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Consolidated by

NATURAL RESOURCE MANAGEMENT PROGRAM 2


Cordillera Studies Center
University of the Philippines College Baguio

February 2001
First Printing February 2001

© Cordillera Studies Center, 2001

This reference kit may be reproduced, stored in a


retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by
any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying,
recording, or otherwise, as long as the Natural
Resource Management Program (NRMP2) of the
Cordillera Studies Center, University of the
Philippines College Baguio is acknowledged.

Book Design & Layout: Alicia G. Follosco


Typeface: Albertus Extra Bold, Arial, Arial Narrow and Lucida Console
Typeset: Microsoft Word 2000®
PREFACE

The Ancestral Domain and Natural Resource Management in Sagada, Mountain


Province, Northern Philippines is an action research program of the Cordillera
Studies Center, University of the Philippines College Baguio. It uses the
community-based natural resource management (CBNRM) approach to study the
state of biodiversity, resource utilization practices in varied property regimes and
ecosystems, and government and non-government initiatives along similar
objectives within the locality. With funding support from the International
Development Research Centre (IDRC) in Ottawa, Canada, this program, also
referred to as Natural Resource Management Program (NRMP 2), run from March
1997 to February 2000. A year’s extension was granted in order to accomplish
the tasks necessary towards the drafting of management plans for three ancestral
domain management units: the ili of Fidelisan, Central Sagada and Ankileng.

In line with the Program’s objective “to test sustainable and equitable community-
based natural resource management systems,” beekeeping was introduced to the
community. Today, there is a cooperative of beekeepers in Sagada that seeks to
encourage individuals to take up beekeeping.

The NRMP2 is pleased to present this Reference Kit on Beekeeping that


beginners in beekeeping can refer to. It is a compilation of NRMP2
documentation reports of the training activities of beekeeping cooperators from
February to December 1998 and from other reference materials on beekeeping.

This Kit covers the following aspects of beekeeping, including discussions


particular to Cordillera conditions, in four sections, as follows:

Section 1: An Introduction to Beekeeping


Section 2: The Bee Farm
Section 3: Operation and Maintenance of the Bee Farm
Section 4: Pests and Diseases of Honeybees

We hope this Kit will be truly useful, and thus serve its purpose of introducing
beekeeping as an activity that is both economically and ecologically viable.

Apart from the NRMP2 project staff, some of the beekeepers in Sagada provided
valuable assistance by commenting on drafts of the kit.

Ramon G. Bag-eo Alicia G. Follosco


Arlene S. Cid Lorelei C. Mendoza
Marion Loida S. Difuntorum Angeli C. Picazo

i
TABLE OF CONTENTS

Preface . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . i
Glossary of Terms . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . iii
Section1: An Introduction to Beekeeping . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1
Benefits of Beekeeping . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2
Overview of Beekeeping practices in the Cordillera Today . . . . . . . 2
The Castes of Bees in a Colony . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3
Section 2: The Bee Farm . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7
Beekeeping Paraphernalia . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9
Section 3: Operation and Maintenance of the Bee Farm . . . . . . . . . . . 14
Obtaining Initial Bee Stock . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14
Inspecting the Colony . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15
Seasonal Growth of Bee Population. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16
Increasing Colonies . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17
Resource Needs of the Colony. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18
Swarming . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20
Robbing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21
Supersedure. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22
Re-queening and Selection a Queen . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22
Preparations Before the Rainy Season . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26
Activities During the Rainy Season . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26
Before and During the Honey Flow Period . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27
Harvesting of Honey . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29
Section 4: Pests and Diseases of Honey Bees . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31
Mites . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32
Wax Moth . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36
Birds . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37
Wasps, Dragonflies and Other Insects . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37
American Foulbrood . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37
European Foulbrood . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39
Nosema Disease . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40
Sacbrood . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40
Photo Sources
References
List of Project Personnel
Beekeeper’s Logbook

ii
GLOSSARY OF TERMS

APIARY OR BEEFARM The location of a number of bee colonies.

BEE Any insect belonging to the family Apodea. There are over
2,000 species of bees. One important bee characteristic is the
ability to collect pollen.

BEEKEEPING It is the art of caring and culturing honeybees so that they


OR APICULTURE can produce honey above their needs.

BEE SMOKER A hollow can used to build smoke to calm the bees.

BEE VEIL A material to cover the face during hive inspection as


protection from possible bee sting.

BEE SPACE The space where honeybees walk and work, i.e. the space
between two combs or between a comb and the wall of a hive.

BEESWAX Wax produced by honeybees and used to build comb.

BROOD Refers to the eggs, larvae and pupae.

BROODBOX/CHAMBER This is the box where the queen and young bees stay.

BROOD FRAMES Refer to the wax comb where the eggs, larvae and pupae are
found. The brood frames are located at the center of the
colony.

CASTES The three types of bees – workers, drones and a queen – that
make up the adult population of a honeybee colony.

CELL An individual compartment of a honeycomb.

COLONY Refers to a group of honeybees consisting of one queen, a few


drones and thousands of workers.

COMB A frame built up with wax with the egg cell cubicles evenly
formed for the queen to lay eggs.

COMB FOUNDATION Thin sheets of beeswax embossed or stamped with the base
of a normal worker cell on which the bees will construct a
complete comb.

DRONE Refers to the male honeybee. Its body is shorter than the
queen’s but is thicker with a rounded abdominal end and with
longer wings that cover its entire body. Drones do not posses
a stinger.

iii
EXTRACTOR A centrifugal machine in which honey is spun out of cells
within combs.

FRAME A wooden rectangular frame that provides a strong support for


wax foundation. A number of frames hang parallel to one
another inside the frame hive.

FIELD BEES Worker bees that are usually more than 21 days old. As the
term implies, they work in the field by collecting food for the
colony.

FOOD FRAME Refers to the comb/frame where the honey and pollen are
stored. It is usually located at the outermost portion of the
colony.

FOUL BROOD A bacterial disease of the larva of bees. Diseased larvae emit
foul odor.

FUMIGATION Treatment with fumes of a toxic chemical to disinfect or


destroy mites, moths and other pests.

HIVE Refers to the house of the honeybees.

HIVE BOX Refers to the box where honeybees live.

HONEY Nectar or plant sap collected by bees, concentrated by them


and stored in combs.

HONEYHUNTING The collection of honey from bees nesting in the wild.

LARVA The second stage in the development of an insect, like the


honeybee, having complete metamorphosis or four stages –
egg, larva, pupa and adult.

MITES These are organisms with four pairs of legs, a pair of


chelicerae and two body regions. The Varroa mites that have
dark brown and hard body are parasitic to honeybees. They
feed on the larvae and pupae of honeybees, killing and
deforming them.

NECTAR A sweet exudation secreted by glands in different parts of


plants, chiefly in the flowers; collected and used by bees for
rearing their young. It provides the protein part of the
honeybee’s diet.

NUCLEUS A small hive of bees, usually covering from two to five frames
of comb. Nucs, as they are sometimes called, are used
primarily for rearing or storing queens or for transporting a
young colony.

iv
QUEEN Refers to the fertile female of the honeybees. The queen is the
largest in the colony. The queen, who is the most important
member of the colony, usually stays at the center of the
colony.

PROPOLIS These are brownish or blackish waxy substances collected


from certain trees that are used to cement or cover openings
in the hive.

POLLEN These are fine granular or powdery substances produced by


discharge from the outer part of the male flower to fertilize
ovules of female flowers.

PHEROMONES A substance secreted by insects which, when sensed or


ingested by other individuals of the same species, causes
them to respond by a definite behavior or developmental
process.

POLLINATION The transfer of pollen from the anther of a flower to the stigma
of that or another flower.

POLLINATION AGENT Bees act as pollination agents when they transfer pollen from
one flower to another. In some cases, pollinating agents
include nectar-seeking birds and bats.

ROYAL JELLY A highly nutritious mixture secreted by the maxillary glands in


young honeybee workers. These are fed to all larvae during
their first few days and throughout the life stage of larvae that
are chosen to be queens.

SELF-POLLINATION The transfer of pollen between flowers of the same plant, or


within one flower. Self-pollination is only effective in self-fertile
plants.

SUPER/HONEY SUPER A hive box that is put on top of brood boxes where honey is
stored.

SUPERSEDURE This refers to the natural replacement of a queen by the


worker bees when the existing queen starts to diminish in her
egg-laying activity.

SWARM A colony of bees that builds their hive outside of the hive box.

SWARMING Refers to a colony of bees moving away from the hive box.
Swarming may be caused by over crowding, starvation and old
queen.

v
WORKER BEES Refers to the infertile female honeybees. They are the smallest
in the colony but they do all the work such as cleaning, food
gathering, guarding the colony and tending the queen and
young bees. They possess pollen baskets to gather pollen
grains, honey sac to temporarily store collected nectar from
the field and a stinger to use against their enemies.

vi
SECTION 1
AN INTRODUCTION TO BEEKEEPING

Beekeeping or apiculture is the practice of


raising bees for honey production. It is the
art and science of caring and culturing
honeybees so that they can produce honey
above their needs. Beekeeping is an
activity that can benefit our economic,
ecological and social needs.

