The Honeybee

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The honeybee                                               page 2
   o   The bee state
   o   Reproduction
   o   Combs

Beekeeping in top-bar hives                                page 3
   o   How to make your own top-bar hive
   o   To work with a top-bar hive

How to work with bees which swarm a lot                    page 12
   o   Why bees swarm
   o   How do you see when a bee state is going to swarm
   o   Swarming process
   o   How to control swarming

Hygienic treatment of honey                                page 14
   o   Compilation of honey
   o   Purifation of honey

Finance                                                    page 15

Beekeeping Guide                             -1-
The Honeybee

   o The honeybee is used by human for the production of honey and beeswax
     and for the pollination of plants.
   o They have an internal biologic clock whereby they can navigate en divide their
     tasks. Further this clock is important for the bee dance whereby the female
     workers give each other information about food sources.

The bee state
   o In free nature bees live in sheltered places like hollow trees. Bees hold by
      people live in beehives.
   o A bee state is a strong social unit, the individual has no meaning
   o The state exist of different bee types. On the top lives one queen, she is the
      only fertile female en takes care of the reproduction. She lives the longest from
      all the bees. If an egg develops as queen, work bee or drone depends on the
      fact if an egg is fertilized or not. An unfertilized egg becomes a drone, an
      fertilized can develop as queen or as work bee. The difference in becoming a
      queen or a work bee depends on the kind of cell where the egg ends up.
   o Then there are the bee workers. In the summer there are about 60000 bee
      workers and 2000 in winter. Bee workers are underdeveloped females. They
      do all the work in the beehive. What task they have depends on their ages,
      there is a very strict work scheme. When a bee worker gets out of her cell her
      working live starts directly. Her first task is the cleaning of the cells, a couple of
      days later she is also able to work nectar. After six days she can feed en care
      for the young larvae. Work is holding on all day and night, bee workers hardly
      rest. When a bee worker is fifteen days old she would go look at the gap of the
      beehive and helps with the security of the hive. Intruders like wasps or bees
      from other states will be driven away. When se is twenty-one days old she flies
      out for the first time to collect nectar and pollen. From the early morning till the
      late evening as long as there is light, the flowers give nectar en the outside
      temperature is more then ten degrees Celsius she flies out. Information about
      new food sources will be given to other bees by the dance language. Through
      the tough working and the enormous distances a work bee goes through her
      wings wear out. Some days a work bee covers 250 kilometres. After 800
      kilometres the wings are broken whereby a work bee needs to die. This
      explains the longer lifecycle of a work bee in winter and of the queen cause
      they hardly fly.
   o At last there are the drones, fertile men. They are only there to mate with the
      queen. In the winter there are no drones, in summer there are a about

Beekeeping Guide                            -2-
  o The bee state is a strong live community, so reproduction isn’t focused on a
     separate bee but on the whole state. There need to be more states and this is
     how that goes; in spring the number of bees in a state grows. Many plants
     bloom so there is enough food. At a certain moment the bee workers start to
     make bigger cells in the combs and the queen lays unfertilized eggs in these
     cells. Out of unfertilized haploid egg come after 24 days the drones who are
     fertile after three weeks. It is remarkable that a drone doesn’t have a father but
     does have a grandfather.
  o When the drones are there, the work bees make big cells along the borders of
     the combs. In these cells the queen lays a normal fertilized egg. When after
     three days the larva gets out of its egg it gets special food, so called royal jelly.
     It is albumen rich food made by the work bees by nectar, pollen and a
     exceptional gland in their head. These larvae grow very fast en pupate after
     six days. Thirteen days after the larva came out of the egg the new queen gets
     born. Just before here birth the new queen alert that she is coming through by
     piping, the so called quacking and tooting. The old queen flies out with half of
     the state 7 till 10 days before the birth of the young new queens and searches
     for a new accommodation. This is what we call swarming of bees. A bee
     swarm exist about 10000 and 20000 bees. The bees sucked themselves full
     with honey before leaving the hive and can’t sting that easily. So a bee swarm
     isn’t aggressive. In the bee state that stays in the hive there come in the
     coming days a couple of queens out of their eggs and every time the oldest
     queen leaves with half of the bee state to look for another accommodation. In
     this way the old bee state splits up in 3 till 6 new states. In their new homes
     the states directly start to make combs and the new queens make their bride
     flight after 3 till 15 days. In the afternoon they fly out en go to a place where
     the drones have assembled. The drones follow the queen and only the
     quickest drones can mate with her what also happens during the flight. The
     queen doesn’t only mate with drones from her own state but also, with
     preference, drones from other states. After mating the drone dies. The queen
     mates with 10 till 20 drones, then she has enough sperm for whole her life
     which is 5 years at the longest. When the fertilized queen returns she stays in
     the hive en after 2 till 3 days she starts lay eggs. The queen can lay till 2000
     eggs a day in the high season which is twice her own weight so that the state
     starts to grow fast to a community of 40.000 till 70.000 bee workers.

