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Bee Space

The “Bee-Space” is the gap which bees will leave clear as a passageway between the frames and the hive walls, and it is most important because without it we could not remove and replace frames as we do. The bee-space is 1/4 -3/8 in (6-9mm); a smaller gap would be filled by the bees with propolis (bee-glue) and they would build extra comb in a larger one. Basic Hive components allow variation in the dimensions of different hives and in the provision of top or bottom bee-space. A bee-space must also exist between brood boxes and supers; otherwise they would be difficult to separate. Traditionally the British elected to have bottom bee-space, so that the tops of the frames were flush with the top edges of the box but the bottom bars were in (9mm) short of the lower edges.

1st Year BeeKeeping

When there is less than a full box of frames the bees are reluctant to work on the exposed face of the last frame, but they will more readily do so if it is flanked with a dummy board. Later, when the box is full and the combs are all drawn except the outer ones, the position of these may be exchanged with the frames next to them. Moving the foundation away from the outer wall in this way will encourage the bees to draw it out more quickly. Sugar syrup (1 kg sugar to 1ltr water) in a rapid feeder, that can be easily replenished, should always be available so long as comb building in the brood box is in progress.

Examination at 7 to 10 day intervals will show progress made by the colony and the need for more comb space or stores. When the bees are beginning to work the last comb in the brood box the colony is ready for a super for the storage of honey or to provide clustering space for the increasing population of bees. To avoid giving the colony too much room at this stage the super should, preferably, be a shallow one. It should contain a full complement of frames fitted with foundation, spaced the same distance apart as those in the brood box. The crownboard is removed and a queen excluder placed on top of the brood box; the super is placed on the queen excluder and the crownboard on the super, followed by the roof.

Feeding can well be continued until the bees have made a good start at drawing out the foundation, but should be discontinued before any syrup is stored in the drawn combs. It is unlikely that a further super will be required in the first year, but if one is needed it should be given on top of the first.

The Honey (England) Regulations 2003

29th August 2003
Laid before Parliament 4th September 2003
Coming into force 25th September 2003
The Secretary of State in exercise of the powers conferred on him by sections 16(1)(e), 17(1), 26(1) and (3) and 48(1) of the Food Safety Act 1990(1) and now vested in him(2) and having had regard in accordance with section 48(4A) of that Act to relevant advice given by the Food Standards Agency and after consultation as required by Article 9 of Regulation (EC) No. 178/2002 of the European Parliament and of the Council laying down the general principles and requirements of food law, establishing the European Food Safety Authority and laying down procedures in matters of food safety(3) and in accordance with section 48(4) and (4B) of the Food Safety Act 1990, makes the following Regulations:

Title, application and commencement

1. These Regulations may be cited as the Honey (England) Regulations 2003, apply to England only and come into force on 25th September 2003.


