Input in honey

Inputs for honey

The main inputs required in bee keeping are bees, bee forage, bee hives, equipment and water

A bee is a social insect which lives in a colony. The bee colony is made up of 3 types of bees as follows:

The Queen

In a bee colony there is only one queen whose function in the hive is to:

  • Lay fertile eggs — The queen can lay about 1,500 — 2,000 eggs per day. The eggs are laid only when conditions are favourable and after being mated by the drone. Mating takes place in the air and about 5-7 drones are required. The queen stores the sperms in a spermathaeca and hence requires mating only once in her life time.
  • Control the colony behavior and functions through a pheromone (queen substance) which maintains the cohesiveness of the colony.

The Drones

Drones are usually about 300 in number in a colony. Their functions in the colony are:

  • To fertilise the queen.
  • To control the temperature or to cool the hive. This they do, by flapping their wide wings at a very high speed.

The drones are killed by the worker bees after fertilizing the queen.

The Worker Bees

In a colony, the worker bees are about 60,000 in number. They are the soldiers and are normally female bees. Their functions in the hive are to;

  1. Feed the queen, the drones and the brood (young bees).
  2. Protect the hive from intruders.
  3. Collect nectar, pollen, trees resins, gums and water.
  4. Build combs and seal the cracks and crevices in the hive.
  5. Clean the hive.