  o The combs are the furniture of the bee hive. The bee workers can excrete wax
     from a gland at the bottom of their abdomen. With this wax they build the
     combs which exist of a large degree of hexagon form cells. The queen lays
     her eggs in these cells. Further the eggs are used for the store of honey and

Beekeeping Guide                           -3-
Beekeeping in top-bar hives

The idea of beekeeping in top-bar hives is that you have a box that is open at the top.

Like this:

And instead of have one big lid at the top you put slats on top which lay direct to
eachother. It’s important that you don’t have any gaps between the slats. The
problem with these gaps is that, by opening the hive, every bee in the colony is
exposed to light, sounds, smells, air currents, temperature changes etc. They are
therefore aware of the damage to their nest, and react defensively.

Like this:

The little holes at the bottom of the box are openings for the bees.

Beekeeping Guide                          -4-
In each slat, there must be a slot cut into it. A slot that runs lengtwise along the
middle of each slat. A narrow strip of hardboard or wax should be glued into each
slot, so that it projects about 10mm from the bottom surface of each slat.

Like this:

A: 50.5 cm
D: 32 mm
E: 20 mm
F: 10 mm
G: 2 x as long as the want of the box is thick

Beekeeping Guide                          -5-
How to make your own Tob bar Hive

Step 1: the box
The hive comprises a box roughly 85cm long, roughly 30cm deep,and 50.5cm wide.
The distance between the side walls inside of the hive should be exactly 46.5cm. The
sides and floor of the box are made from planks or inexpensive timber or similar
material. The five planks comprising the box should be securely fastened to one
another, because the hives will get very heavy. Because when you inspect the colony
the box will come under more preasure.

Step 2 : entrance
For entrances you have to make holes in the long sides of the box, about 10cm
apart, and about 5cm above the floor. The diamater should be about 10 to 12mm.

Step 3: the top bars
The roof is made up of separate wood slats. If you have used the measures for the
box I discribed, the slats should each exactly be 32mm wide and 20 mm thick. If you
have used other measures you should make you're slats the same length as the
width of the box, and 20mm thick. It is very important that you use It's clever to
make a few more slats than are needed to cover the box. It’s important that the slats
are exactly 32 mm. The reason is that this is exactly the distance between the
centres of next combs in naturally-built nests. Once the bees have built a comb
neatly along the mid-line of one top-bar, they continue to build combs along the mid-
lines of next top-bars without the beekeepers having to resort the wax foundations

Step 4: starter-strips
To ensure neatly-built comb, you should make starter-strips along the mid-lines of
each top-bar. In each slat, there must be a slot cut into it. A slot that runs lengtwise
along the middle of each slat. A of hardboard, ( bee )wax should be glued into each
slot, so that it projects about 10mm from the bottom surface of each slat. It’s also
possible to use molten beewax. You can use two top-bars laid on top of a third with
about a 5 mm gap between them to form a mould for the third bar, into which you
can pour the molten wax. The strip should be a little shorter than the slat. Put the
strip in the slot so that it doesn’t touch a side of the box when the slat is placed on
top of the box and with the strip hanging down into the hive.