Before beekeeping was introduced, honey


hunting from wild bee colonies in the forests
was practiced. As early as 7000 BC, the
first known evidence that early man
collected honey from beehives was found in
a cave in Eastern Spain. The giant wild A beekeeper from Fidelisan, Sagada inspects his beehives.
honeybee, apis dorsata (the pukyutan) was
mostly robbed for honey and wax.

Traditional Practices In Honey Hunting:

a. These are very destructive to the bees’


environment because the bee colonies
The dark European honeybee, Apis mellifera
are burned and destroyed. When the was the first bee raised by man. It was used
bees are killed, 75% of the pollination in the Middle East and in Europe, while the
of forest vegetation is affected. Apis cerana indica was more popular in Asia.
b. Destruction of forest vegetation cover Colonies of bees were kept in bark cylinders,
has contributed to the destruction of straw and earthenware hives where honey
wild colonies. Starvation can cause the present was taken whenever desired. This
death of colonies. The lack of stored practice of collecting honey from beehives
food and the imbalance of vegetation continued for thousands of years until
will not allow bees to survive.
modern scientific methods led to the culture
c. No real practices of raising feral
colonies in the Cordillera have been of honeybees.
sustained.
d. The process of harvesting and storing
is unsanitary.
e. Information on the benefits of honey
products to human health is limited.

An Introduction to Beekeeping 1
What are the Benefits of Beekeeping?

1. Beekeeping is a viable income source. Bee products, namely honey, pollen, bee wax
and royal jelly are in high demand, both locally and in the world market.
2. Honey has curative properties. It has been used as an ingredient for home remedies to
treat a wide variety of ailments, such as arthritis, asthma, high blood pressure, cough,
toothache and high blood pressure.
3. Beekeeping aids pollination, particularly towards the regeneration of plants and floral
diversity. As bees visit one flower after another, they aid in the cross pollination of fruits
and vegetables, resulting in greater agricultural productivity. Honeybees are the only
pollinators that can be multiplied easily and moved to different places where they are
needed.

Overview of Beekeeping Practices in the Cordillera Today

Beekeeping is one of the livelihood activities not yet fully tapped and explored in the
Philippines, despite the fact that our country is a suitable place for it. In the Cordillera region
alone, the ideal altitude and natural vegetation make beekeeping viable.

The Cordillera has an altitude ranging


from 1,000 to 1,700 meters above sea
level. The diversity of traditional farm
crops, forest plants and vegetation that
produce a wide variety of nectar and
pollen makes it ideal for honeybee
production. The sunflower, which is
native in the Cordillera and which
blooms from October to December,
especially gives Cordillera-produced
honey a distinct quality. While honey
hunting is a practice in the region,
raising bees or conserving them has not
The Cordillera features a diversity of flora as pollen and nectar sources. been systematically pursued.

In the 1970s, beekeeping was introduced to individuals in the Cordillera. Raising colonies,
however, was initially unsuccessful due to mites, preying birds, limited know-how about
beekeeping, and limited support from both the government and the non-government sectors.

In the 1990s, the government, through the Department of Agriculture (DA), and the non-
government organizations, notably the Plan International, supported beekeeping livelihood
projects in various areas of the Cordillera. The sustained assistance and improved
technology transfer efforts proved successful, such that more families eventually got
involved. Later, the Saint Louis University Extension Institute for Small-Scale Industries
Foundation Incorporated (SLU-EISSIFI) also initiated a similar project with farmers in
Benguet. It soon set up the Beekeeping Center in Baguio City to support training,
networking and marketing requirements of the growing number of beekeepers supported by
the institution. In 1998, the Natural Resource Management Program (NRMP 2) of the
Cordillera Studies Center, University of the Philippines College Baguio (CSC-UPCB)
introduced beekeeping in Sagada. To date, there are 20 beekeepers in the community,
managing close to 75 colonies.

An Introduction to Beekeeping 2
Species of Honey Bees that Thrive in the Cordillera

Kinds of Honey Bees Characteristics


1. Apis cerana (Aleg) • Wild, has multiple combs, small-sized, and produce little
honey
2. Apis dorsata (Pukyutan) • Also known as the rock bee or giant honeybee
• Maintains a single comb, suspended from rocks or
branches of tall trees and produces more honey than
apis cerana
3. Apis m. mellifera • Also known as the European Honeybee.
(cultured bees) • Considered as the best honey producer today
• Maintains a prolific queen; has multiple combs;
medium-sized bees are gentler than the other species;
produces lots of honey and does not swarm as often as
do the other species.

THE CASTES OF BEES IN A COLONY*

A bee colony is composed of the queen, the drones and the workers. The queen and the
workers are females, while the drones are males.

THE QUEEN. The queen is considered the


most important caste in the colony. She is
the only fertile female and the only fully
developed female in the colony. She is
responsible solely for the procreation of
bees. She lays eggs for multiplication and
perpetuation of the succeeding bee
generations.

The queen is larger than the worker bee


and longer than the drone. Its wings are
proportionately shorter, its sting is curved
and its abdomen tapers to a point. The bee in the middle is the queen.

A queen develops in 15 – 16 days from the laying of a fertilized egg in a queen cell.

Number of days Stage/Task


First 3 days Egg
Next 5 days Larvae
Next 7 to 8 days Pupa
16th or 17th day Emergence. She eats a little honey,
then sets out to establish her
authority in the colony

*This section is mostly from “Module 1: Beekeeping, An Introduction,” of the Technology Resource Center Foundation, Inc.,
1982.

An Introduction to Beekeeping 3
The Queen is produced in a colony under only three conditions:

1. Queenlessness (a queen is killed or removed from the colony);


2. A failing queen (inability to produce the required number of eggs); and
3. The swarm impulse (when a queen and some of the workers move to a new location.
When a new queen takes over the hive, half the hive will swarm about the old queen to
start a new colony).

The Life of a Queen

During the early days of the virgin queen’s life, she leaves the hive on orientation flights,
limiting herself within the immediate vicinity of the hive. During the second week, her flights
will be for mating purposes, and mating usually occurs when the air is warm (around midday
or early afternoon), and when the drones are out. Around 10 to 20 drones mate with the
queen who is able to store sufficient male semen (spermatozoa) in her spermatheca for a
lifetime egg-laying activity of three to four years.

The queen mates only once in her lifetime. Right after mating, each drone dies and the
queen frees herself and takes with her the drone’s genitals. The reason behind this is the
need for the queen to obtain enough spermatozoa for her laying years, and it takes about
seven hours for all the spermatozoa to penetrate into the queen’s spermatheca.

After about three days, the queen starts laying eggs of about 3,000 to 3,500 (at the most) a
day) a day. The eggs are regularly deposited in the cells within the brood chamber of the
hive. Every normal queen produces both unfertilized and fertilized eggs. The unfertilized
eggs develop into males or drones while the fertilized eggs develop into females. Females
develop either as a worker or a queen, depending on the type or quantity of food given to
them. At first, all larvae receive mass feedings of royal jelly, a special food secreted by a
pair of modified salivary glands of the worker.

If the larva is destined to be a queen, it is fed with royal jelly throughout the larvae stage and
is reared in a specially constructed cell. This cell is longer than the worker cell and is
vertical instead of horizontal because the space between the combs is not enough for her
length. When the worker and drone larvae are already three days old, the nurse bees
change the feeding method by giving the food directly to the larvae at intervals, resulting in
the reduction of the amount supplied. The food is also mixed with honey and pollen,
gradually increasing the proportion until these make up the entire food supply.

The growth of the colony depends on the laying capacity of the queen. If the queen is
unable to produce enough fertilized eggs for whatever reason, it is time to change her. At
once, the worker bees will produce a new queen to be their new mother.

As there should only be one queen in a colony, the new queen will either kill the old queen
or she may die of old age. Under normal conditions, a queen may live from two to three
years.

An Introduction to Beekeeping 4
THE WORKER BEES. The workers are all
females and are produced from fertilized
eggs. These are the working caste in the
hive. They clean the colony; produce the
wax combs, royal jelly, honey and almost all
the products and benefits that we get from
honeybees.

The worker bees are the only ones with


pollen baskets, a collection of tiny curved
hairs on their hind legs to hold and transport
pollen from source to hive. They also have The first few days of a worker bee’s life are spent indoors.
short barked stings, located at the tip of the larva.
abdomen, used to attack enemies and
intruders.

Worker bees are the smallest among the three members of the colony. They are considered
underdeveloped females because they lack the reproductive organs found in the queen.

Worker bees develop from 21 to 22 days. They live for about 4 – 6 weeks during the active
foraging season. However, they live longer during lean periods when nectar flow ends and
brood rearing is reduced.

Number of days Stage/Task


First 3 days Egg
Next 4 to 5 days Larvae
Next 9 to 20 days Pupa
21st day Emergence

The worker bees continuously feed all the larvae with royal jelly for three days. They then
feed with pollen and honey beginning the fourth day.

The Life of a Worker Bee

The first three weeks of the worker bee’s life is spent indoors. During the first three days
after emergence, a worker bee grooms himself, loiters on the combs of brood and receives
food from other bees. From the 3rd to 6th day, its main responsibility is to take care of the
older brood. From the 6th to 13th day, it takes its turn caring for the larvae, which are not
more than 3 days old. From the 13th to 15th day, it eats more honey to produce wax and to
build combs. Its wax glands are producing at their maximum capacity at this time, so that
the bee can provide the wax requirements of the colony. It also serves as “cook,” helping to
reduce the moisture content of the honey. The last 2 or 3 days of the period of indoor
activities are spent as a guard at the entrance of the hive.