  2.—(1) In these Regulations— “the Act” means the Food Safety Act 1990; “the Agency” means the Food Standards Agency; “brood” means any immature stage of the honeybee including the egg, larva and pupa and any honeybee which has not emerged from its cell in a honeycomb; “catering establishment” means a restaurant, canteen, club, public house, school, hospital or similar establishment (including a vehicle or a fixed or mobile stall) where, in the course of a business, food is prepared for delivery to the ultimate consumer and is ready for consumption without further preparation; “Directive 2001/110” means Council Directive 2001/110/EC relating to honey(4); “EEA Agreement” means the Agreement on the European Economic Area(5) signed at Oporto on 2nd May 1992 as adjusted by the Protocol(6) signed at Brussels on 17th March 1993; “EEA State” means a State which is a Contracting Party to the EEA Agreement; “food authority” does not include—
the council of a district in a non-metropolitan county in England except where the county functions have been transferred to that council pursuant to a structural change; or
the appropriate Treasurer referred to in section 5(1)(c) of the Act (which deals with the Inner Temple and the Middle Temple);
“honey” means the natural sweet substance produced by Apis mellifera bees from the nectar of plants or from secretions of living parts of plants or excretions of plant-sucking insects on the living parts of plants which the bees collect, transform by combining with specific substances of their own, deposit, dehydrate, store and leave in honeycombs to ripen and mature; “ingredient” has the meaning assigned to it by the 1996 Regulations; “labelling” has the meaning assigned to it by the 1996 Regulations; “preparation” includes manufacture and any form of processing or treatment; and “the 1996 Regulations” means the Food Labelling Regulations 1996(7); “reserved description”, as regards any specified honey product means any description specified in relation to that product in column 1 of Schedule 1 (as read with the Notes relating to that Schedule); “sell” includes offer or expose for sale and includes have in possession for sale, and “sale” shall be construed accordingly; “specified honey product”, subject to paragraph (2) means any food specified in column 2 of Schedule 1; “ultimate consumer” means any person who buys food otherwise than—
for the purpose of resale,
for the purposes of a catering establishment, or
for the purposes of a manufacturing business.
  (2) Notwithstanding the fact that a food is specified in Column 2 of Schedule 1, it will only be treated as a specified honey product for the purpose of these Regulations—   (i)if it meets the relevant specifications contained in Schedule 2 as read with the notes relating to that Schedule, and   (ii)there has not been added to it any other ingredient and it is as far as possible free from organic or inorganic matters foreign to its composition.   (3) Any other expression used in both these Regulations and in Directive 2001/110 has the same meaning in these Regulations as in that Directive.

Reserved descriptions

3. No person shall sell to the ultimate consumer or to a catering establishment any food with a label, whether or not attached to or printed on the wrapper or container, which bears, comprises or includes any reserved description or any derivative thereof or any word or description substantially similar thereto unless—   (a)such food is the specified honey product to which the reserved description relates;   (b)such description, derivative or word is used in such a context as to indicate explicitly or by clear implication that the substance to which it relates is only an ingredient of that food;   (c)such description, derivative or word is used in such a context as to indicate explicitly or by clear implication that such food is not and does not contain a specified honey product.

Labelling and description of specified honey products

  4.—(1) Without prejudice to the generality of Part II of the 1996 Regulations, no person shall sell to the ultimate consumer or to a catering establishment any specified honey product unless it is marked or labelled with the following particulars —   (a)a reserved description of the product;   (b)in the case of baker’s honey the words “intended for cooking only” which words shall appear on the label in close proximity to the product name;   (c)the country or countries of origin where the honey has been harvested save that if the honey originates in more than one Member State or third country the country of origin may be replaced with one of the following as appropriate—   (i)“blend of EC honeys”,   (ii)“blend of non-EC honeys”,   (iii)“blend of EC and non-EC honeys”;   (2) No person shall sell to the ultimate consumer or to a catering establishment any filtered honey or baker’s honey which is marked or labelled with information relating to floral or vegetable origin, regional, territorial or topographical origin or specific quality criteria.   (3) Where pursuant to note 2 of Schedule 1, the reserved description “honey” has been used in the product name of a compound foodstuff containing baker’s honey, no person shall sell such a compound foodstuff unless the list of ingredients includes the term “baker’s honey”.

Sale of filtered honey or baker’s honey in bulk containers or packs

  5.—(1) No person shall sell any filtered honey or baker’s honey in bulk containers or packs unless such bulk containers and packs are labelled with their respective reserved description of the product and any trade documents clearly indicate the reserved description of the product.   (2) For the purpose of this paragraph trade documents includes all the documents relating to the sale, transportation, storage or delivery of the product.

Manner of marking or labelling

6. Regulations 35, 36(1) and (5) and 38 of the 1996 Regulations (which relate to the manner of marking or labelling of food) shall apply to the particulars with which a specified honey product is required to be marked or labelled by regulations 4(1)(a) to (c) and (3) of these Regulations as if they were particulars with which a food is required to be marked or labelled by the 1996 Regulations.

Penalties and enforcement

  7.—(1) Any person who contravenes regulations 3, 4 or 5 of these Regulations shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding level 5 on the standard scale.   (2) Each food authority shall enforce and execute these Regulations in its area.