Step 5: outside
The oudside of the hive box exept for the slats should be well protected with light-
coloured paint. Allow sufficient time for the paint smell to disappear before attempting
to put bees into the hive.

Step 6: the lid
You can use a waterproof peace to cover the closed hive. For example plastic or
metal. Especially if the lid is made of metal, ensure that it does not lie directly on the
top-bars or slats. These could get so hot that the honey combs hanging from them
melt. You could cover the top bars with a layer of straw or good insulating material
and place the waterproof lid on it. You can also just put wooden legs on the topbars
to create a space between the top bars and the waterproof lid.

Beekeeping Guide                           -6-
To work with a top- bar hive
A top bar hive is a very good and cheap hive to harvest honey from the killerbee. So
in the following text, there is explained how to work with a top bar hive and how
honey is harvested out off the hives.
Top bar hive:
                                    A top bar hive is a trough shaped box. Wood bars,
                                    the top bars, set on top of the box. Bees attach their
                                    comb to these bars which are removed for
                                    inspections and colony management. A cover over
                                    the top bars, provides weather protection. The
                                    entrance is just a hole in the box. A tbh (top bar
                                    hive) is a long, horizontal hive with removable
                                    combs. Tbh’s are the essence of natural beekeeping
                                    The advantages of top bar hives are that by opening
                                    the hive, every bee in the colony is not exposed to
                                    light, sounds, smells, air currents, temperature
                                    changes etc. They are therefore not really aware of
                                    the apparently catastrophic damage to their nest,
and because of that they don’t react defensively. Another advantage of the top-bar
hive is that the top-bars form a continuous roof, without gaps. The beekeeper need
make only a small opening in the hive for inspection or harvesting. Further it is a very
inexpensive hive and easy to build.
The only equipment that is necessary is a smoker, veil and a serrated knife and of
course a bucket to hold the combs. In the next part there will be explained how to use
a top bar hive and how to work with it.

Opening the hive:
                                     First of all the cover should be removed to
                                     expose the top bars. The cover is not attached to
                                     the hive, so it can just be taken away. When
                                     opening the hive two or three of the top-bars are
                                     removed from one end of the hive. These will
                                     generally have neither bees nor comb on them.
                                     This opening need be only wide enough to permit
                                     lifting the combs for inspection without bumping
                                     or scraping them. In a top bar hive, the
                                     beekeeper starts work at the far end of the hive,
                                     away from the entrance. This way bees come
                                     and go without realizing the hive is open. The
                                     bees don’t get aggressive this way.
By successively moving each bar, you should shift the inspection gap gradually
towards the brood nest (the heart of the colony) in the middle of the hive. By puffing a
very small amount of smoke into the opening, the bees can be driven away from the
gap into the undisturbed part of the hive. One uses just enough smoke to keep the
bees calm. The bulk of the colony is thus never where the beekeeper is working, and
remains relatively unaware of the disturbance. Once the inspection gap has reached
the middle of the colony, the top-bars are carefully returned to their original positions,
and pressed tightly against one another again. If the beekeeper wishes to continue

Beekeeping Guide                           -7-
with the inspection, the process is repeated from the other end of the hive.
Alternatively the hive can be opened from the other end next time.

Cutting attachments:
The bees attach comb to the sidewalls. Most attachments are small. But they
extensively attach all heavy comb to the hive. They know when and where more
comb support is needed. Attachments aren't a problem, but even the smallest
attachment must be cut before a top bar or comb is moved.

