Bee keeping - WoodlandKeeping bees, or apiculture to use the correct terminology, is a pass time many people wish to have and with declining numbers beekeepers provide a vital part in the environment. A woodland provides an ideal opportunity for this with diverse plant life within the woodland and surrounding area.

Honey bees live in colonies with a single fertile queen, female worker bees collect the nectar and pollen from the flowers while the drone bees (males) are present to mate with the queen.

Nectar is converted from the weak solution of glucose and water) into honey using an enzyme secreted in the worker bee. Beeswax is also secreted which forms the comb where the eggs are laid and the honey is stored.

Keeping bees requires a good knowledge bees. Wild bees in the UK have been infested with varroa and have largely died out. So the only honey bees in Britain now are those kept alive by beekeepers how medicate their bees. This is a serious situation as bees are vital for crop and fruit pollination.

Honey has always been regarded as a pure and healthy product and it is important that honey does not lose this reputation. Beekeeping is a truly international activity and there is widespread cooperation between beekeepers throughout the world.

There is a serious interest in Europe in bee breeding to improve the quality of honey bees – whereby bees

In Britain there is a mix of hybrid or mixed stock of honey bees. Mainland Europe has seen developments in bee breeding to show an enhanced resistance to disease, a lack of aggressive behaviour, an ability to forage in poor weather and so on.

If you take up beekeeping, membership of the British Beekeepers Association is well advised to build a network with other bekeepers.

Beekeeping can provide enormous enjoyment and satisfaction aside from getting stung there is a strong community of people and bees are fascinating animals.

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