Honey bees beekeeping is not that difficult when you know the different types of bees and the different behaviors of each. It is also helpful to know bee anatomy so that their specific functions are better understood. These basics, or ABC's, of beekeeping are what make it easy for beginners to start a business or pursue it as a hobby. When understanding the basics it is possible to find healthy and productive bees that will produce quality honey in large amounts.
Beekeeping is interesting to say the least and it is definitely rewarding to see your efforts produce lots of honey. It is also beneficial to the plants and crops that are nearby since many survive by being pollinated by the bees. This pollination is how bees collect the nectar that is used in making honey. Bees fly from plant to plant gathering nectar to store in the hive that is used for food supplies, but they collect more than they can consume and this abundance is what we extract as honey.
When a worker bee collects nectar from a plant they store it in their stomach and return to the hive. During return flight, the enzymes inside a bee's stomach convert the nectar to honey. Once inside the hive the bee exudes the fresh honey and inserts it into the combs within the hive. Bees then are able to somewhat dehydrate the honey by flapping their wings, which thickens it, then it is covered with wax and they move on to the next opening in the comb.
Summer is the time that flowers bloom so this is the most active time for the bees and the most profitable for beekeepers. Honey is sold in its liquid form or in jars that have pieces of the comb inserted along with the honey. Many people prefer the natural flavor of the honey with the comb as opposed to those who use it in cooking and like the pure liquid form instead.
Harvesting and selling can be quick and painless if the right equipment is used and there are enough jars available to hold the bounty. To get the best product to sell there must not be any contaminants in the honey, meaning no bee parts or wax pieces from the comb (unless it is for the jars that will be sold with the comb). And to make sure your customers have a variety, have different size jars of honey available as well as the types with and without the comb.
One thing that newbie's may not know is there are different types of honey flavors. When you think of all the different types of flowers, each with a different scent, each producing different nectar, the flavors will very greatly. For example, honey that is fairly clear could come from alfalfa nectar while dark honeys may come from buckwheat. And then there are the different flower honeys such as clover; all have different scents as well.
Honey bees are definitely fascinating and beekeeping is a rewarding hobby or business that can be very profitable. Beekeepers need to adhere to their local guidelines and simple marketing techniques to reap the benefits of overseeing their hives.