                                                 Before moving a top bar or comb, cut
                                                 it free of all attachments. Inspect
                                                 every comb carefully. If attachments
                                                 are left uncut, moving the top bar
                                                 tears the comb. Even the smallest
                                                 attachment can cause big problems.
                                                 A torn or damaged comb almost
                                                 always fails. This failure can happen
                                                 instantly if the comb is new, hot and
                                                 heavy. Or it can slowly fail, before
                                                 the bees repair it, leaving a surprise
                                                 for the next inspection.
                                                   Slightly attached comb.

Comb damage also occurs if the attachments aren't carefully and gently cut. Take
your time. Don't tear the comb free. Instead gently cut it loose. If the attachments are
torn instead of cut, the comb is damaged and can fail.
A serrated knife is the best tool for cutting attachments. It's longer, thinner and
sharper than a hive tool. A hive tool is a special designed lever with scraping edges
and it is used by the removal of frames from beehives. Work from the bottom of the
comb upward. Don't saw the comb with the serrated knife. The horizontal forces
created stresses a comb. Rather than saw the comb, move the knife slowly upward
while slightly withdrawing it. Allow the knife to melt its way through the comb. Don't
pull the comb backward, even the tiniest amount, as you withdraw the knife.
Removing top bars:
Once a comb is cut free from all attachments, the top bar is slowly separated from its
neighbor and gently removed from the hive. If the comb is moved to fast it will fail.
Keep the plane of the comb vertical. If the top bar is even slightly rotated out of its
natural hanging position, this stresses the comb and the comb fails. Rather than
grabbing the top bar and holding on to it like one would do with a standard frame, let
the top bar ends rest freely in the hands, hanging naturally from its own weight. When
held like this, any movement causes both the comb and the top bar to roll, which is
much less stressful to the comb.
After inspecting a comb, gently set it down in a free space toward the hive's far end
or use a top bar stand. I consider a top bar stand a necessity, as handling a top bar
with its comb requires two hands. It's almost impossible to do anything other than
observe a comb without one.
Be aware that a strong wind could stress the comb when using the stand. The top
bars rest solidly on the stand but the wind can cause the comb to flap, ever so
slightly. This flapping produces the same effect as rotating the top bar. It causes the

Beekeeping Guide                          -8-
comb to fail. The wind can do it. And rapid or careless comb movement can also do

Honey harvesting:
Especially when compared with commercial
scale honey harvesting and extraction,
harvesting honey from a top-bar hive is very
easy. You simply take along a clean plastic
bucket (with a lid) when visiting your bees. First
brush the bees with a plastic bee brush off the
comb. Then hold a ripe (more or less fully
capped) honey comb over the open bucket, and
twist the top-bar. For a beekeeper who values
wax along with honey, the top-bar hive is the
best way to go. For each comb of honey he
harvests, that beekeeper also harvests a
complete comb of wax. The comb breaks off into
the bucket, the top-bar is replaced, and the
bucket is immediately closed. Pollen in the comb is a definite bonus, as it is an
excellent source of protein, and quite palatable. One should always leave at least
one good food comb on either side of the brood nest for the bees own use.
You will sometimes harvest old combs. New comb is white and pleasant to eat, but
older combs darken and toughen with age. This is especially true if that comb has
                                 been used for brood-rearing. The solution is to chop
                                 up the black combs, and strain the honey through
                                 coarse cloth on a sunny window sill. If you feel
                                 adventurous, you might even try making mead with the
                                 dilute honey solution resulting from sparing the
                                 residual honey that doesn’t drain from the wax; this
                                 can also be refrigerated to feed the bees during the
                                 winter dearth.
 ^ Top bar standard.

