Culture Practice # 1.

Genetic Manipulation of Bees:

All the sub-species of Apis mellifera are capable of inter-breeding and hybridizing. Many bee breed­ing companies strive for selective breed and hybri­dised varieties to produce desirable qualities: disease and parasite resistance, good honey production, swarming behaviour reduction, prolific breeding, and mild disposition.

Some of these hybrids are marketed under specific brand names, such as the Buckfast Bee or Midnite Bee. The advantages of the initial F1 hybrids produced by these crosses include hybrid vigour, increased honey productivity, and greater disease resistance. The disadvantage is that in subse­quent generations these advantages may fade away and hybrids tend to be very defensive and aggressive.

Culture Practice # 2.

Indigenous Methods of Bee-keeping:

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Many villagers make wall or fixed types of hives in rectangular spaces in the walls with a small hole or movable types of hives in wooden boxes or earthen pitchers. The traditional bee-keepers catch clustered swarms from trees, bushes, etc. and transfer them to the above mentioned spaces.

After sometime when the honey is ready, the bees are driven away from the comb usually by smoking the hive. Then the comb is cut away and the honey is squeezed out through a piece of large meshed cloth.

Culture Practice # 3.

Modern Hives – Langstroth Box:

In modern bee-keeping, the combs are built on wooden frames that are moveable. This facilitates inspection and management of bee colonies. Three types of moveable frame hive are in common use: the Newton type along with its standardized version ISI Type A, the Jeolikote Villager and its counterpart ISI Type B, and the Langstroth type (Fig. 2.8).

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The beehive is made up of a series of square or oblong boxes without tops or bottoms, set one above the other.

This hive has the floor at the bottom with a crown board at the top and a roof over all. Inside these boxes, wooden frames are vertically hung, parallel to each other. The wooden frames are filled with sheets of wax foundation on which the combs are built by the bees.

The only entrance to the hive is below the large bottom box (brood chamber). The queen is usually confined to the brood chamber. The boxes termed supers are used for storage of honey. The queen is prevented from going to the supers by the queen-excluder that allows only the workers to move.

Modern Hive - Langstroth Box