Defence in relation to exports

8. In any proceedings for an offence under these Regulations it shall be a defence for the person charged to prove—   (a)that the food in respect of which the offence is alleged to have been committed was intended for export to a country which has legislation analogous to these Regulations and that the food complies with that legislation; and   (b)in the case of export to an EEA State, that the legislation complies with the provisions of Directive 2001/110/EC.

Application of various provisions of the Act

9. The following provisions of the Act shall apply for the purposes of these Regulations with the modification that any reference in those provisions to the Act or any Part thereof shall be construed as a reference to these Regulations—   (a)section 2 (extended meaning of sale etc.);   (b)section 3 (presumptions that food is intended for human consumption);   (c)section 20 (offences due to fault of another person);   (d)section 21 (defence of due diligence), as it applies for the purposes of section 8, 14 or 15;   (e)section 22 (defence of publication in the course of a business);   (f)section 30(8) (which relates to documentary evidence);   (g)section 33(1) (obstruction etc. of officers);   (h)section 33(2), with the modification that the reference to “any such requirement as is mentioned in subsection (1)(b) above” shall be deemed to be a reference to any such requirement as is mentioned in section 33(1)(b) as applied by sub-paragraph (g);   (i)section 35(1) (punishment of offences), insofar as it relates to offences under section 33(1) as applied by sub-paragraph (g);   (j)section 35(2) and (3) insofar as it relates to offences under section 33(2) as applied by sub-paragraph (h);   (k)section 36 (offences by bodies corporate);   (l)section 44 (protection of officers acting in good faith).

Amendment and revocations

  10.—(1) The Honey Regulations 1976(8), in so far as they apply to England, are revoked.   (2) The following entries relating to the Honey Regulations 1976 shall (insofar as the following Regulations apply to England), be omitted —   (a)in the Food (Revision of Penalties) Regulations 1982(9), in Schedule 1;   (b)in the Food (Revision of Penalties) Regulations 1985(10), in Part I to Schedule1;   (c)in the Food Safety Act 1990 (Consequential Modifications) (England and Wales) Order 1990(11), in Part 1 to Schedule 1, Part I to Schedule 2, Part 1 to Schedule 3 and Schedules 6 and 12;   (d)in the Food Safety (Exports) Regulations 1991(12), in Part 1 to Schedule 1;   (e)in the Food (Forces Exemptions) (Revocations) Regulations 1992(13), in Part 1 to Schedule 1;   (f)in the Miscellaneous Food Additives Regulations 1995(14), in Schedule 9;   (g)in the Food Labelling Regulations 1996(15), in Schedule 9.   (3) In the Miscellaneous Food Additives Regulations 1995, in so far as they apply to England, there shall be substituted for the reference to Directive 74/409/EEC in Schedule 6, a reference to Directive 2001/110/EC.   (4) In the 1996 Regulations, in so far as they apply to England, Regulation 4(2)(c) is revoked.

Transitional provisions

11. In any proceedings for an offence under these Regulations it shall be a defence for the person charged to prove that—   (a)the food concerned was marked or labelled before 1st August 2004; and   (b)the matters constituting the alleged offence would not have constituted an offence under the Honey Regulations 1976 as they stood immediately before the coming into force of these Regulations.
Signed by authority of the Secretary of State for Health
Melanie Johnson Parliamentary Under Secretary of State, Department of Health 29th August 2003
Regulation 2(1)