So honey from a tbh will be harvested as comb honey. If the beekeeper wishes to
have liquid honey, he must crush the comb and drain it of honey. One method of
doing this is to press the comb between two wooden boards, using for example a car
jack to build up the pressure. The wax is then cleaned in water and melted into a
block for later use. Another method is to collect all harvested combs of honey in a
clean bucket and then use a potato masher or some other implement to crush the
comb, and then pour the honey through a filter to remove pieces of wax. The wax
that is left behind can then be squeezed by hand over the filter, now containing a little
honey and a lot of wax, thus squeezing the last bit of honey out of the wax. The wax
is then cleaned in water and melted into a block for later use.
Further it is the beekeeper's job to keep moving empty frames forward into the hive,
about 2/3, from the front, into the front of the brood nest and just behind the first
comb of honey. This assures that the brood (bijenbroedsel) nest never gets honey
bound, and that there is always comb ready for the bees, as brood hatches from the
rearmost comb of the brood nest. When moving new bars forward, it is best to insert
them between two straight combs, as bees tend to naturally build curved combs,
especially at the rear of the honey area. If you keep the bees building new combs

Beekeeping Guide                          -9-
between two good, strait combs, you will have the pleasure of not dealing with curved

Closing the hive:
To maintain proper broodnest structure, keep the top bars in the same position and
orientation when placing them back in the hive. Some tbh beekeeper number the top
bars so they don't get confused and rotate or switch top bar positions.
Top bars must be set down gently and slowly. The comb is only attached at the top
and if a heavy comb is dropped in place, the sudden stop causes the comb to fail.
Take your time. Give bees, which might be cleaning up honey on the attachments,
time to move out of the way. Only a despot kills the workers that feed him. And one of
those bees might just be the queen.
Unlike standard frames, top bars don't have a bee space between them. If top bars
are set down quickly or carelessly slide together, bees are crushed. Once the hive is
closed up, the bees don't have access to these areas. Crushed bees are preserved
for the next inspection. It's a grizzly sight if one is careless or hasty.
There are two methods to avoid squashing bees. One method, a more horizontal
approach, involves slowly setting the top bar in the hive. Then carefully moving one
end closer than the other end to create a V shaped space. The end with the widest
opening is gradually moved to close the gap. It's moved carefully enough so that any
bees feeling squeezed can move toward the wider part of the gap and escape the
squeeze. Eventually the gap is closed. It normally takes less than 30 seconds and
works well for heavy comb. I sometimes establish the V, then use a few puffs of
smoke and a bee brush on the bees in the gap.
The second method involves a more vertical approach. The leading edge of a top bar
is aligned with trailing edge of the top bar in the hive. The top bar is carefully slid
down the trailing top bar edge in the hive. This pushes the bees out of the way. Some
bees end up below the top bar and some end up above. It's fast, takes less than 5
seconds, and works well with light comb.
Getting bees into your hives:
There are several methods for getting bees into your hive. The easiest, but most
time-consuming is to paint the inside of the hive with a solution of propolis in
ammonia. Propolis is a gummy substance collected by bees from the resins exuded
by plants. Once the ammonia smell has evaporated, the propolis smell is irresistible
to migratory reproductive swarms looking for cavities in which to settle. This is the
reason why cavities from which bees have been removed are very quickly again
occupied by swarms. This method is used by most beekeepers to trap trek swarms.
The second method is to relocate an existing feral nest. Combs are cut out of the
feral nest and tied onto your top-bars or into your frames with yarn. When fastening
combs o top-bars, you should use a piece of newspaper or large leaf to prevent the
yarn from cutting through the comb at the bottom. Another excellent idea is
beforehand to prepare sheets of chicken mesh twice the size of the intended comb
size. This can be folded in half around the cut comb to form a cage, which can then
be stapled to the top-bar. Once the bees have secured the combs to the top-bars, the
yarn or mesh should be removed. As intimated above, one can also purchase
nucleus colonies from beekeepers, or produce them by artificially swarming (splitting)
existing colonies.