Also, during the 2nd and 3rd weeks of its adult life, the worker bee cleans and polishes the
cells; removes debris and other foreign matter from the hive; ventilates the hive; receives
pollen from other bees; manipulates and deposits nectar and packs pollen into the cells. It
is also during the second week that the worker bee begins its orientation flight to study its
home and nearby surroundings.

An Introduction to Beekeeping 5
From the 21st day, the worker bee begins its outside duties, such as gathering nectar pollen
and water for the colony. The tasks of the field bees are divided according to the needs of
the colony and particular assignments continue as long as the bees live and conditions
remain unchanged.

THE DRONES. Drones belong to the male caste of the colony. They are produced from
unfertilized eggs of the queen, and their developmental period takes about 24 days: 3 days
as an egg; 7 days as larvae; and 13 to 14 days as pupa.

The drone is broader, thicker and shorter than the queen. It is also much larger than the
workers. Its wings cover the entire length of its back and bloated abdomen. Its eyes, which
are close to each other, are larger than those of the queen’s and the workers’. It has no
sting to protect itself and has no means to gather honey, secrete wax or perform any work to
help him or the colony.

Though the bees are known to be always busy, the drone is lazy and is an idle member of
the colony. It does not clean the cells and is incapable of guarding the colony or gathering
honey. It is even dependent on the worker bees for its food.

The drone’s one and only function in life is to mate the queen. However, not all drones can
perform this task. Since a queen mates only once in her lifetime, it is presumed that only
the fittest and strongest among the drones can mate her. At the point of contact, the drone
dies instantly and leaves its genitals and a part of its abdomen with the queen. The other
drones that fail to mate with the queen are dependent on the workers for their sustenance.
When the honey flow stops or when food is scarce, they are not allowed by the workers to
eat. When they become weak, they are carried out by the workers away from the hive and
are left to die.

An Introduction to Beekeeping 6
SECTION 2
THE BEE FARM

Any sheltered place where a colony of bees builds its nest is called a hive. The colony is
composed of multiple hexagonal cells constructed back to back or in duplex form. This
group of cells forms together a sheath of waxy structures called comb. The bees form
the comb as receptacle for the eggs and to store the honey.

Bee hives may be kept almost anywhere: at the back of the house, on rooftops, in open
spaces, in the forest and even in the center of large cities so long as certain
requirements are met.

Different apiaries in the Cordillera.

An ideal bee farm considers four critical requirements, given the needs of bees for bee
wax, nectar, water and other sources of pollen:

1. The bee farm should be located in an area with abundant nectar and pollen
plants. Nectar is the sugary substance produced by flowers. It is the main
material from which honey is produced.

Bees need flowers for pollen, and tree and flower buds are their sources to make
propolis, the substance they use in sealing cracks in the hive or for repairing
combs.

It is, therefore, important for a beekeeper to have some basic knowledge about
honey flora. This will help him evaluate the honey potential of an area and
assess an appropriate calendar for colony management.

The Bee Farm 7


Some Host Plants of Honeybees in the Cordillera

Ampalaya Kalunay
Avocado Kardis
Baguio beans (Butelas) Kotakot
Banana Mahogany
Batao Mango
Bottle brush Pears
Citrus trees Pechay
Coffee Pepper
Eucalyptus Persimmon
Grasses and wild bush Pinit
Guava Sayote
Ipil-ipil Squash
Itab Sunflower
Kakawati Tabtabako
Tomato

2. The bee farm should be near a source of clean, fresh water. Water is needed by
the bees to dilute the concentrated honey as food and to cool the hive during the
hot summer days. If natural springs are not available, arrange for a dipping
faucet on a clean board, or fix a watering place where fresh water will be
provided.

3. The bee farm must be protected from


strong rain, wind and direct sunlight
especially the afternoon sun.

It is also advisable to surround the


apiary with a fence or a row of trees or
bushes with a height of 2 to 3 meters.
This will force the bees to fly up to the
air and minimize accidental contact with
people.

The Bee Farm 8


4. The bee farm must be set up away from agricultural farms that are treated with
organic fertilizers. Pesticides easily poison bees.

BEEKEEPING PARAPHERNALIA

A standard beehive is a box type, movable comb hive made of wood. A sketch of a box,
with the suggested measurements, is shown below:

Top cover

Inner cover

50.8 cm

Brood chamber
46.99
cm.

1.91 cm.
Bottom board

55.8 cm. 41.28

Parts of A Standard Beehive

The Bee Farm 9


The frames are also made of wood, each containing a comb and separated from other
frames at a distance of 3/8 to ½inch. They must be accurately built and positioned in
the hive so that the correct bee space is observed. The frames hang by an extension of
the top bar at both ends of the hive, ensuring bee space on all sides.

The gap between frames should be just


wide enough to allow room for fingers to
grasp and lift the frames. The frames
closest to the wall of the hive will be such
that the bees will not be able to build
comb attachments.

When bee population increases in a small colony, a standard hive is needed to allow the
addition of more frames for honey storage and brood rearing. A strong colony should
have at least 6 to 8 frames with bees when food resources are limited, but may easily
expand to 10 frames and above when there is abundant supply of nectar and pollen.

These features of the standard beehive allow the beekeeper to examine and remove the
combs without causing damage to the colony. The beekeeper can also easily observe
whether the colony is under stress or whether disease or pests attack it. He will also be
able to efficiently find out whether or not the queen is laying eggs adequately. A
beekeeper will also know the needs of the colony, such as additional combs, boxes or
supers for egg-laying or honey-storing.

The Bee Space is the crawl


space needed by a bee to
pass easily between two
structures/surfaces. If the
space between any two
surfaces is too small for
bees to pass, they will seal
it with propolis; but if the
bee space is larger than
what is needed, the bees
will construct combs in that
available space. A 35-mm
distance from one mid-
section to another of each
comb allows for an easy
passage of the bees on the
comb’s surfaces.

The Bee Farm 10


Wax Foundation is a sheet of beeswax,
embedded in a frame on which the
bees build their combs. Bees normally
do not like old combs for brood rearing
so the combs should be routinely
substituted in a way that no frames
would stay in the colony for more than
3 to 4 years.

Basic Gear

Certain basic protective gear and tools are required in beekeeping. These should be
acquired as soon as a bee farm is started. The first and most important rule when it
comes to wearing protective gear is: “Wear what makes you comfortable.”

Bee suit: This is worn while handling the


bees, and the most ideal is a one-piece
white overalls. However, any light-colored,
long-sleeved shirt and long pants may be
worn. The basic intent is to avoid being
stung while handling the colonies. Overalls
or pants must be tied at the ankles but
should allow maximum freedom of
movement.

Bee veil and hat: These are worn as


protection for the neck and face from stings
during inspection of the colonies.

Gloves: These will protect the hands and


arms from stings. Seasoned beekeepers
prefer not to wear gloves because they feel
they lose that ‘delicate’ touch. Beginners,
however, should start with them.

The Bee Farm 11


Smoker: This is a metal can with a blower
(made of sturdy cloth or leather material). It
is used to produce smoke purposely around
the colonies to calm the bees and to drive
them away temporarily from the hive so that
inspection or harvest can be done
unhampered.

Smoker fuels can be wood shavings, grass, pine straw, cloth rags, or rotted wood.
Essentially, anything that can produce cool, white billowing smoke and has not been
treated with pesticides can be used.

Hive tool. This is an all-purpose tool used for pulling nails, taking off covers, separating
the different stories of the hive or for prying the frames apart since these are always,
more or less, glued together by propolis. The sharp edge is used for scraping the wax
and propolis from inside the hive.

Tender-bristled brush. This is used to


remove bees clinging on honeycombs prior
to uncapping and honey extraction.

Harvesting honey requires the use of an uncapping tool and an extractor. An uncapping
tool, such as a clean fork or a sharp knife, should also be available. While uncapping,
the tool should be kept warm by dipping it in hot water from time to time.

Uncapping with a fork

Uncapping with a knife

The Bee Farm 12


The extractor is used to separate honey from the wax combs. Extraction can either be
through manual squeezing or pressing, or by a dripping technique. Aluminum extractors
can be purchased. However, one can improvise with the use of a large water container
and wood for the extracting mechanism.

Aluminum extractor

Extractor improvised by J. Bangsoy,


Sagada.

The Bee Farm 13


SECTION 3
OPERATION AND MAINTENANCE OF THE BEE FARM

Keeping honeybees is a very challenging but rewarding activity. The beekeeper should
always be on the lookout for changes in bee behavior and responsive to seasonal changes.
He should be familiar with the various aspects of apiary management, from obtaining his first
colony to post-harvest management.

Obtaining Initial Bee Stock

In starting a bee farm, it is recommended that the


beekeeper purchase a nucleus (or starter) colony.

The nucleus is a small colony of bees contained in


a box with three to five frames. The colony is
composed of a laying queen, several adult workers,
and a worker brood in all stages of development.