Column 1 Column 2
Reserved descriptions Specified honey product
  • Note 1: The description “honey” may be used for specified honey products specified in column 2 of items 1a, 1b, 2, 5 and 6 of Schedule 1.
  • Note 2: Where the specified honey product specified in column 2 of item 9 is used as an ingredient in a compound foodstuff, the reserved description “honey” may be used in the product name of that compound foodstuff.
  • Note 3: Except in the case of products specified in column 2 of items 7 and 8 a specified honey product may additionally be described by—
    its floral or vegetable origin, if the product comes wholly or mainly from the indicated source and possesses the organoleptic, physio-chemical and microscopic characteristics of the source;
    its regional, territorial or topographical origin, if the product comes entirely from the indicated source; and
    its specific quality criteria.
1a. blossom honey or}1b. nectar honey} honey obtained from the nectar of plants
2. honeydew honey honey obtained mainly from excretions of plant sucking insects (Hemiptera) on the living part of plants or secretions of living parts of plants
3. comb honey honey stored by bees in the cells of freshly built broodless combs or thin comb foundation sheets made solely of beeswax and sold in sealed whole combs or sections of such combs
4a. chunk honey or}4b. cut comb in honey} honey which contains one or more pieces of comb honey
5. drained honey honey obtained by draining de-capped broodless combs
6. extracted honey honey obtained by centrifuging de-capped broodless combs
7. pressed honey honey obtained by pressing broodless combs with or without the application of moderate heat not exceeding 45°C
8. filtered honey honey obtained by removing foreign inorganic or organic matters in such a way as to result in the significant removal of pollen
9. baker’s honey honey which is—
suitable for industrial uses or as an ingredient in other foodstuffs which are then processed; and
have a foreign taste or odour,
have begun to ferment or have fermented, or
have been overheated
Regulation 2(2)


  • Note 1: When placed on the market as honey or used in any product intended for human consumption, honey must not:
    except in the case of baker’s honey, have any foreign tastes or odours, have begun to ferment or have fermented, or have been heated in such a way that the natural enzymes have been either destroyed or significantly inactivated.
    have an artificially changed acidity.
  • Note 2: No pollen or constituent particular to honey may be removed except where this is unavoidable in the removal of foreign inorganic or organic matter.
1. Sugar content
1.1. Fructose and glucose content (sum of both)
  • –blossom honey
  • –honeydew honey, blends of honeydew honey with blossom honey
not less than 60 g/100 gnot less than 45 g/100 g
1.2. Sucrose content
  • –in general
  • –false acacia (Robinia pseudoacacia), alfalfa (Medicago sativa), Menzies Banksia (Banksia menziesii), French honeysuckle (Hedysarum), red gum (Eucalyptus camaldulensis), leatherwood (Eucryphia lucida, Eucryphia milliganii), Citrus spp.
  • –lavender (Lavandula spp.), borage (Borago officinalis)
not more than 5 g/100 gnot more than 10 g/100 gnot more than 15 g/100 g
2. Moisture content
  • –in general
  • –heather (Calluna) and baker’s honey in general
  • –baker’s honey from heather (Calluna)
not more than 20%not more than 23%not more than 25%
3. Water-insoluble content
  • –in general
  • –pressed honey
not more than 0.1 g/100 gnot more than 0.5 g/100 g
4. Electrical conductivity
  • –honey not listed below and blends of these honeys
  • –honeydew and chestnut honey and blends of these except with those listed below
  • –exceptions: strawberry tree (Arbutus unedo), bell heather (Erica), eucalyptus, lime (Tilia spp.), ling heather (Calluna vulgaris), manuka or jelly bush (Leptospermum), tea tree (Melaleuca spp.)
not more than 0.8 mS/cmnot less than 0.8 mS/cm
5. Free acid
  • –in general
  • –baker’s honey
not more than 50 milli-equivalents acid per 1000 grammesnot more than 80 milli-equivalents acid per 1000 grammes
6. Diastase activity and hydroxymethylfurfural (HMF) content determined after processing and blending
Diastase activity (Schade scale)
  • – in general, except baker’s honey
  • – honeys with low natural enzyme content (e.g. citrus honeys) and an HMF content of not more than 15 mg/kg
  • –in general, except baker’s honey
  • –honeys of declared origin from regions with tropical climate and blends of these honeys
not less than 8not less than 3not more than 40 mg/kg (subject to the provisions of (a), second indent)not more than 80 mg/kg

