12 Facts About Beekeeping


Beekeeping is the maintenance of bee colonies, commonly in man-made hives, by humans.

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Beekeeping was considered a highly valued industry controlled by beekeeping overseers—owners of gold rings depicting apiculture scenes rather than religious ones as they have been reinterpreted recently, contra Sir Arthur Evans.

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Beekeeping was documented by the Roman writers Virgil, Gaius Julius Hyginus, Varro, and Columella.

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Beekeeping observed queens laying eggs in open cells, but still had no idea of how a queen was fertilized; nobody had ever witnessed the mating of a queen and drone and many theories held that queens were "self-fertile, " while others believed that a vapor or "miasma" emanating from the drones fertilized queens without direct physical contact.

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Beekeeping was the first to confirm that mating with drones takes place outside of hives and that queens are inseminated by a number of successive matings with male drones, high in the air at a great distance from their hive.

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Arthur Evans Virgil History

Beekeeping described using such hives in a multi-storey configuration, foreshadowing the modern use of supers: he added successive straw hives below, and eventually removing the ones above when free of brood and filled with honey, so that the bees could be separately preserved at the harvest for a following season.

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Beekeeping has seen improvements in the design and production of beehives, systems of management and husbandry, stock improvement by selective breeding, honey extraction and marketing, in the 19th century.

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Beekeeping's work was published as New Observations on the Natural History of Bees.

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Beekeeping greatly improved upon beekeeping equipment and clothing and went on to manufacture these items as well as other equipment.

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Beekeeping can choose whether or not to fertilize an egg as she lays it; if she does so, it develops into a female worker bee; if she lays an unfertilized egg it becomes a male drone.

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Beekeeping decides which type of egg to lay depending on the size of the open brood cell she encounters on the comb.

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Beekeeping leaves accompanied by a large number of bees, predominantly young bees, who form the basis of the new hive.

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