Starter colonies can be purchased from established


bee farms in the area. The buyer should make
sure that these colonies are not disease-infested Nucleus colony
and have been fumigated against brood mites.

Transferring Bees to the Standard Bee Hive

Before the nucleus colony arrives, prepare an empty standard beehive where the new
colony will be transferred. Position the hive in an area away from garbage and from access
by animals and children. Make sure that the entrance faces the morning sun.

When the nucleus colony is delivered, put it


near the standard hive, and then remove
the entrance cover. This will allow the
worker bees to go out of the nucleus colony
and familiarize themselves with their new
home and surroundings.

The next day, take each frame from the


nucleus box (or nuc box) containing the
brood and bees. Put the frames in the
standard hive according to their original
arrangement in the nuc box. Place
additional frames with wax foundation until
the hive is fully occupied.

Operation and Maintenance of the Bee Farm 14


Supplemental Feeding

To help the colony start its new life, it is important to give them supplementary food. Sugar
syrup, made of an equal mixture of sugar and water, is the most commonly prepared
supplement. Pour syrup in a feeder box, which is either positioned against the wall of the
hive (see picture below) or as a last frame in a hive that is not filled with frames. Put a piece
of wood or any material that will float in the syrup so that the bees can stand on it as they
feed.

Feeder box.

Inspecting the Colony

It is recommended that colonies be inspected once a week or three times every two weeks.
The best time to inspect is during a sunny day, between 9:00 in the morning and 2:00 in the
afternoon. This is the time when most of the bees are away foraging. It is not recommended
to inspect during cold, rainy or windy days and at night.

Inspection will reveal if there are pests and diseases disturbing the colony and if the queen
is well. Worker bees entering the hive with pollen will indicate that the queen is well. On the
other hand, a very noisy hive indicates that the queen may be dead.

Some steps to follow when inspecting the colony:

1. Light the smoker and approach the hive from the side to avoid blocking the entrance.
2. Direct a few puffs at the entrance.
3. Remove the outer cover of the box and then lift the inner cover gently to expose the
hive. Blow more smoke inside and then replace the inner lid.
4. After a few minutes, remove the inner cover and let in lean beside the hive.
5. Lift the frames gently, starting with the one closest to you. After inspecting each frame,
put it back gently, always trying not to crush the bees.

C
• Inspection should be done quickly but efficiently. Extended inspection can agitate
the bees and may cause them to sting.
• As soon as inspection is started, be on the lookout for the queen. Once located and
checked, the frame on which she is found should be returned immediately inside the
hive.

Operation and Maintenance of the Bee Farm 15


Seasonal Growth of Bee Population

When there are sufficient pollen and nectar resources, the colony is stimulated to raise more
broods, so that the colony population increases. On the other hand, when these resources
are low, brood rearing decreases and the colony population naturally declines.

Both pollen and nectar are necessary to stimulate the colony build-up. If only one is
available, the colony reduces the brood-rearing activity of bees and instead stores the
incoming resource. Stored food is used to maintain the colony, but not to stimulate/increase
brood-rearing activity.

Depending on incoming resources, the workers vary the amount of food they feed to the
queen. This, in turn, determines her egg-laying rate. Worker bees may also eat the eggs or
young larvae to control the amount of reared brood in times of reduced resources.

Brood-rearing is emphasized over honey storing in small colonies because such colonies
tend to use most of their incoming resource to produce bees and build combs. They have a
high brood-to-adult ratio; many adult bees are needed in the hive to care for the brood and
maintain the brood nest temperature.

As colony population grows, the ratio of brood to adult decreases. After a certain point of
population growth, the rate of egg-laying by the queen also decreases. More bees are then
freed from their duties in the hive to become foragers. The colony, at this point, shifts its
emphasis to honey storage.

The table below shows how a colony builds up its population. The best time to start a
colony is March or April. Given good weather, the population will double within three
months, but will likely drop during the height of the rainy season, from July to September.
As weather improves and forage becomes available, population growth will also improve,
building up to the honey flow starting in late October. Honey season is December to
February.

Operation and Maintenance of the Bee Farm 16


Chart 1: Bee Population Cycle

31 40T – 50T
30
29
28
27
26
25
24
23
22
21 25,000 – 30,000
20
19
18
17
16
15
14
13
12
11
10 10,000 – 12,000
9
8 6,000 – 7,000
7
6
5
4 3,000
3
2
1
Mo. Jan. Feb. Mar. Apr. May Jun. Jul. Aug. Sep. Oct. Nov. Dec.

Increasing Colonies

The number of bee colonies can be increased after the honey flow, specifically when all the
honey has been extracted. The process of increasing the number of colonies can also be
done earlier, about three months after the onset of the honey flow.

A strong colony that has ten frames with comb brood can be divided into two or more
nucleus colonies. To split the colony, this procedure may be followed:

1. Position an empty hive with a small entrance next to a strong 10-framer colony. Remove
its outer and inner covers.
2. Open the hive with the colony. Locate the queen, making sure that the frame that
contains her is not moved. Select frames with a capped brood, a comb with eggs and
larvae with stored honey and pollen, together with the bees in the frames.
3. Lift and transfer each in the empty hive. Transfer more bees to the new hive from the
other frames by shaking to ensure that there will be enough workers.
4. Put a ripe queen cell into the hive.

Operation and Maintenance of the Bee Farm 17


A young queen has to be accepted by the workers. Once she is accepted and she starts
laying eggs, work on strengthening the colony.

Strengthening a nucleus (or “baby”) colony

A nucleus colony made two to three months before the honey flow will build up well at the
onset of honey flow. The process of strengthening a new nucleus colony created by splitting
is very similar to strengthening a nucleus colony that has just been moved to a standard
hive (refer to first two topics in this section).

TIPS in managing a “baby” colony

• Supply the colony with honey stores.


• Prevent the foraging bees from flying back to the mother colony, by
keeping the nucleus closed for the first two to three days.
• Place it in a shaded area: small colonies cannot regulate temperature
efficiently.
• Position nucleuses at least 100 meters away from any other stronger
colony that can easily rob them.
• Avoid feeding sugar syrup until the new queen is mated and has laid one
comb of eggs; virgin or queen less nucleuses do not consume sugar.
• Prepare nucleuses during the build-up period.

Resource Needs of the Colony:

Foraging workers fly up to three (3) kilometers from the colony to collect the resources
needed by the colony. Of course, it is always better if there are abundant resources closer
to the colony. This is why some beekeepers move their colonies closer to where bee food
source is abundant.

Four (4) substances collected by foraging


bees:
1. Nectar
2. Pollen
3. Propolis
4. Water

Feeding the Bees

Honey bees feed mainly on honey and pollen. Honey that comes from nectar of flowers
provides the needed carbohydrates and water for the maintenance of strong and healthy
adults and larvae. Pollen supplies the protein needed by the bees to feed their young or
brood. It is therefore beneficial for the colony to have surplus honey and pollen at all times.

Operation and Maintenance of the Bee Farm 18


The identification of honey flora is an integral part of a beekeeper’s knowledge, which he will
acquire through experience and continuous observation. However, a basic knowledge on
available nectar and pollen sources in the area is helpful in evaluating the honey potential of
an area and in assessing an appropriate calendar for colony management.

The table below shows some of the main forage in the Cordillera uplands.

Table 1: Some Sources of Nectar and Pollen Found in the Cordillera

Month Forage/Plant Source Nectar Pollen


January Coffee Y Y
Avocado N Y
Mango Y Y
February Coffee Y Y
Mango Y N
March Coffee Y Y
Bottle brush Y Y
April Coffee Y Y
May Coffee Y Y
Sayote Y Y
Eucalyptus Y Y
June Sayote Y Y
July Weeds, Agricultural crops N Y
August Weeds, Agricultural crops N Y
September Weeds, Agricultural crops N Y
October Weeds, Agricultural crops N Y
November Sunflower Y Y
December Sunflower Y Y

During the rainy season, bees will likely have very limited sources of nectar. In their life
cycle, this is the period before the honey flow.

To ensure that the colony remains strong, colony behavior should be monitored. The
following are some signs that indicate food scarcity in the colony:

• there is little honey in the comb


• there is no pollen and sealed honey
• larvae and pupae are being carried out of the hive
• drones are not given food and are being driven out of the hive

When any of the above signs is present, the beekeeper has to feed the bees. Below are
recipes for sugar syrup and pollen substitute.

Operation and Maintenance of the Bee Farm 19


Sugar syrup
Ingredients: Pollen substitute/ supplement
1 part sugar Ingredients:
1 part water 1 kg. pollen
Procedure: 3 kg. soy flour
Mix both ingredients thoroughly. 1 kg. brewer’s yeast
Feeding procedure: sugar syrup
Procedure:
Pour mixture in feeder box.
Mix all ingredients thoroughly
until a bread-like dough is
formed.
Feeding procedure:
Place the dough on wax paper
and leave on the top bar of the
frames.

Feeding should continue until natural nectar and pollen become available. The bees will no
longer eat the supplement once they can find food for themselves.

Handling the bees

Improper and extended handling of the colonies can agitate the bees. Once disturbed, bees
will sting for protection. Proper handling can protect the beekeeper from bee stings. Other
tips in handling bees are listed in the box:

1. Work on the colonies when the weather is sunny. Only the


housekeeping bees will be around as most of them will be out

C foraging for nectar or pollen.


