Beekeeping is the practice of keeping honeybees (Apis mellifera) in hives to collect honey and beeswax and to pollinate crops. The location in which hives are kept is usually called an apiary.
Honeybees are social insects that live in colonies led by a single queen. The queen mates and lays fertilised eggs to produce sterile female workers and unfertilised eggs to produce male drones. Workers carry out various age-related tasks to maintain the colony during their life cycle before flying away from the hive to forage for nectar and pollen.
Honeybees collect nectar from flowers as a source of carbohydrate energy and store it in honeycomb. They also collect pollen as a source of protein and it is this activity that makes them most valuable to the world and to humans. Honeybees are a major pollinator of crops – one third of all the food that we eat is pollinated by honeybees.
Beekeeping is an absorbing hobby and there is so much to learn about this industrious little insect. The world of the honeybee is both fascinating and awe-inspiring!
More information about honeybees and beekeeping will soon be available under FAQs.