-European language. Although it is considered a dead language, a number of scholars and members of the Christian clergy speak it fluently, and...

 apis, bee
Bee
Bees are flying insects closely related to wasps and ants, and are known for their role in pollination and for producing honey and beeswax. Bees are a monophyletic lineage within the superfamily Apoidea, presently classified by the unranked taxon name Anthophila...

; cf. apiary
Apiary
An apiary is a place where beehives of honey bees are kept. Traditionally beekeepers paid land rent in honey for the use of small parcels. Some farmers will provide free apiary sites, because they need pollination, and farmers who need many hives often pay for them to be moved to the crops when...

). The term beekeeper usually refers to a person who keeps honey bees in hives, boxes, or other receptacles. Honey bees are not domesticated and the beekeeper does not control the creatures. The beekeeper owns the hives or boxes and associated equipment. The bees are free to forage or leave (swarm) as they desire. Bees usually return to the beekeeper's hive as the hive presents a clean, dark, sheltered abode.

Classifications of beekeepers

Most beekeepers are hobby beekeepers. These people typically work or own only a few hives. Their main attraction is an interest in ecology and natural science. Honey is a by-product of this hobby. As it typically costs several hundred American dollars to establish a small apiary and dozens of hours of manipulation and work with hives and honey equipment, hobby beekeeping is seldom profitable outside of Europe, where the lack of organic bee products sometimes causes buoyant demand for privately produced honey.

A sideline beekeeper attempts to make a profit keeping bees, but relies on another source of income. Sideliners may operate up to 300 colonies of bees, producing 10–20 metric tons of honey worth a few tens of thousands of dollars each year.

Commercial beekeepers control hundreds or thousands of colonies of bees. The most extensive own and operate up to 50,000 colonies of bees and produce millions of pounds of honey. The first major commercial beekeeper was probably Petro Prokopovych
Petro Prokopovych
Petro Prokopovych was the founder of commercial beekeeping. He introduced a number of novelties in traditional beekeeping that allowed significant progress in the practice. Among his most important inventions was a frame in separate honey chamber of his beehive...

 of Ukraine
Ukraine
Ukraine is a country in Eastern Europe. It has an area of 603,628 km², making it the second largest contiguous country on the European continent, after Russia...

, operating 6600 colonies in the early 19th century. Moses Quinby
Moses Quinby
Moses Quinby was one of the first commercial beekeepers in the United States, a native of St. Johnsville, New York.Quinby established his business in his early 20s and expanded it to own about 1,200 hives in the Mohawk Valley, New York....

 was the first commercial beekeeper in the USA, with 1200 colonies by the 1840s. Later (1960s-1970s), Jim Powers of Idaho, USA, had 30,000 honey producing hives. Miel Carlota operated by partners Arturo Wulfrath and Juan Speck of Mexico operated at least 50,000 hives of honey bees from 1920 to 1960. Today, Adee Honey Farm in South Dakota
South Dakota
South Dakota is a state located in the Midwestern region of the United States. It is named after the Lakota and Dakota Sioux American Indian tribes. Once a part of Dakota Territory, South Dakota became a state on November 2, 1889. The state has an area of and an estimated population of just over...

, USA, (80,000 colonies) and Scandia Honey Company in Alberta
Alberta
Alberta is a province of Canada. It had an estimated population of 3.7 million in 2010 making it the most populous of Canada's three prairie provinces...

, Canada (15,000 colonies) are among the world's largest beekeeping enterprises. Worldwide, commercial beekeepers number about 5% of the individuals with bees but produce about 60% of the world's honey crop.

Types of beekeepers

Most beekeepers produce commodities (farm products) for sale. Honey is the most valuable commodity sold by beekeepers. Honey-producer beekeepers try to maintain maximum-strength colonies of bees in areas with dense nectar sources. They produce and sell liquid (extracted) and sometimes comb honey
Comb honey
Comb honey is honey, intended for consumption, which still contains pieces of the hexagonal-shaped beeswax cells of the honeycomb.Before the invention of the honey extractor almost all honey produced was in the form of comb honey...

. Beekeepers may sell their commodities retail, as self-brokers, or through commercial packers and distributors. Beeswax
Beeswax
Beeswax is a natural wax produced in the bee hive of honey bees of the genus Apis. It is mainly esters of fatty acids and various long chain alcohols...

, pollen
Pollen
Pollen is a fine to coarse powder containing the microgametophytes of seed plants, which produce the male gametes . Pollen grains have a hard coat that protects the sperm cells during the process of their movement from the stamens to the pistil of flowering plants or from the male cone to the...

, royal jelly
Royal jelly
Royal jelly is a honey bee secretion that is used in the nutrition of larvae, as well as adult queens. It is secreted from the glands in the hypopharynx of worker bees, and fed to all larvae in the colony....