2. Wear protective gear.
3. Rapid, jerky movements alarm bees. Move slowly and gently.
4. Be confident and calm to avoid clumsiness.

Swarming

A swarm is a group of worker bees, drones and a queen that leaves the mother colony to
establish a new one. Contrary to common notion, swarming is not always bad. It is actually
a natural method of colony production for as long as the swarm is collected immediately.
However, swarming can result to reduced honey production, especially since a swarm
leaves at the beginning of the honey flow. As such, swarming is prevented rather than
encouraged.

Operation and Maintenance of the Bee Farm 20


Swarming also indicates a problem in a populous hive, which the beekeeper may have
failed to detect. The most common reasons for bees to leave the hive are over-population
and improper ventilation. Other reasons include the presence of diseases, pests and
offensive odors.

Hiving the swarm

A swarm usually clusters on the branch of a


tree or bush or any place generally shaded
from the sun. It is important for the
beekeeper to collect the bees as soon as
possible. Sometimes, collecting them is
easy. Sometimes, it is quite impossible,
depending on where they have clustered
and how long they have been exposed.
When the swarm is left exposed for several
days, the bees can become hungry and will
become much more defensive.

A carton box, bag or any container can be used for catching or collecting the bees, as long
as they are transferred to a permanent housing immediately. If the swarm is found on a
branch, gently cut the branch and move the bees to a hive. Be sure to wear a veil and have
a lit smoker on hand.

There are two ways of transferring the swarm into the hive:

1. When collected in a box or a bag, shake the swarm in front of the hive. The bees will
voluntarily enter because they like dark places. If the queen is found, carefully direct
her toward the hive. The other bees are willing to stay if they find her inside.
2. If the swarm is on a cut branch, put the branch with the swarm inside a hive with one
brood comb and two to four frames with wax foundation.

As a precautionary measure, all swarms should be assumed infested with both tracheal and
Varroa mites and treated accordingly. Also, to ensure the future of the new colony, re-
queening should be considered since the queen’s heritage is essentially unknown.

Robbing

Bees rob from other hives when the following are experienced:
1. Their colony is running out of food;
2. Bee forage is becoming scarce and no supplementary feeding is provided; and
3. The bees are not getting enough nectar for food especially after the honey flow
period.

Also, bees from a strong colony can rob stored honey from a weaker colony.

A robber bee is always hairless and has a glossy black color. It hovers around its target
hive, on the lookout for an entrance. Bees observed flying around the entrance, but being
prevented from entering by the guards of the colony should be considered robbers.

Operation and Maintenance of the Bee Farm 21


To protect weak colonies from being robbed, observe the following

C
measures:
1. Do not leave the hives open for a long time.
2. Prevent the scent of food meant for one apiary from spreading
to other apiaries. Cover feed trays with wet cloth when bringing
these to the apiary.
3. Do not spill or leave syrup or other food around the apiary.
4. Keep the hive entrance as small as possible without causing
inconvenience to the bees.

Supersedure

“Supersedure” is the replacement of an old queen by worker bees. Replacement happens


when the egg-laying activity of an old queen starts to diminish and she stops secreting
pheromones, which is associated to her.

To replace an old queen, worker bees construct three to four queen cells. The larva in
these cells is a potential queen. The first to mature and emerge quickly eliminates the
others by destroying their cells. She then becomes the new queen.

Supersedure could occur at the height of prosperity of the colony before the honey flow.
Natural supersedure should be avoided for the following reasons:
• The successful emergence of a new queen is not guaranteed.
• It can decrease the population of the colony since the old queen will fail to lay the
desired number of good eggs.
• Predators may eat the new queen during nuptial flight.

It is then recommended that the beekeeper introduce a new queen to a colony that has an
unproductive and weak queen. A weak queen can be detected through her egg-laying
activities. She scatters eggs all over the comb because she does not systematically lay
them. Also, a large number of the laid eggs are left unfertilized and later develop into
drones.

As soon as these signs are seen, the beekeeper should replace the old queen. The most
practical way of re-queening is by purchasing a young, newly-mated queen.

Re-Queening and Selection of a Queen

Selection of a new queen

It is important to select high-producing and healthy queens since the life of every colony
centers on her.

The queen should exhibit good egg-laying capabilities, especially during times when
workers are needed. A fertile queen produces workers with specific good qualities. A
colony that does not show these qualities should signal the replacement of the queen.

Operation and Maintenance of the Bee Farm 22


Qualities of a Worker Bee:

Industrious and productive


Long foraging range
Disease and pest resistant
Good growth of brood
Lower swarming instinct
Clean and efficient
Gentle and good-tempered comb builders

Rearing Queens

Queen rearing is a highly specialized field in beekeeping. It requires a great deal of


research and practice before it is perfected. Beginners are advised to try queen rearing
after they have had sufficient practice on the more basic aspects of beekeeping.

Queen rearing techniques are intended to accelerate or increase the results (in quantity) of
a natural process. Bees are stimulated, but not forced, to rear queens. Bee colonies
usually rear new queens during the swarming period when the following natural conditions
are met:
a. The abundance of pollen. Pollen stimulates royal jelly–producing glands in young
workers, and drone brood rearing, as well.
b. A colony that is overcrowded with young nurse bees, which can produce royal jelly.
c. Decreased influence of a queen’s substance, due to overcrowding and/or that the
queen is old.

Queen rearing is based on creating or maintaining the following conditions in selected


colonies for queen cells production.
a. Combs with pollen stores may be supplied to cell raising colonies; on-going pollen
foraging is better.
b. Feeding colonies with 1 – 2 months in advance of scheduled period will stimulate the
queen to increase egg laying; supplying combs of emerging brood will also
overcrowd the hive with young bees.
c. The influence of the queen is simply eliminated by taking her away or by restricting
her by using a queen excluder to create a “ queenless “ part in a queen-right colony.

Selection of best producing colonies is the first basic step in queen rearing. It is useless to
facilitate the reproduction of low-quality colonies.

A selection program cannot be implemented by an individual beekeeper. Records should


be kept on many factors during several beekeeping seasons. However, the beekeeper can
do a lot to improve the quality of the queens in his apiary.

Keeping records of the colonies’ performance during the whole season is the basis for a
selection program. Performances of the colonies in the same apiary are compared and then
the best ones are selected.

Operation and Maintenance of the Bee Farm 23


When colonies are inspected, the following traits are monitored and recorded:
a. Number of combs covered by the bees (at different seasonal periods)
b. Appearance of brood (scattered empty cells are not to be seen in brood patches)
c. Number of brood combs
d. Honey production (count combs or weigh honey)

Methods of queen production are the Doolittle method, used commercially since it produces
a greater number of queen bees, and the simpler Miller method, suited to small-scale
beekeeping ventures. Steps for both methods are described in the Beekeeping Guide for
the Philippines, produced by the Don Mariano Marcos State University and reproduced
here:

Miller Method

1. Prepare a frame without a wire. Attach four pieces of wax foundation about two inches
wide at the top and tapering to a point about two inches at the bottom bar.
2. Choose the hive that has five to eight frames and a queen of superior quality.
3. Select two sealed brood frames and remove the other frames (shake the bees before
removing the frames). Leave only these two brood frames and the queen. Put the frame
with the foundation between these two frames in what would be the center of the brood
nest. Then add two frames filled with honey and pollen at the two opposite sides of the
brood frames. In order to include the queen to lay eggs on the Miller frame, make sure
that there is no other empty comb where the queen can lay eggs (the bottom portion of
the comb is cut exposing eggs about to hatch; two out of three eggs are destroyed so
there will be space between the queen cells. The ripe cells will be carefully cut from the
comb and placed in mating nucs).
4. After a week, check if the Miller frame has young larvae which are less than a day old.
If there are larvae, remove the other new combs, retaining only the comb with the young
larvae, the potential queens.
5. Choose a colony that has sufficient nurse bees where the Miller frame can be placed to
allow the larvae to develop. Remove the queen a day before putting the Miller frame.
6. The next day, remove all the open brood frames, but retain the worker bees. Put the
Miller frame and frames of older larvae near it. Put some frames with honey and pollen.
The young larvae will receive plenty of royal jelly from the nurse bees.
7. After 10 days, the queen cells in the Miller frame will reach their full development. With
extreme care, cut off each of these queen cells and put each in a queenless colony or in
a newly-constructed nuc box.
8. From these nuc and new colonies, the new queen will emerge from their cells. They will
soon mate and start to lay eggs later.

Doolittle Method

A strong colony is needed for the queen-rearing colony. Ideally, a strong colony can
adequately care for 45 newly-grafted cells per day. This colony is called a cell builder and
is housed in a two-storey enclosure. In this colony, the queen is confined in the chamber
below a queen excluder. The upper chamber is supplied with sufficient amount of combs of
pollen and honey.

Operation and Maintenance of the Bee Farm 24


To attract young nurse bees from the lower chamber, the middle and the upper chambers
are placed with frames of unsealed brood. Young worker larvae are about 8-24 days old.
These are transferred (or grafted) to artificial queen cell cups (either plastic or bees wax)
that have been primed with a drop of royal jelly. These are placed on wooden bars and are
fitted into a special wooden frame adjacent to combs of unsealed brood. This colony is
constantly fed with sugar syrup and pollen substitute or supplement.