Explanatory Note

(This note is not part of the Regulations) These Regulations, which apply to England, implement Council Directive 2001/110/EC concerning honey (OJ No. L10, 12.1.2002, p.48). They revoke and replace the Honey Regulations 1976, as amended, in relation to England. The Regulations—   (a)prescribe definitions and reserved descriptions for certain specified honey products (regulation 2 and Schedules 1 and 2);   (b)restrict the use of reserved descriptions to the specified honey products to which they relate (regulation 3);   (c)prescribe labelling requirements for such products (regulations 4, 5 and 6);   (d)specify a penalty, enforcement authorities and, in accordance with Articles 2 and 3 of Council Directive 89/397/EEC on the official control of foodstuffs (OJ No. L186, 30.6.89, p.23), a defence in relation to exports (regulations 7 and 8);   (e)apply various provisions of the Food Safety Act 1990 (regulation 9);   (f)revoke the previous Regulations and make consequential amendments and transitional provisions (regulations 10 and 11). A Regulatory Impact Assessment has been prepared and placed in the Library of each House of Parliament, together with a Transposition Note setting out how the main elements of the European legislation referred to above are transposed in these Regulations. Copies may be obtained from the Food Labelling and Standards Division of the Food Standards Agency, Aviation House, 125 Kingsway, London WC2B 6NH.
1990 c. 16.
Functions formerly exercisable by “the Ministers” (being, in relation to England and Wales and acting jointly, the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food and the Secretaries of State respectively concerned with health in England and food and health in Wales and, in relation to Scotland, the Secretary of State) are now exercisable in relation to England by the Secretary of State pursuant to paragraph 8 of Schedule 5 to the Food Standards Act 1999 (1999 c. 28), and paragraphs 12 and 21 of that Schedule amend respectively sections 17 and 48 of the Food Safety 1990 Act. Functions of “the Ministers” so far as exercisable in relation to Wales were transferred to the National Assembly for Wales by the National Assembly for Wales (Transfer of Functions) Order 1999 (S.I. 1999/672), as read with section 40(3) of the 1999 Act, and those functions so far as exercisable in relation to Scotland were transferred to the Scottish Ministers by section 53 of the Scotland Act 1998 (1998 c. 46), as read with section 40(2) of the 1999 Act. Regulation 13(4) of the Food Standards Act 1999 (Transitional and Consequential Provisions and Savings) (England and Wales) Regulations 2000 (S.I. 2000/656) expressly authorises the Secretary of State to amend or revoke existing Regulations made or having effect as if made by the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (whether with others or not) under the Food Safety Act 1990.
OJ No. L31, 1.2.2002, p.1.
OJ No. L10, 12.1.2002, p.47, as adopted by EEA Joint Committee Decision 99/2002.
OJ No. L1, 3.1.94, p.1.
OJ No. L1, 3.1.94, p.571.
S.I. 1996/1499; the relevant amending instrument is S.I. 1998/1398.
S.I. 1976/1832 as amended by S.I. 1990/2486, S.I. 1991/1476, S.I. 1992/2596 and SI.

The Beehaus

The Beehaus is the most modern beehive having been launched in 2009. It is based on similar principles to a Dartington. The top-bar or Kenya-hives were developed as a lower-cost alternative to the standard Langstroth hives and equipment. They are used by some devotees in the United States, but are much more popular, due to their simplicity and low cost, in developing countries. Top-bar hives also have movable frames and make use of the concept of bee space.


From November to February the bees will not normally require any attention beyond an occasional brief visit to the apiary to see if the hives have been disturbed in any way and to check that the entrances have not become blocked by dead bees falling from the cluster on to the floorboards behind the mouse guards. Once the bees have clustered tightly for the winter they will remain quiet, apart from making cleansing fights on suitably mild, sunny days, until they start to collect the first loads of fresh pollen and nectar from the early spring flowers. Feeders should be removed from the hives. Hive roofs should be inspected to make sure that they are proof against rain and mice and that the ventilation holes are not blocked. The ventilation of the hive should not be impeded by placing packing materials, which are quite unnecessary, inside the roof space above the crownboard or quilt. Water vapour is produced by the bees from the food they consume to provide the energy and cluster heat necessary for their survival. For good wintering adequate ventilation, rather than insulation against the cold, is needed to prevent condensation of this water vapour within the hive. A sound, dry hive and an ample supply of food in the combs are in themselves a sufficient protection against external temperature variations during the winter. Additional precautions against disturbance during the winter may be required for bees kept in out-apiaries. For example, fences to keep out farm animals should be strengthened when necessary. In some places woodpeckers frequently damage hives, which can be protected by draping fruit / fish-netting over them, or by placing a wire- netting barrier round each hive with the upper part bent over the roof to prevent the birds getting in from above