, and propolis
Propolis
Propolis is a resinous mixture that honey bees collect from tree buds, sap flows, or other botanical sources. It is used as a sealant for unwanted open spaces in the hive. Propolis is used for small gaps , while larger spaces are usually filled with beeswax. Its color varies depending on its...

 may also be significant revenue generators. Taiwanese beekeepers, for example, export tonnes of royal jelly
Royal jelly
Royal jelly is a honey bee secretion that is used in the nutrition of larvae, as well as adult queens. It is secreted from the glands in the hypopharynx of worker bees, and fed to all larvae in the colony....

, the high-nutrition food supplement fed to queen honeybees. Modern beekeepers seldom keep honeybees exclusively for beeswax production. Beeswax is harvested along with honey and separated for sale.

Some beekeepers provide a pollination service to other farmers. These beekeepers might not produce any honey for sale. Pollination beekeepers move honey bee hives at night in vast quantities so fruits and vegetables have enough pollinating insects available for maximum levels of production. For the service of maintaining strong colonies of bees and moving them into crops such as almonds, apples, cherries, blueberries, melons, and squash, these beekeepers are usually paid a cash fee.

Queen breeders are specialist beekeepers who raise queen bee
Queen bee
The term queen bee is typically used to refer to an adult, mated female that lives in a honey bee colony or hive; she is usually the mother of most, if not all, the bees in the hive. The queens are developed from larvae selected by worker bees and specially fed in order to become sexually mature...

s for other beekeepers. The breeders maintain select stock with superior qualities and tend to raise their bees in geographic regions with early springs. These beekeepers may also provide extra bees to beekeepers (honey producers, pollinators, or hobby beekeepers) who want to start new operations or expand their farms. Queen breeders use Jenter kits in order to produce large numbers of queen bees quickly and efficiently.

Notable beekeepers

  • Charles Dadant
    Charles Dadant
    Charles Dadant was a French-American beekeeper. Dadant is considered one of the founding fathers of modern beekeeping.-Biography:Dadant was born in Vaux-sous-Aubigny, in Haute-Marne, in the Champagne-Ardenne region of France....

  • Jan Dzierżon
    Jan Dzierzon
    Johann Dzierzon, in Polish Jan Dzierżon or Dzierżoń , also John Dzierzon , was a pioneering apiarist who discovered the phenomenon of parthenogenesis in bees and designed the first successful movable-frame beehive.Dzierzon came from a Polish family in Silesia...

  • Edmund Hillary
    Edmund Hillary
    Sir Edmund Percival Hillary, KG, ONZ, KBE , was a New Zealand mountaineer, explorer and philanthropist. On 29 May 1953 at the age of 33, he and Sherpa mountaineer Tenzing Norgay became the first climbers known to have reached the summit of Mount Everest – see Timeline of climbing Mount Everest...

  • Robert A. Holekamp
    Robert A. Holekamp
    Robert August Holekamp was a businessman and apiarist from the St. Louis suburb of Webster Groves, Missouri. Holekamp was significant in the development of Webster Groves, and had state and national influence in the field of beekeeping.-Childhood in Germany:Holekamp was born the son of a Lutheran...

  • Lorenzo L. Langstroth
  • Paul Theroux
    Paul Theroux
    Paul Edward Theroux is an American travel writer and novelist, whose best known work of travel writing is perhaps The Great Railway Bazaar . He has also published numerous works of fiction, some of which were made into feature films. He was awarded the 1981 James Tait Black Memorial Prize for his...

  • Bill Turnbull
    Bill Turnbull
    William Robert "Bill" Turnbull is an English journalist and presenter, currently employed by the BBC and best known for presenting BBC Breakfast...

  • Steve Vai
    Steve Vai
    Steven Siro "Steve" Vai is a three time Grammy Award-winning American guitarist, songwriter and producer who has sold over 15 million albums. Steve Vai is widely known as a flamboyant guitar virtuoso....


See also

  • Agriculture
    Agriculture
    Agriculture is the cultivation of animals, plants, fungi and other life forms for food, fiber, and other products used to sustain life. Agriculture was the key implement in the rise of sedentary human civilization, whereby farming of domesticated species created food surpluses that nurtured the...

  • Beekeeping
    Beekeeping
    Beekeeping is the maintenance of honey bee colonies, commonly in hives, by humans. A beekeeper keeps bees in order to collect honey and other products of the hive , to pollinate crops, or to produce bees for sale to other beekeepers...

  • Gardening
    Gardening
    Gardening is the practice of growing and cultivating plants. Ornamental plants are normally grown for their flowers, foliage, or overall appearance; useful plants are grown for consumption , for their dyes, or for medicinal or cosmetic use...

  • Organic farming
    Organic farming
    Organic farming is the form of agriculture that relies on techniques such as crop rotation, green manure, compost and biological pest control to maintain soil productivity and control pests on a farm...

  • Sustainable agriculture
    Sustainable agriculture
    Sustainable agriculture is the practice of farming using principles of ecology, the study of relationships between organisms and their environment...

  • Federation of Irish Beekeepers' Associations
  • British Beekeepers' Association
  • Ulster Beekeepers' Association

External links

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.
 
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