Prior to transferring the young larvae to the queen cell cup, the rearing colony is divested of
its queen. Queen cell cups are stuck on a wooden bar connected to a vacant wooden
frame. Two pieces of 1½ inch -wide foundation are attached on top and in the middle of the
vacant frame.

On the 3rd day, the wooden frame is to be placed on the queen-rearing colony. The bees are
shaken off the brood frame. The queen cell is removed, together with the larvae, before
scooping out the royal jelly which is placed in a small bottle. This is used to prime the queen
cell cup. It is important to put sealed brood in the lower chamber. The frames on which
queen cell cups are to be placed are to be arranged in this order:

1. A frame of honey
2. A frame of older larvae
3. A frame of pollen
4. A frame of queen cell cups
5. A frame of young larvae
6. Two frames of older larvae
7. Two frames of honey.

Remember to add syrup

The queen cell builder colony should be very productive and gentle. A frame of young
larvae, 24 hours old or younger, will be needed. The larvae are placed in queen cell cups
primed with royal jelly by using a grafting tool. They should float over the royal jelly. When
enough larvae has been placed, put the bar on which the cell cups are attached to the
vacant frame and put the queen-rearing colony. Continue adding syrup. On the tenth day,
from the time of grafting, the cells are ripe and ready for transfer. Carefully pick them up one
by one and put them inside the queen protector. Put the queen protector in the mating
boxes. Protect the queen cell cups from direct sunrays of the sun (or sunshine) and from
jarring.

In this method, the cell builders are arranged in three rows. Each colony in row is provided
with three spaces to insert the cell bars. The colonies used as cell builders are two-storey
colonies with a queen excluder between the hive bodies. On the first day, a cell bar is
inserted on the first space of the first row. The next day, the cell bar is inserted on the first
space of the second row, and on the third day, the first space of the third row. On the fourth
day, the cell bar is inserted on the second space of the first row. The same pattern is
followed until the 9th day when the cell bar is on the third space of the third row.

In the morning of the tenth day, all spaces will have already been filled. It is then necessary
to remove the ten-day-old cells from the first position of the first row. Bring these to the
nuclei for hatching. New one-day-old cells from the starters will replace these.

Operation and Maintenance of the Bee Farm 25


The system has its advantages. It keeps a number of cells given to any builder at a
minimum so that they can be sufficiently fed. In addition, it provides for further lessening of
strain on the colonies being fed (at the end of the season where nectar flow is less).

Preparations Before the Rainy Season

Colony Inspection:

1. Outside inspection
- check the entrance if the bees are bringing in pollen. The presence of bees carrying
pollen indicates that the colony is alive.
- check for dead bees at the entrance (identify the cause of death)
- open the hive to check.

2. Inside inspection
- locate the queen
- check the brood, observe laying patterns (should be on a concentric pattern)
- check the food (stored pollen and nectar). The queen will lay more eggs if there is
abundant food or will limit her laying if there is limited food.
- check for pest and diseases.

Activities During the Rainy Season

The months of May and June are considered the start of the early rainy season, and also
the pollen season or the brood-rearing season. During this time,

1. the colony will increase in population;


2. wide brood patterns can be noticed;
3. sufficient space for increase in population should be provided; and
4. the bees should be fed, if necessary.

The height of the monsoon season is during the months of July to September. During this
time, the bee population is maintained. The field bees have less work, so they have a
longer life span. The queen will limit her laying, thus feeding is necessary to stimulate her
egg laying task.

Operation and Maintenance of the Bee Farm 26


Strengthening of Bee Colony

1. Check bee colony regularly. Bee hive site selection


2. Feed the colony during the rainy
or off-season. 1. Pollen and nectar availability
3. Treat colonies against diseases. 2. Water availability
4. Replace old queens. 3. With wind breaks
5. Attend training and meetings. 4. Exposure to sun
5. No threat to pesticide poisoning
6. Free from predators (swift bird, wasp
& ants)

Brood Problems and Possible Solutions

Problem Explanation and possible solution


1. Disease Stagnant water and dirty surroundings may
a. Mites cause the presence of mites and bacteria. Treat
b. Bacteria colonies before and after the harvest season.
2. Slow Growth
a. Failing queen Replace old queens
b. Food shortage Feed colonies
3. Bad weather (e.g., rainy) Feed colonies

Before and During the Honey Flow Period

Honey production is the result of appropriate colony growth that is dependent on:

a. the queen’s capacity to lay eggs;


b. the workers’ ability to control temperature in the colony and to feed the brood;
c. the availability of nectar (honey stored during the dearth period) and pollen; and
d. available room in the hive for expansion of brood nest and storage of honey

Colony management schemes for honey production have the objective of improving the
above-mentioned factors.

Before the honey flow period

1. Examine each beehive and clean the inside free of pests and dirt.
2. Prevent swarming.
3. If some of the colonies are weak, give them supplementary food and pollen supplement.
Do not spill food around the apiary to keep away robbers.
4. Unite weak colonies.

Operation and Maintenance of the Bee Farm 27


Procedure in uniting two colonies:

• Assess the queens of both colonies; get


rid of the weaker one.
• Remove the outer and the inner covers of
the colony with the queen (Box 1).
• Remove the bottom board of the
queenless colony (Box 2).
• Put one sheet of newspaper on top of
Box 1, and then put Box 2 on top of the
newspaper. Your colonies will then look
like a double box.

The honeybees are expected to slowly tear away the newspaper and as the bees
interact, they will get to know each other until a strong colony is established.

The arrangement of frames of the brood chamber should not be disturbed, but poor,
irregular combs should be removed and placed in the honey super outside the brood
frames. This will allow the queen to move among the frames. The frames should also
be evenly arranged and spaced.

During the honey flow

1. As more honey is stored in the beehive, the beekeeper should keep up by providing
more frames and supers ahead of time. The second super should be added between
the first super and the brood chamber, and not directly above the first super. Additional
supers may be added in the same way, just above the brood chamber and below the
other supers.

2. Examine colonies once a week or every 10 days and remove supers filled with honey.
When selecting frames of honey, do not take the combs that are not yet sealed with wax.
Unsealed combs contain honey that have not fully ripened and thus, contain too much
water.

3. When harvesting the crop, take out a


frame of sealed honeycomb and hold it
near the entrance of the hive then shake
or brush off the bees. Put these frames
inside an empty super for extracting.
When honey flow is over, unnecessary
supers should be removed. The bees
are then left with a good store of honey
to last until the next honey flow begins.

Operation and Maintenance of the Bee Farm 28


Harvesting of Honey

Removing honey from the colony

It is important to remove honey from the colony immediately after the honey flow period.
This is done to retain the good flavor, aroma and color of the honey. The most common
method used is brushing and smoking. Other methods use repellents.

The brushing and smoking method is easy to


follow. Capped combs of honey are removed
from the super by brushing off the bees with a
bee brush, and then placing the combs in an
empty super. The super may be covered with a
piece of cloth to prevent other bees from
robbing the honey.

Harvesting in Fidelisan, December 1998

Smoking the bees will temporarily drive the bees away and these will allow the harvest of
honey. Heavy smoking should be avoided since smoke can easily permeate the wax
combs. At best, smoke-smelling honey is produced. At its worst, the honey can get
contaminated.

Removing honey from the comb

Before extractors came into common use, comb honey was the commercial form of honey.
Today, the extraction of honey and bottling has become the norm. It is known, however,
that there are consumers who prefer the comb honey.

Crushing the comb and using a honey extractor are the two methods of removing honey
from the comb.

Crushing the comb is used when only a


small amount of honey is to be harvested. It
is also the method used when honey is
taken from the nest of the native bees.

Honeycomb ready for extraction.

Operation and Maintenance of the Bee Farm 29


Procedure:
The comb is thoroughly crushed. The
crushed comb is then placed in a piece of Tip:
cheesecloth or bag to drain away the honey. Let the cheesecloth or bag containing
crushed honeycomb hang overnight so that
most of the honey will drain from the comb.

Procedures in using the extractor

Procedures:

1. With the use of an uncapping


knife or fork, remove the wax
capping on the cells and
expose the honey.

Tip: To hasten uncapping, (1) keep uncapping tool warm by dipping it in warm water once
in a while and (2) use two uncapping tools (warm them alternately).

2. Put the combs in a honey extractor and


rotate the mechanism. As the extractor is
rotated, honey falls out of the comb and
drips to the bottom of the machine.

3. Drain the honey and store in


containers.

Operation and Maintenance of the Bee Farm 30


SECTION 4
PESTS AND DISEASES OF HONEY BEES

“Like other animals, honey bees are susceptible to infection by a


variety of organisms. Some organisms affect the adult bee, while
others affect the brood, or immature stages. (The beekeeper) will find
that the diseases infecting the brood pose the greatest challenge to
beekeeping”1

“Broadly speaking, honeybees are affected by parasitic mites,


bacterial diseases, fungal diseases, viruses, protozoa, and a host of
predators such as wax moths and birds. Other than possibly
requeening, you can discard from the list viruses and fungal diseases
as problems with which the beekeeper can do little to assist. There
are simply no adequate controls for these maladies within beekeeping
at this time. That leaves bacteria, protozoa, mites, and other pests as
areas appropriate for beekeeper assistance.