LIFE CYCLE OF THE HONEY BEE. The Honey bee exists as an egg for the first three days of its life. About the third day the egg hatches to form small larvae. The larvae will exist until the 7th to 8th day. The worker bees then start to feed the larvae and the larvae continues to eat getting larger every day. The larvae become large and robust and are pearly white colour, covering the bottom of the cell. The adult bees then begin to cap the cell. The VARROA MITE must enter the cell before the cell is capped. If a varroa mite has not entered the cell before it is capped it will look for another open cell. Once the cell is capped the larvae will continue its development within the first 24hours from larvae to pre pupae. During this transformation the honey bee larvae spin a cocoon sheds its larvae skin and becomes a pre-pupa. Day 12, during the next 24 hours the pupae will enter the white eyed pupae stage, about day 13 the pupae enters the pink eyed stage and 14th day the purple eyed pupae stage. The pigmentation of the pupae cuticle then changes as it gradually tans around the mouth and antennae sockets. Day 16 the pupae are of a tanned colour with movement beginning to happen in the legs. Day 18 the pupae have turned to a black headed bee stage, and finally about 20 days the honey bee chews of the capping to vacate the cell. It is at this stage if there is Varroa mite in the cell that they will also escape with and on the honey bee. LIFE CYCLE OF THE VARROA MITE. The varroa mite will enter the brood cell 15-20 hours before the cell is capped. The mite will crawl down between the larvae and the cell wall and embed itself in the brood food. The varroa mite will turn itself upside down and breathe through a tube while it is in the food. As soon as the larvae has eaten all of the brood food, it frees the mite allowing the varroa mite to take its first blood feed from the pre-pupae bee. Usually this takes place around the tenth day of the honey bees development and it is about this time that the varroa mite lays its first egg. The first egg laid by the varroa mite is male, and she continues to lay at 30 hour intervals the remaining eggs being female. Varroa mite defecates frequently in the cells the faeces having a whitish appearance. The first male varroa egg will hatch about day 12. After 48 hours, these become eight-legged protonymphs which, after feeding on the bee larva, moult into a deutonymph. Three days later, the last moult to an adult occurs. Approximately twenty-four hours later the mites mate inside the capped honey bee brood cell. The males die after copulation in the brood cell and the female mites emerge to begin the cycle again. When the adult bee chews the cap off to emerge the adult mother mite and any of her mature daughters leave the cell. Fortunately, the survival rate of the progeny is just over one per cell, the rest dying within the cell. As the female mite lays her eggs at 30 hour intervals it is thought that the mite prefers the longer developmental cycle of the drone of 24 days over the worker of 21 days.

Worker (Female Bee)

