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BEEKEEPING PRELIMINARY SYLLABUS

The course includes studies of beekeeping under the following headings

Equipment

The student will be:

  • able to name the parts of a modern beehive

  • aware of the concept of the bee space and its significance in the modern hive

  • able to assemble a frame and fit it with wax foundation and properly nail the frame

  • aware of the reasons for the use of wax foundation

  • aware of the various spacing of combs in the brood chamber and super for both foundation and drawn comb

Manipulation of a Colony of Honeybees

  • How to approach the hive to open it

  • Where to place hive parts during manipulations

  • How to use the hive tool and smoker

  • How to manipulate frames

  • How to interpret what is on the frame-living and non living

  • Observe hygienic practice going from hive to hive

  • Check for disease in the colony or brood

  • Keep hive notes/records

  • Take care of bee suit /gloves and other clothing to maintain hygiene and safety

  • Hygiene and safety when moving between apiaries

The student will be:

  • aware of the need for care and attention when handling a colony of honeybees

  • aware of the reactions of honeybees to smoke

  • aware of the beekeeper’s equipment needed to open a colony of honeybees

  • able to open a colony of honeybees and keep the colony under control

  • able to demonstrate the use of smoke

  • able to demonstrate the use of the hive tool

  • able to remove combs from the hive and identify

    • worker,

    • drone

    • queen cells or cups if present

    • to comment on the state of the combs

    • check if any disease is evident

  • able to identify

    • members of the three castes,

    • identify brood at all stages

  • able to demonstrate the difference between

    • drone,

    • worker

    • honey cappings

  • able to identify

    • stored nectar,

    • honey and

    • pollen and

    • enough room for development

  • able to decide if the queen has enough

    • room to lay brood and

    • if more super room needed

  • able to decide if the hive temper is acceptable or should some action be taken

  • able to catch/take a sample of

    • worker bees for disease examination

    • brood comb for DAFM



Natural History of the Honeybee

The student will be:

  • able to give an elementary account of production of

    • queens,

    • workers

    • drones in the honeybee colony

  • aware of the existence of

    • laying workers and

    • drone laying queens

  • able to specify the periods spent by each caste in the four stages of its life cycle (egg, larva, pupa, adult)

  • able to read the hive like a book: be able from an examination of eggs, larval age and cappings to estimate when the queen was present

  • able to give an elementary description of the function of the members of each caste if the life of the colony

  • Have an appreciation of wax production by the worker bee and the use of this wax by the bee

  • able to give a simple description of nectar and describe how it is collected and brought back to the hive

  • able to name the main local flora from which honeybees gather pollen and nectar

  • able to give a simple description how nectar is converted into honey

  • aware of the use of nectar and honey in the life of the colony

  • aware of the collection of water and its uses in the colony

  • able to give a simple description of the collection of pollen and its importance in the life of the colony and also its importance in our lives

  • able to describe the origins, collection, and use of propolis in the honeybee colony

  • able to give an elementary description of swarming in a honeybee colony

  • able to give an elementary description of the way in which the honeybee colony passes the winter period

 

Beekeeping

The student will be:

  • able to give an elementary description of the siting of colonies

  • able to give an elementary description of the year’s work in the apiary and the management of a colony throughout a season

  • able to describe how and when to feed bees and the preparation of syrup

  • aware of the need to add supers and the timing of the operations

  • aware of the use of the queen excluder

  • able to give an elementary account of one method of swarm control

  • able to describe how to take a honeybee swarm and how to hive it

  • aware of the condition of queenlessness

  • be able to perform a test for queenlessness, in case the queen has stopped laying

  • able to describe the signs of laying workers and a drone laying queen

  • able to describe how a queenless hive may be re-queened

  • aware of the dangers of robbing and how robbing can be avoided



Disease and Poisoning

The student will:

  • Know briefly how Varroa mites breed in the brood.

  • Be able to indicate on the comb which cells are preferred by the mite for breeding.

  • Be able to state at least one approved treatment in the students own country.

  • Identify signs of AFB and EFB and distinguish between them

  • Be able to indicate which cappings might look suspect.

  • Be able to demonstrate, using a matchstick, how a field test for AFB could be done.

  • Be able to state where a comb sample containing the diseased brood should be sent for testing.

  • Be able to discern, if larvae in the comb have the proper “C” shape, colour and segmentation which healthy larvae exhibit and eliminate suspect EFB signs

  • Be able to state where a comb sample containing the diseased brood should be sent for testing.

  • Check for other identifiable disease symptoms.

  • Be able to describe the appearance of healthy brood and how it differs from diseased brood or chilled brood

  • Be aware and know the appearance of

      • Acarine,

      • Nosema and

      • amoeba

and their effect upon the colony

  • Know how to obtain expert assistance if any disease or poisoning by toxic chemicals is suspected

Harvesting or Removal of honey from the hive

The student will be:

  • able to describe the methods used to clear honeybees from supers

  • able to describe the process of the removal of honey frames from supers

  • able to describe what hygienic conditions which must be observed when extracting honey in one’s home

  • the preparation and labelling if the honey which is intended for sale

  • aware of the value of bees to farmers and growers and of the hiring of colonies for pollination services

  • able to describe a way in which comb can be stored to prevent wax moth damage

  • able to describe a way by which mice can be excluded from the hives in winter