Treating bee colonies for various pathogenic problems can be, at


once, both helpful and potentially hurtful to the hive population or
possibly to the future honey crop. There are many variables that must
be considered when developing broad scientific recommendations for
disease and pest control and those considerations must be reviewed
over a period of years and under different environmental conditions.
It’s not a quick procedure. In most cases, for statistical analysis to be
relevant, untreated hives must actually be allowed to die, if necessary,
to conclusively show that a treatment is effective within the treated
population. Beekeepers have been warned time and again that
looking for serendipitous treatments that are poorly researched is a
risky procedure for the beekeeper, the bees, and the honey crop.
Even if recommended and approved treatments seem to be
increasingly ineffective, a beekeeper would be wise to stick with
tested and documented control procedures”.2

In Sagada, the beekeepers deal with bee parasites, such as mites; and predators, such as
swifts. Other places in the world report dealing with various forms of foulbrood.

This section presents some information on symptoms, prevention and treatment of some of
the more common bee pests and diseases.

1
Nicholas Calderone, “Disease Management,” Bee Culture 129, January 2000. (Archived article in
http://www.airoot.com\\beeculture).
2
James E. Tew, “Treating Hives, Bee Culture, March 1998. (Archived article in
http://www.airoot.com\\beeculture).

Pests and Diseases 31


Mites

“New beekeepers must confront one overriding reality right from the start - MITES! The
Varroa mite (Varroa jacobsoni) and the tracheal mite (Acarapis woodi) are major risk factors
in beekeeping, and both mites will continue to be serious problems in the next century. You
can enjoy and profit from beekeeping, but only if you incorporate effective mite-control
practices into your management program. Of course, that assumes you have a
management program. So, before you ever put hammer to nail on your first hive body, put
together a seasonal plan for managing your bees, and make mite control a key feature of
that plan. Remember! Healthy bees and large honey crops don't just happen. You have to
make them happen.

Basic biology

In order to put together an effective mite management program, you must understand the
basics of the pest's biology. Varroa jacobsoni is an external parasite that feeds on the
hemolymph (i.e. blood) of adult and immature bees. Varroa mites reproduce solely on the
immature stage of the bee, in the capped cells, where they are well protected from miticides.
Mite reproduction is much higher on drone brood because it is capped for a longer period of
time than worker brood. This allows time for more offspring to mature. Not surprisingly,
Varroa mites exhibit a clear preference for drone brood. Varroa mites Winter with the colony,
although reproduction is greatly reduced when brood rearing is low.

Identification and detection

Viewed from the top, the adult female is elliptical in shape, measuring 1.6 mm (= 1/16"), side
to side, and 1.1 mm, front to rear. Mature mites are dark brown or reddish-brown in color,
while the immature stages are light brown or off-white. Male Varroa mites die in the capped
cells and are not seen on adult bees. Unlike their close relatives, the six-legged insects,
adult mites have four pairs of legs.

There are several ways to detect Varroa mites.

1. The ether roll

Approximately 250 bees are collected from two or three brood nest combs and
placed in a quart glass jar. A one to two second burst of automotive starting fluid is
sprayed into the jar, which is covered, shaken vigorously for 30 seconds, and then,
gently rolled two or three times along its long axis. Mites, if present, will be seen
adhering to the side of the jar. Mite levels are about twice as high on combs with
brood as on combs with only honey (Calderone and Turcotte 1999), so, you increase
the chance of detecting mites in your colonies by collecting bees from brood combs.
The ether roll removes about half of the mites from the bees.

2. The soapy water method

It is similar to the ether roll, except that you place the bees in a jar with soapy water
and shake it for 30 seconds. This method removes nearly all of the mites from the
bees, which are then separated and counted. You can use a bee brush or a plastic
laundry scoop to collect the bees, but a portable vacuum device will greatly speed up

Pests and Diseases 32


the process and make it easy to collect samples of the same size. Remember! In
order to use the information you get from the ether roll, or any other method, it is
essential that you always collect samples of the same size.

3. The sticky board

It is a passive method for monitoring mite levels. A sticky board with a screen
covering is placed on the bottom board for a set period of time, usually 24 hours. The
board is then removed, and the mites adhering to the board are counted. A sticky
board in conjunction with Apistan strips can also be used to detect mites.

4. The cappings scratcher

This method involves removing some capped pupae; preferably drone pupae, and
examining them for mites. It is good for a `presence-absence' determination, but is
not very good for comparison purposes. Mites can sometimes be seen on the adult
bees or walking on the comb, but this is more common when infestation rates are
high and should not be relied on as a detection method.

Symptoms

The three most obvious symptoms of Varroa are the following:

1. Bees with deformed wings walking on combs


2. Crawling bees at the entrance
3. The presence of atypical brood diseases.

Transmission and re-infestation

Varroa infests colonies in several ways.

1. Moving capped brood among colonies for the purpose of strengthening or equalizing
colonies is a common practice among beekeepers and can be a major source of
transmission of both mites and disease.
2. Robbing is also a significant source of transmission. Colonies weakened by mites or
disease are unable to defend themselves and are usually robbed by stronger
colonies. In the process, the robber bees take home more than just a free load of
honey.
3. Swarms from infested colonies establish new nests with mites already present and
are not likely to survive more than a year or two. This makes feral colonies a prime
source of re-infestation for managed colonies because your bees may rob them
when they become too weak to defend themselves. Swarms that you capture are
also likely to be infested with mites. Bees often drift among colonies within an apiary,
especially when colonies are kept close together in regular patterns. Drifting can
spread mites among colonies”.3

3
Morse, Roger, “Integrated Pest Management for Varroa Mites,” Bee Culture, November 1999.
(Archived article in http://www.airoot.com\\beeculture).

Pests and Diseases 33


Prevention and Treatment

Integrated Pest Management

The goal of an effective mite control program is to impose a cycle on the mite population
such that the mite population density is always below the economic injury level. Treatment
after honey harvest (January to March), late summer (May to June) or (September to early
October) treatment might provide adequate control if you had to worry only about your own
bees. “However, feral colonies are constantly dying, and other beekeepers may not always
pay adequate attention to their bees. You must assume that mite levels in your colonies are
augmented by mites from nearby infested colonies that are robbed by your bees, especially
when there is a dearth of nectar. Mite levels also seem to be higher in years when there is a
strong and sustained nectar flow”.4

One of the best methods of controlling external mites is to maintain strong colonies with
young, healthy queens. In case of weak infested colonies, add brood with young bees to
discourage the mites.

The most popular way of treating mite-infested colonies is by fumigation with


chlorobenzelate. However, bee colonies should never be treated unless signs of infestation
are evident. The procedure for fumigation is detailed in Module 4 of the Technology
Resource Center Foundation, Inc.5

Preparation before fumigation:

1. Assemble all the necessary materials:


a. Prepare the syrup
b. Bring the fumigation box set in a deep super box with inner cover near the infested
colony to be fumigated.
c. Get another super box where the brood frame will be transferred after removing the
worker bees.
2. Transfer the queen in a separate cage.
a. Open the box of the infested colony and remove the queen.
b. Out the queen and 6-8 workers in a cage that contains syrup. Make sure that the
workers to be placed with the queen and free of mites
c. Keep the queen cage in a secure place.
3. Spray syrup
a. Spray syrup on the worker bees of the infested colony
b. Let the worker bees pass through a funnel placed at the top hole of inner cover, and
then through the deep super box on top of the fumigation box.
4. After all the worker bees have passed through the funnel to the deep super box, remove
the box of the infested colony.
5. Brush off the workers left on top of inner cover, then cover with a shallow super box
6. Place the inverted feeding bottle through the hole of inner cover.
7. Place the queen cage on top of the screen, and finally put the outer cover.

4
Ibid.
5
Technology Resource Center Foundation, Inc. “Module 5: Pests and Diseases of Honeybees”, n.d.

Pests and Diseases 34


Fumigation Proper

1. Remove the queen and the feeding bottle before fumigating.


2. Cover tightly any hole or space, including the hole where the feeding bottle is inserted to
prevent escape of smoke.
3. Place securely the third inner cover and place a chlorobenzilate strip paper at the back
of the fumigation box. Burn it and let it smoke for 30-40 minutes.
4. Remove the inner cover and return the queen and the feeding bottle to their original
place. Then place the inner cover no. 2 for better ventilation.
5. Repeat the process on the 6th day and observe if there are any more mites. Repeat the
following day until there are no more mites.

Smoking Paper Method

The latest and most effective method of eradicating mites is the smoking paper (Deung-
Chun) method developed in Korea. This smoking paper can be obtained from local bee
suppliers. Read the directions in the package very well before using.