She is the other Female , but the smallest bee in the colony – only about half the size of the drone or the Queen. The worker Bee is produced from a fertilised egg – unlike her brother the drone who is produced from an unfertilised egg. The honeyBee egg will hatch in about three days and emerge as a small white larva. At this stage one of the worker Bees who is acting as a nurse will fill the cell in which the larva is resting with a substance called Bee milk. On the eighth day the cell will be capped with wax. The worker Bee will emerge from her cell 21 days later. She is then ready to her duties in the hive. In the summer time a worker Bee will live for just over a month – about 36 days. During the winter she will live for about 6 months. When the worker Bee emerges from her cell she still has a little more maturing to do – during these few days she will be doing cleaning duties around the hive. After a few days she will take her first flight around the hive. There are various roles within the colony that the worker Bee will perform – usually they will all progress from one role to the next but are able to perform any job at any time. The roles include nursing & cleaning, as mentioned earlier, also wax production, honey processing and guard duties. These roles are all ‘in-door’ duties and after about 20 days she will become a forager. When the worker Bee is in this stage of her life her role is to find and collect pollen, nectar, water and propolis. These substances are required by the hive to live. The pollen is used by the Bees as a source of protein and vitamins. It is collected from flowers and carried back to the hive on the Bees hind legs. Nectar is stored in the honey comb, transported back to the hive is a specially designed honey stomach. Nectar, gathered from flowers is primarily sugar and water. Polpolis is a sticky substance gathered from plant buds, again carried to the hive on the Bees legs and is used for maintaining the hive. A small number of the foragers will become what are known as scouts. The scouts explore the area around the hive for the best flowers from which to gather nectar. When they find a particular flower with a high sugar content they will return to the hive and ‘dance’ for the other Bees. The dance is a way of communicating to the other Bees the best forage available and the direction to go in order to find it. A worker Bee has a life span of about 36 days. When a colony is at full strength in the peak summer months there may be as many as 50 – 60 thousand adult Bees and approaching 40 thousand Bees developing in the brood frames. A Worker bee is any female eusocial bee that lacks the full reproductive capacity of the colony’s queen bee; under most circumstances, this is correlated to an increase in certain non-reproductive activities relative to a queen, as well. Worker bees occur in many bee species other than honey bees, but this is by far the most familiar colloquial use of the term. Honey bee workers keep the hive temperature uniform in the critical brood area (where new bees are raised). Workers gather pollen into the pollen baskets on their back legs, to carry back to the hive where it is used as food for the developing brood. Pollen carried on their bodies may be carried to another flower where a small portion can rub off onto the pistil, resulting in cross pollination. Almost all of civilization’s food supply (maize is a noteworthy exception) depends greatly on crop pollination by honey bees, whether directly eaten or used as forage crops for animals that produce milk and meat. Nectar is sucked up through the proboscis, mixed with enzymes in the stomach, and carried back to the hive, where it is stored in wax cells and evaporated into honey. Workers must maintain the hive’s brood chamber at 34.4 degrees C to incubate the eggs. If it is too hot, they collect water and deposit it around the hive, then fan air through with their wings causing cooling by evaporation. If it is too cold, they cluster together to generate body heat. The life of all honey bees starts as an egg, which is laid by the queen in the bottom of a wax cell in the brood area of a hive. A worker egg hatches after three days into a larva. Nurse bees feed it royal jelly at first, then pollen and honey for six days. It then becomes an inactive pupa. Honeycombs have hexagonal cells on both sides of a vertical central wall. As shown in the photo, these cells are inclined upward, primarily to retain liquid nectar and honey. During its 14 days as a pupa, sealed in a capped cell, it grows into a worker (female) bee, emerging on the 20th day. In most species of honey bees, workers do everything but lay eggs and mate, though Cape honey bee workers can lay eggs. They build the comb from wax extruded from glands under their abdomen. They clean, defend, and repair the hive. They feed the larva, the queen, and the drones. They gather nectar, pollen, water, and propolis. They ventilate, cool and heat the hive. When a colony absconds (all bees leave the colony) or divides and so creates a swarm and then establishes a new colony, the bees must regress in their behavior in order to establish the first generation in the new home. The most urgent task will be the creation of new beeswax for comb. Beekeepers take advantage of this by introducing swarms into new or existing colonies where they will draw comb. Comb is much more difficult to come by than honey and requires about six times the energy to create. A newly hived swarm on bar bars (top bar hive) or empty foundation (Langstroth box hive) will often be fed sugar water, which they can then rapidly consume to create wax for new comb (Mature hives cannot be so fed as they will store it in place of nectar, although a wintering hive may have to be fed if insufficient honey was left by the beekeeper.)

Warre Hive Description

The Warré hive was invented by Abbé Émil Warré, and is also called “ruche populaire” or “The People’s Hive” . The Warré hive is a modular and storied design similar to a Langstroth hive. The hive body is made of boxes stacked vertically, however it uses Top Bars for comb support instead of full frames. Popularity of this hive is growing among sustainable practice beekeepers. The Warre hive differs from other stacked hive systems in one fundamental aspect: when the bees need more space as the colony expands, the new box is “nadired”. i.e. positioned underneath the existing box(es). This serves the purpose of warmth retention within the brood nest of the hive, considered vital to colony health.