Beekeeping Guide                         - 10 -
Moving the hive:
The greatest disadvantage of top-bars frames is that the combs are not reinforced
with wires, foundation sheets etc. For this reason, it is difficult to move such a hive,
especially in a vehicle. It is also virtually impossible to use a centrifugal extractor to
extract the honey. You will also have to be careful; when handling combs that the
comb remains in a vertical orientation. It will otherwise break off the top-bar. Having
to handle the combs carefully also has a very important advantage: it is impossible to
work quickly with the bees. Working slowly and carefully is conducive to your
developing a much better feel for your bees; you get fewer stings, and the bees
become productive again more quickly. Many people assert that it takes a colony
several hours, or even several days to recover from the shock of a rough inspection,
and there is always the risk of inadvertently killing or maiming the queen.

Beekeeping Guide                          - 11 -
How to work with bees which swarm a lot
Why bees swarm:

   o The most important reason why bees swarm, is the drive to reproduction.
   o It protects the bees against diseases and viruses.
   o Overpopulation and food shortage are reduced.

How do you see when a bee state is going to swarm:

   o The bees are getting lazy and hang around the fly beam. There is no more
     activity around the combs, the bees are not working anymore.
   o The bees are aggressive, against each other also.
   o The bees form a beard. This is when the bees are waiting outside the hive,
     very near to each other, for a swarm to fly out. It looks like a beard. So this is a
     very clear sign, the bees are going to swarm.
   o Inside the hive, you can observe changes also. The work bees have made
     cells, wherein new queens can grow. There is also made much more combs
     of drones.

Swarming proces:

A bee state swarms several times. The first swarm flies out with the old queen. This
group of bees leaves the hive seven days before the first new queen is born.
After the first swarm has flied out a new queen is born. If there is another queen to be
borned, and the bee state is still strong enough, the oldest queen leaves the hive
also at that moment with half of the bees. This proces can be repeated.

How to control swarming:

For bee-keepers, swarming is very unpleasant. A bee state that swarms a lot, gives
less honey. Therefore can you use methods to control the swarming. The most
efficient way to control the swarming is when you work with an imitation of the natural
process of swarming. The best technique is the “Aalstermethod”. The Aalstermethod
can be used in two ways, with an broom or an kite.

Aalstermethod with broom:

The first step you take is placing a new hive next to the hive with the bee-state which
is preparing to swarm. Then you take the comb with the queen bee on it and you
place this in the new hive together with some combs with honey. Then you add a lot
of bees at it. The bees that are left behind in the old hive, begin to make queen eggs.

Beekeeping Guide                         - 12 -
queen                  worker                     drone

Because you don’t want the old state to swarm again, you have to break the queen
eggs out of the combs.

             queen egg

Aalstermethod with kite:
With this method you work reversed. First you move the hive with the bee-state. At
the place where the hive originally stood, you place a new hive that look likes the old
one. Therafter you put the queen with some empty combs and two combs with eggs.
The fly bees shall move to the new hive. Just with like the broom, know you have to
break the queen eggs out of the combs of the new bee state.
With this method you can minimise the swarming.

Beekeeping Guide                         - 13 -
Hygienic treatment of honey

Honey is an natural sweetener made by honey bees who collect nectar. The nectar
comes from flowers en contain several sugars, minerals and trace elements. Bees
add enzymes and take care of the evaporation of the superfluous water that makes
nectar change into honey.

To get the honey out of the hive, the bees need to be out of it. This should be done
through smoke. The frames with the sealed combs need to get out of the hive en the
remaining bees need to be whipped of carefully. Protection for hands and face is not
necessary then.
There need to be some honey left for the bees because otherwise they will die of

Honey can be put away for years without rotting. Honey need to be kept in a chill and
dark place otherwise the precious elements like enzymes, flavourings, aromatic
substances will suffer. The most perfect temperature for fluid honey is 18-20°C.
Honey is strongly hygroscopic, which means that it attracts damp out of the air. That
is why honey need to be kept in a dry and good closing barrel in a maximum humidity
grade of 60%.

