Why Are Bees Good for Coffee?

Bees are good for coffee producers, their families, and communities in coffee-growing regions. Coffee-growing regions are good sites for honey bees, as plant diversity within the coffee farm offer excellent floral resources for honeybees. Coffee flowers produce sugary, high quality…

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The Basics of Bees

Knowledge about bee biology is key to successful beekeeping. A bee colony has three types of bees: two female castes (a single queen and many workers), and a male bee – the drone. Queens are specialized females, laying eggs to…

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Bee Products for Income

Honey bees can be an important source of nutritional or medicinal products, and/or income. Honey is the main product from honey bee keeping, providing dietary carbohydrate (sugar) and a variety of medicinal products. On average, beekeepers harvest about 50 pounds…

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The Bee Market

Bees maintained with modern culture methods in manmade hives readily produce harvestable amounts of honey and other bee products. Beekeepers looking to establish and build local markets for their products can market directly in local communities, or sell directly to…

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Bee Tools and Equipment

Basic equipment for commercial beekeeping consists of wooden boxes to house the bee colony, with a special base giving bees an area for entry and exit. Inside these boxes, wooden frames outline and contain beeswax combs in which bees raise…

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The Cycle of the Beehive

Bee colony life history is an annual cycle that syncs with bee forage resources. During the rainy season, colonies are smallest; at this time, beekeepers may supplement with sugar feeding. As the season changes, supplementary sugar syrup feeding stimulates colony…

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Bee Swarms

Swarming is a natural behavior of honey bees. Bees swarm as they outgrow their existing homesite. A swarm consists of a single queen and a large population of workers who have left the homesite, clustering temporarily on a tree limb,…

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Bee Stings

Bees sting to defend their nest and themselves when disturbed. Beekeeping requires perseverance — and tolerance to stings. Using personal protective equipment and a smoker will help, but beekeepers may still get stung when they manipulate colonies. Individuals who react…

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Bee Pests and Diseases

Bee and nest pests, along with disease-causing pathogens, seek bee products such as honey and beeswax as a resource. Food reserves, the bees themselves and their nests, all attract a wide variety of unwanted pest and pathogen visitors. Pathogens cause…

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