Best Management Practices (BMPs) for Beekeepers Pollinating Agricultural Crops elearning modules
Module 2: Best Management Practices for Hive Maintenance/Equipment
Beekeepers agree that the most important piece of equipment in the apiary is the beehive, the home of the honey bee. Lets look at some of the ways we can maintain this equipment that is found housed in apiaries (bee yards).
The following three areas are most critical to our equipment care: hive maintenance hygiene hive security
Can we extend the life and quality of our current equipment? Does it make sense to always buy new? Does this mean I have to work harder during the peak season? Hive Maintenance
What are some smart moves we beekeepers can make to keep our equipment well- maintained? Hive Maintenance
Start by being observant. Look around your apiary. Inspect your equipment regularly. Just what are we looking for? Hive Maintenance
Look for: rotten, loose or broken boards, broken frames, covers, or bottoms damaged entrance reducers or excluders weathered paint. OK. We found some damaged equipment. What do we do now? Hive Maintenance
Reconstruct, tighten, or replace hive bodies, supers, frames and other parts. Should I do this during summer? Hive Maintenance
Use your time efficiently! Take advantage of the slow winter months to do maintenance and prepare for the upcoming season. Hive Maintenance Also during the off-season, paint your equipment with light colors to help beat the summer heat and preserve the wood.
Remember, just a little effort goes a long way in keeping costs down and prevents you from being forced to spend your hard earned money on brand new equipment! Hive Maintenance
Equipment Maintenance While we are at it, what about checking our bee attire and inspecting our essential two pieces of equipment. Can you guess what I am referring to?
Remember to inspect and maintain trucks, trailers, loaders, forklifts and bunkhouses, if applicable. Equipment Maintenance
Weve covered lots of equipment … Equipment Maintenance Did we miss anything?
These pictures symbolize two more points: Equipment Care – what have we missed? 1.Keep your apiary trash free 2. Practice fire safety when using a bee smoker.
Now lets look at hygiene and security! Weve learned the importance of maintaining the hive equipment.
Practice good hygiene with hands, gloves, hive tools and other equipment to reduce the transmission of pathogens between colonies. What is a pathogen? Hygiene
A pathogen is an infectious agent, germ or microbe such as a bacteria, virus or fungus. Hygiene What other steps can be taken to reduce or eliminate these pathogens?
Replace old comb with new foundation to minimize residual chemicals in old wax and prevent the spread of disease. Hygiene Develop a comb replacement schedule.
Finally, if you purchase used equipment, purchase equipment only if it has a history of clean health … and … you know the source. One final topic to go for now: hive security. Hygiene
Be aware that the probability of hive theft has increased with the increased value of pollinating crops. Hive Security Can you think of any of the four methods we should use to prevent these thefts from occurring?
Hive Security 1. Keep equipment simple to identify. 2. ID hives with a brand or name. 3.Secure a signed contract when entering into a wintering deal. 4. Practice discretion when showing where your yards are located.
Weve learned the following: The Beekeepers Goal: Keep equipment in good condition. Good maintenance prolongs the life of hive parts, clothing, vehicles and other equipment. Good hygiene reduces the incidences of pests and diseases. Hive security can minimize economic losses.
www.ProjectApism.org Any questions? Want more information? Email ProjectApis@gmail.comProjectApis@gmail.com Visit www.ProjectApism.orgwww.ProjectApism.org