Propolis is a substance which the bee compose itself from resin from specific trees
and enzymes they produce themselves. The propolis will have antibacterial and
antifungal properties. It is also used to close off excessive ventilation and entrances
and for protection of the hive.

All honey crystallize after a period. This is a natural process and has nothing to do
with the quality of honey and is not a sign of decrease. To get equal crystallized
honey, the honey needs to be stirred equally several times a day from the very first
beginning. When the honey starts to become solid it can be moulded into cans of

Compilation of honey

Fructose     40%
Glucose      30%
Water        17%
Sugar        10%
Remaining    3%

Purifation of honey
You can not withdraw matters from the honey. That is why honey only can be sifted
for purifation. This needs to happen to get little parts of wax and other impure things
which could come in the honey while you get it out of the combs, out of the honey.
The sieve can’t be to fine otherwise important parts of honey like pollen and
honeydew elements stay in the sieve.

Beekeeping Guide                          - 14 -

To expand your business to earn more money from the bee keeping you need to
invest. The most important thing you need to invest is money. In this chapter we will
describe how you can get a micro loan.

A micro loan is a small loan (average of $100-200) especially for poor people who
want to expand their business. In your country there are many Micro Financial
Institutions, where you can request for a micro loan, like FINCA or Somed. AMFIU
(Association of Microfinancial Institutions Uganda) is a network for MFI’s in Uganda.

First of all you have to write a letter to a MFI in your region to apply for the loan. You
can also visit the bank. Explain them:
Who are you? (Group with 20 members, living in Nyaketeete etc.)
When did you start up the business? (Start up the business a few years ago, got
already 100 hives and a bit of experience)
Why do you want to expand? (To make the business more profitable so we can earn
more money)
How do you want to spend the loan? (We want to invest in building new hives/
techniques to purify the honey)

For a regular loan you need security like a house or something valuable. This is
because banks will make sure you can repay the loan. For micro loans you don’t
need any security. After the request the bank is going to analyse your business and
have a look at it.

Requests for micro loans will be more successful if you are organised in a group,
favourably women. In a group people will feel more responsible for their task. Trust
between the borrower and the bank is very important, because you have got no

You have to make clear that your business is profitable. It is important to show the
bank how much you produce, the available market and the market price. You also
have to show them that you can make your business more profitable if you invest.
You have to make sure you can repay the loan. The best way to show this is to make
a sort of business plan. In the business plan you have to make clear:

How much money do you need?
How are you going to spend the money?
How much profit will you make?
How do you repay the loan?

For example you can fill in a table like this:

Number of hives         150
Litres honey each       2 litres
Market price            $1
Production              300 litres
Income                  $ 300

Beekeeping Guide                           - 15 -
You could spend your money by building more bee hives. Your production and
income will increase.

The table after you get a loan ( for example $100)

Number of hives        250
Litres honey each      2 litres
Market price           $1
Production             500 litres
Income                 $ 500

Your income is now $500, $200 more than before the loan. With this money you can
repay the loan. That’s the most important thing. You can also spend the money by
improving the honey quality. You could purify the honey. This will increase the market

Finally, show the bank other sources of income. Bee keeping is seasonal, so you
have to earn money from other activities when the honey season is out. Show the live
stock, your farming activities etc.

Hopefully this will help you make the next request successful. Otherwise, try another
bank in your region. Each bank has their own loan request procedure, so it may be
useful to try another.

For more information you can visit This is the only
international organisation which advocates on behalf of poor beekeepers in
developing countries and operate a support service to provide knowledge and
guidance. The philosophy of Bees for Development is to assist people living in poor
and remote areas of the world, and to raise awareness about the value of
beekeeping for poverty alleviation. They think the most important thing is to
maintaining and serving a global beekeeping network, compiling and distributing
technical information, keeping beekeepers up-to-date with knowledge of events and
training opportunities and putting people in touch with each other to share and learn.

Beekeeping Guide                         - 16 -

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