Apiculture is the scientific method of rearing honeybees. The word ‘apiculture’ comes from the Latin word ‘apis’ meaning bee. Beekeeping is the care and management of honey bees for the production of honey and wax. In this method, bees are bred commercially in apiaries, an area where a lot of beehives can be placed. Usually, apiaries are set up in areas where there are sufficient bee pastures such as areas that have flowering plants.
Common Varieties of Bees
The beekeepers mostly take care of only those bee species whose names start with “Apis”- as they are the only species that produce honey. Common species of honey bees that are reared are as follows:
- Apis Dorsata: It is also referred to as the rock bee. It is a giant bee and produces about 38 to 40 kg of honey per colony.
- Apis Indica: It is also referred to as the Indian bee. It can be easily domesticated and is most commonly used for honey production. The annual yield of honey is 2 to 5 kg per colony.
- Apis Florea: It is also referred to as the little bee. It rarely stings and thus honey extraction from its hive is easy. It produces about 1 kg of honey per colony per year.
- Apis Mellifera:It is also referred to as the Italian bee. This species has a very typical dance routine to indicate food availability, and like the little bee, stings less. As the common name suggests, this species is not local. However, because of the high amount of honey produced, it is often reared by beekeepers.
Importance of Apiculture
Apiculture is important for the following reasons:
- Apiculture provides products such as honey and wax that are used commercially.
- Honeybees are responsible for pollination and thus help in increasing the yield of several plants.
- Some recent researches have proven that honeybees venom comprises a mixture of proteins that has the capability of destroying the AIDS virus.
Importance of Beekeeping
- Provides honey, which is the most valuable nutritional food.
- Provides bee wax which is used in many industries, including cosmetics industries, polishing industries, pharmaceutical industries, etc.
- Plays an excellent role in pollination. Honey bees are the best pollinating agents that help in increasing the yield of several crops.
- According to recent studies, the honey bee’s venom contains a mixture of proteins that can potentially be used as a prophylactic to destroy HIV that causes AIDS in humans.