Bees for Development
Understanding the biology and behaviour of the bee is the first step towards being able to manage them sustainably and productively. Beekeepers need to understand the biology and behaviour of bees, to understand why bees swarm, abscond, or why hives have not been colonised.
The world’s industrialised beekeeping sector is based on races of just one species of honey bee: Apis mellifera. The world of the honey bee is complex and fascinating and is different from most of the other animals that people farm because it is a social insect. This fact has some far reaching practical consequences that need to be taken into account for beekeeping to be successful. The honey bee is one of the most well researched animals: the honey bee genome has been sequenced.
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Honey bees such as Apis mellifera build a nest containing multiple combs inside a cavity, which may be a hollow tree, a cave, or a cavity in a wall or in the ground. They can also be kept inside a human-made container, otherwise known as a hive. The first bee hives were hollow logs or simple cylinders made of natural materials and after thousands of years these types of hives are still used. The hive enables bee colonies to be owned, sited in particular places and allows interventions by people and has ultimately led to the craft known as beekeeping.
Honey bee nests are built using a series of parallel combs made of beeswax and, depending on the types of hives used, combs containing honey can be removed without harming combs containing brood. It was by studying the precise arrangement and measurements of honeycombs that led the Rev. Langstroth, working in the 1850s, to understand the idea of the bee space which led to the development of hive management techniques using movable comb and frame hives.
Other cavity nesting honey bee species, such as Apis cerana can also be kept in hives. In Asia, there are other species of honey bees that nest in the open and cannot be kept in man-made hives. Honey hunting and rafter beekeeping techniques have been developed to obtain honey and beeswax from these species.
The thousands of species of both solitary and social bees worldwide that are not exploited by mankind offer fascinating insights into the evolution of social behaviour and the mutually beneficial relationship between bees and plants.
Tautz, J. 2008. The Buzz about Bees. Biology of a Superorganism. Springer, Germany. click here to view in our bookstore
Tautz, J. 2008. The Buzz about Bees. Biology of a Superorganism. Springer, Germany. click here to view in our bookstoreWinston, M.L. 1987. The Biology of the Honey Bee. Harvard University Press, London. click here to view in our bookstore
Seeley, T.D. 1995. The Wisdom of the Hive: The Social Physiology of Honey Bee Colonies. Harvard University Press, London, England. click here for more information.
List of Articles available on this topic (71):
ABC and XYZ of Bee Culture, The
Root, A I
Abstract Proceedings: 11th Asian Apicultural Association Conference, ApiExpo & Workshop
Asian Apicultural Assocaition
African Honey Bees
Anatomy of the Honey Bee
Snodgrass, R E
Apis mellifera adansonii in the uplands of West Cameroon
Beautiful Queens and Honey Too! - Sladen\'s Techniques for Queen Rearing Updated
Bee behaviour: Understanding the basics will one day save you, or your buisness
Bee research digest: Crowding in the hive and productivity
Beekeeping in a Nutshell: Manipulations
Beekeeping in the Amhara Region
Kebede, A., Ejigu, K., Aynalem, T., Jenberie, A
Bees & Honey: from flower to jar
Bees and Wasps
Chauvin, R. & Serres, P.
Bees, Biology and Managment
Breeding Techniques and Selection for Breeding of the Honeybee
Brood nest arrangements in top-bar hives
Chemical characterization of Apis cerana F and Apis dorsata F honey from Dakshina Kannada, Karnataka (India)
Chhuneja, P.K., Singh, A.S. and Sharma, D.K.
Comb building by bees
Dancing For Their Supper: Foraging Ecology and Dance Language of the Honey Bee
Effect of population size on brood production, worker survival and honey gain in colonies of honeybees
First Aid for Bee and Wasp Stings
Foraging cycle and pollen sources of Apis mellifera L in Dharwad, Karnatak, India
Kallesha, G.R., Viraktamath, S.
Honey bee biology : encounters with the giant honey bee: Apis dorsata - part III
Honey bee biology: encounters with the giant honey bee: Apis dorsata - part 1
Honey bee biology; encounters with the giant honey bee: Apis dorsata - Part 2
Honey bee biology; encounters with the giant honey bee: Apis dorsata - Part 3
Honey Bee Pathology
Free, J B
How to find wild bees/Como encontrar abelhas silvestres
Hygienic and grooming behaviour in disease resistance of two honeybee ecogeographic varieties (Apis mellifera carnica) from Serbia
Stanimirovis, Z., Stevanovic, J., Pejovic, D., Mirlovic, M.
Importance of Visual and Olfactory Information Strategies of the Honeybee Apis Mellifera
Matthews,R W; Matthews, J R
Inside/out - the drone
Keeping Bees in Towns and Cities
Living with Killer Bees: The Story of the Africanized Bee Invasion
Manual de Apicultura para Ambientes Subtropicales: Una Propuesta de: \'La Red de Escuelas del Noroeste Argentina (NOA)\'
Dini, C. & Bedascarrasbure, E.
Migratory beekeeping in Himachal Pradesh
Chauham, S.K., Sharma, S.K.
Mites beehiving badly
More research on the waggle dance
Natural antibiotic found in honey
Bradbear, N., Martin, P. & Wainwright, D.
Observations on the swarming and mating habits of the Indian honeybee
Organisation of colony reproduction in the honey bee
Pheromones and Hymenoptera
Publications relating to African Honey Bees and Beekeeping reported in Apicultural Abstracts 1990 (editions 1 - 4) and 1991 (editions 1 - 3)
Queen of the Sun: What are the Bees Telling Us?
Siegel, T. & Betz, J.
Reducing stress in the apiary
Reproduction in Apis cerana: 2. Reproductive organs and natural insemination
Ruttner, F., Wokye, J. and Koeniger, N.
Secrets of the Beehive Life Cycle of the Honeybee
Small and perfectly formed
Sniffing Out the Enemy: Shifting Acceptance Thresholds for Recognition in Honey Bees
Couvillon, Dr Margaret J.
Some Observations on Biology and Behaviour
Studies on the behaviour of the stingless bee, Trigona Iridipennis Smith (Apidae: Meliponinae)
Mohan, R., Devanesan, S.
The BBKA Guide to Beekeeping
Davis, I. & Cullum-Kenyon, R.
The Biology of the Honey Bee
The buzz about bees: biology of a superorganism
The Honey Bee inside out
The need for using laboratory tests in breeding honeybees for improves honey production
The process of queen-worker differentiation in the honeybee
The Social Organization of Honeybees
Free, J B
The Spirit of the Hive: The Mechanisms of Social Evolution
Page, R. E. Jr
The super organism: the beauty, elegance and strangeness of insect societies
Holldabler, B. and Wilson, E.O.
The tarsal glands of honeybee queens, workers and drones.II Biological role.
Lensky Y; Cassier P; Finkel A; Teeshee A; Schlesinger R; Delorme-Joulie C; Levinsohn M
The Wisdom of the Hive: The Social Physiology of Honeybee Colonies
There are Queen Cells in my Hive - What Should I do?
Welsh Assembly Government
Top-bar hives reveal subtle comb-building behavior
Ultrastructural Change in the Hypopharyngeal Glands of Worker Honey Bees (Apis cerana) Infected with Sacbrood Virus
Du Z.-L., Zhang Z.-B
Virus causes aggression?
Waggle dance controversy resolved
Bees for Development