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Honey bee colony management

…a colony and for reducing the uncertainty that just leaving things to happen naturally can entail. There are very many different approaches to colony management, these range from extensive systems…

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Honey bee colony losses

In January 2007 huge numbers of honey bee colony deaths were being reported from the United States of America. Many commercial beekeeping businesses recorded up to 90% colony losses. Around…

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Swarm prevention and control

…take over and head up the old colony. The establishment of a new colony takes an enormous investment of the energy resources of the parent colony. However, honey bees are…

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Uniting bees

…effect this has on each colony Colonies will not normally join together without fighting because each colony has a distinct colony odour that ensures the worker bees know which is…

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Swarming

…new sections of the colony to great risk. The parent colony is essentially queenless for a significant period of time and the new young colony (with old queen) has limited…

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Queen rearing techniques

…any other for heading a colony. In practical terms a beekeeper using this technique to divide a colony should ensure that queen cells that are made and sealed within 3…

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Basic honey bee biology

…thrive the colony is governed by a rigid social structure and division of labour with a colony divided into female castes. The workers are sterile, with no capacity to reproduce….

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Bee Communication

The honey bee colony is a complex superorganism that at its maximum population consists of 1 queen, about 500-100 drones and 30,000 – 50,000 worker bees. For the colony to…

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Dividing colonies

…hives: Step 1 Select a strong colony for division. 2 or 3 days before starting, inspect the colony to ensure it has eggs. EGGS ARE ESSENTIAL FOR THE NEW COLONY

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Social behaviour

colony. One worker will beg for food and another will offer it, regurgitating it from their crop or honey stomach. Very quickly all the adult workers in the colony will…

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Varroa mites

…mite infestation the normal processes of foraging, brood rearing and colony defence diminish and the colony’s entire social organisation begins to deteriorate – a process known as colony collapse. The…

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Feeding bees

colony growth. Without nectar the colony has no energy with which to perform its normal tasks and without pollen young bees cannot be reared. Where bees abscond frequently it is…

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Honey bee queens

…workers and drones to carry out all the functions of the colony. She carries all the heritable characteristics of the colony so is responsible for all the physical and behavioural…

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Honey bee drones

…present in a colony during the main colony development period, but they are expelled during the dearth periods when the colony reduces the number of occupants in order that it…

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Climate change and bees

…on maximum colony populations coinciding with peak flowering times so that maximum food is available to meet the bees’ nutritional demands. This arrangement also maximises pollination opportunities for the plants….

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Absconding

colony. It differs from swarming in that the nest does not divide into two or more parts but the whole colony moves and presumably seeks and finds a new nest…

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Queen rearing theory

…be more vigorous than an existing queen. The second is as the female part of a bee breeding programme that is designed to change the genetic characteristics of the colony….

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Migration of bees

colony will have minimal energy needs. The colony will only move again once it has gathered sufficient stores for the next part of the journey. The movement is preceded by…

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Queen rearing

…are eggs and plenty of bees in a colony the bees can rear new queens if the old queen is not in the colony. Queens are reared in easily recognisable…

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Bee Diseases

…example, if a colony of African bees is severely infested by the Small Hive Beetle Aethina tumida, colony change happens in a co-ordinated way with all the bees absconding as…

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