Worker Bee Rolls

Cell Cleaning (Day 1-2)Brood cells must be cleaned before the next use – cells will be inspected by the queen and if unsatisfactory will not be used. Worker bees in the cleaning phase will perform this cleaning. If the cells are not clean, the worker bee must do it again.Nurse bee (Day 3-11) Nurse bees feed the worker larvae worker jelly which is secreted from glands that produce royal jelly. Advanced Nurse Bees (Day 6-11) Feed royal jelly to the queen larva and drones receive worker jelly for 1 to 3 days at which time they are started on a diet of honey and pollen. Wax production (Day 12-17) Wax Bees – build cells from wax, repair old cells, and store nectar and pollen brought in by other workers. Early in the worker’s career she will exude wax from the space between several of her abdominal segments. Four sets of wax glands, situated inside the last four ventral segments of the abdomen, produce wax for comb construction. Worker activities d Honey sealing (Day18 – 22 ) Mature honey, sufficiently dried, is sealed tightly with wax to prevent absorption of moisture from the air by workers deputized to do same. Drone feeding Drones do not feed themselves; they are fed by workers. Queen attendants The attendants groom and feed the queen. They also collect QMP (Queen Mandibular Pheromone) from the queen and share it with the bees around them who also share it spreading its effects through the hive. Honeycomb building Workers will take wax from wax producing workers and build the comb with it. Pollen packing Pollen brought into the hive for feeding the brood is also stored. It must be packed firmly into comb cells and mixed with a small amount of honey so that it will not spoil. Unlike honey, which does not support bacterial life, stored pollen will become rancid without proper care. It has to be kept in honey cells. Propolizing The walls of the hive are covered with a thin coating of propolis, a resinous substance obtained from plants. In combination with enzymes added by the worker this has antibacterial and antifungal properties. Propolis is used to aide with ventilation and at the entrances of hives. Mortuary bees Dead bees and failed larvae must be removed from the hive to prevent disease and allow cells to be reused. They will be carried some distance from the hive by mortuary bees. Guard Bees (Days 18 – 21) protect the entrance of the hive from enemies Soldiers hang around near the entrance and attack invaders. They work in concert with entrance guards. Entrance guard bees inspect incoming bees to ensure that they are bringing in food and have the correct hive odor. Other bees will be rejected or attacked with soldier bees. Outside guard bees may take short flights around the outside of the hive in response to disturbances. Fanning bees Worker bees fan the hive, cooling it with evaporated water brought by water carriers. They direct airflow into the hive or out of the hive depending on need. Water carriers When the hive is in danger of overheating, these bees will obtain water, usually from within a short distance from the hive and bring it back to spread on the backs of fanning bees. The worker bee has a crop separate from the nectar crop for this purpose. Foraging bees (Days 22 – 42) The forager and scout bees travel (up to 1.5 miles) to a nectar source, pollen source or to collect propolis.

Top Bar Hive Description

The top-bar hive is so named because the frames of the hive have only a top bar, not sides or a bottom bar.

The beekeeper does not provide a foundation (or provides only a fractional foundation) for the bees to build from.

The bees build the comb so it hangs down from the top bar

This syle of hive is also known as the Kenyan Hive

The hive body is often shaped as an inverted trapezoid in order to reduce the tendency of bees to attach the comb to the hive-body walls.

Unlike the Langstroth design, a top-bar hive is generally expanded horizontally, not vertically.

The top-bar design is a single, much longer box, with all the frames hanging in parallel. Unlike the Langstroth hive, the honey cannot be extracted by centrifuging because a top-bar frame does not have reinforced foundation or a full frame.

Because the bees have to rebuild the comb after each harvest, a top-bar hive yields more beeswax but less honey.

However, like the Langstroth hive, the bees can be induced to store the honey separately from the areas where they are raising the brood.

Therefore, bees are less likely to be killed when harvesting from a top-bar hive than when harvesting from a skep or other traditional hive design.