Chemical Treatments 6

Apistan (fluvalinate) and CheckMite+ (coumpahos) are the two products registered for
control of Varroa mites in the U.S. (and in the Philippines). Unless you have mites that are
resistant to Apistan, that is your safest and most effective treatment. Use one new Apistan
strip for every five full-depth combs of bees in the brood nest. For most colonies, that means
one strip after honey harvest (February), two to three strips in late summer or early rainy
season (May-June). Place strips so that they will be in contact with the bees when they
cluster. Leave strips in place 42-56 days (6-8 weeks). However, you should be monitoring
your colonies throughout the season. If, during the summer you find, using an ether roll,
more than five mites, you should seriously consider sacrificing your remaining honey crop
and treat immediately. Again, losing a colony is more expensive than losing a partial honey
crop. Meanwhile, always read the label for the latest instructions on how to use the strips.

Resistance to Apistan is becoming common throughout the United States, especially in


migratory operations. You should be monitoring for resistance by checking the effectiveness
of your Apistan treatments. This can be difficult because you do not know if Apistan is
working until after the treatment period is over. Partial resistance can add to this problem.
Nonetheless, if you find mites in your colonies after the six to eight week treatment period,
assume that you have Apistan-resistant mites and switch to CheckMite+. Always read the
label for the latest instructions.

Formic acid

Formic acid has been approved for control of tracheal mites and for suppression of Varroa
mites. Formic acid treatments generally result in 50% to 80% mortality of Varroa mites,
which is not generally thought to be sufficient as a stand-alone treatment.

6
Morse, Roger, “Integrated Pest Management for Varroa Mites.”

Pests and Diseases 35


NEVER APPLY APISTAN,
CHECKMITE+ OR FORMIC ACID
DURING A NECTAR FLOW OR
WHILE HONEY SUPERS ARE ON
YOUR COLONIES.

Substitute to Apistan Strips

A mixture of 60% sulfur and 40% mothballs can be a substitute to Apistan. Make the
mixture and put it in the hive at night. Remove it the following day. Apply again after five
days and two more times afterwards.

Wax Moth (Galleria mellonella)7

The wax moth is one of the most active enemies of bees. The adult moth lays eggs in old
and neglected combs while the larvae infest honeycombs.

Symptoms

The larvae when hatched, devours everything within their reach and makes web through the
combs.

Prevention and Treatment

Always keep colonies strong so they can fight and destroy the moths. Never keep combs in
exposed places.

There are two ways of protecting unused combs against wax moth infestation.
1. Keep the combs in strong colonies so bees may remove any wax moth larvae, which
enters the colony. The bees, however, may not be able to remove all the larvae.
2. Protect combs against wax moth by keeping them in storage protected with
paradichlorobenzene (PDB) or some other fumigant. PDB will both repel and kill wax
moth adults and larvae. Treated combs should be aired very well before using again
to remove all chemical fumes.

Other fumigants equally effective in treating wax moths and less expensive than PDB
are available but are recommended only for use by persons familiar with them.
These fumigants are calcium cyanide, methyl bromide, carbon disulphide and sulfur.
Calcium cyanide and methyl bromide are very effective but are toxic to mammals.
Sulfur is irritating while carbon disulphide is relatively poisonous to mammals.

7
Technology Resource Center Foundation, Inc. “Module 5: Pests and Diseases of Honeybees”, n.d.

Pests and Diseases 36


Birds

Several species of birds feed on honeybees, but only a few may be considered a threat to
the beekeeping industry. One of these is the Philippine spine-tailed swift or “balilunod”
Chaetura dubia. The bird is active during cool, windy and cloudy days. In Sagada, the
swifts come during the ikik season from November to February. From the mountains, they
swoop in flocks of 10 to 15 birds, from 9:00 o’clock in the morning to 2:00 o’clock in the
afternoon, to prey upon foraging bees. One-spine tailed swift may catch as many as 400 to
500 bees a day.

An apiculturist developed two designs of traps that could catch several birds at a time. The
two types of traps designed to suit the location of your apiary are the open field trap and the
forested area trap.

1. Open field trap. This trap is used when your apiary is located in a clear area. The open
field trap makes use of number 5 or 6 net measuring 10 ‘ x 6’. One end of the net is tied to
a long bamboo pole firmly rooted to the ground. The other end is tied to a piece of wood
or bamboo, which you can easily swing with the hand.

When there are no birds in sight, the side


attached to the piece of wood or bamboo is
lowered. When birds are about 5 meters
away and flying in the direction of the net
trap. The net is raised at once to block the
birds. Since the birds fly fast, they tend to
get stuck to the net.

In Sagada, some farmers trap swifts by


tying a net between trees.

2. Forested area trap. This type is used when the apiary is located in an area where trees
abound. It is made of the following materials: Net no. 5 or 6; two bamboo poles firmly
planted on the ground; six rubber strips (1½ meter long and ¾ inch wide) cord and two
pulleys. Set the device.

Wasps, dragonflies and other insects

Other species of insects also feed on field bees, but they are not considered a serious threat
to the beekeeping industry. Wasps usually feed on the honeybees flying to and from the
colony entrance. Dragonflies, on the other hand, prey on large, virgin queen bee.

American Foulbrood

The American foulbrood is considered to be the most serious of all bee diseases, although it
is not yet present in the Philippines. “The disease called American Foulbrood, or AFB, is
caused by the bacterium Bacillus larvae. AFB has plagued both bees and beekeepers from
the earliest days of U.S. beekeeping. The bacillus larva is a spore-forming bacterium.
Spores can survive in dormancy for thirty-five years or more. They are easily transported by

Pests and Diseases 37


either infested bees or infected equipment. Beekeepers moving contaminated equipment
are, by far, the greatest source of AFB spread.

Visual signs of AFB begin to show up in the hive after young, susceptible larvae eat the
spores that have been mixed in the brood food fed by nurse bees. If left untreated, infection
spreads rapidly until the colony population is so weakened it dies during cold months by the
ravages of the wax moth, or just by sheer lack of population, since all larvae die.

Symptoms of American Foulbrood

1. Brown, decaying prepupa or early pupal stages


2. Spotty brood patterns
3. Punctured, ragged often sunken cappings
4. Musty decay odor (somewhat like sour, wet boots)

Symptoms of American Foulbrood that are occasionally present

1. Dead brood with the tongue sticking up from the carcass


2. Mucilaginous consistency of some pupae that will sting out about an inch when
punctured
3. Dried pupal skins, in the form of a brittle scale, stick to the bottom sides of infected
cells (difficult to see)

Treatment

Burning infected equipment and destroying infected bees is the only way to completely
eradicate AFB. Though effective, total colony destruction is a radical recommendation.
Presently, oxytetracycline hydrochloride (Terramycin®) is the only approved antibiotic for
controlling the growth and development of Bacillus larvae within the gut of the larvae. It
does NOT kill spores; therefore the disease may re-express itself shortly after antibiotic
applications are stopped.

Treatment Doses

Stop all antibiotic treatments six weeks before the nectar flow starts. It is important to
confirm dose recommendations with the most knowledgeable apiarist in the area. Dose
rates and recommendations may vary from place to place.

Terramycin/Powdered Sugar Mixture: Mix one 6.4 oz package of TM25 with 1.5-2.0 pounds
of powdered sugar. Place this mixture on the tops of frames, along the outer edges of the
brood frames. Usually, three dustings at 4-5 day intervals are considered to be one
treatment per hive. You can retreat when all this dust has been consumed. Stop all
treatments six weeks before surplus honey supers are added.

Antibiotic Extender Patty: Mix 1/3 pound of vegetable oil with 2/3 pound granulated sugar.
Add two tablespoons of TM25 to the mixture. Press into two half-pound patties and place on
colony, on the top bars of the brood frames. Place between brood chambers if using two.
Remove at least six weeks before adding surplus honey supers.

Pests and Diseases 38


When to Treat

Actually, treatments can occur any time that surplus honey is not being produced. So, if you
discover an outbreak in summer or during the rainy months, remove honey super and either
dust or use a patty. Losing a colony is probably more expensive than losing a portion of your
honey crop.

TO PREVENT THE DISEASE FROM ENTERING THE


COUNTRY, THE BEEKEEPER SHOULD NEVER IMPORT
BROOD FRAMES FROM OTHER COUNTRIES.
PACKAGED BEES ARE MORE ADVISABLE.

European Foulbrood

Description and Spread

Essentially, European Foulbrood (EFB) is the little brother of American Foulbrood. Another
bacterium, Mellisococcus pluton, is credited with causing the symptoms associated with EFB
- though other bacteria probably play a role. The major difference between the two brood
diseases is that EFB does NOT produce spores; therefore, its persistence and effect on
honeybees is greatly reduced when compared to AFB. Though described as early as 1771,
not very much is known about EFB. No doubt it is spread by both drifting bees and
beekeepers. EFB attacks colonies in mid to late spring and has been occasionally called a
stress disease. EFB is not normally considered to be serious, but since it resembles AFB, it
should be treated with care.

Infected larvae usually die in the coiled larval "C" shape while larvae infected with AFB die
stretched out. Initially larvae are yellow before changing to brown and eventually changing
to black.

Symptoms Of European Foulbrood

1. Spotty brood pattern


2. Twisted yellow-colored larvae
3. Sour, somewhat putrefied odor
4. Larvae dries to a rubbery scale
5. Watery body fluids

Symptoms of European Foulbrood that are occasionally present

1. Larvae dying in the extended position


2. Mucilaginous stringiness usually less than one inch8

8
James E. Tew, “Treating Hives, Bee Culture, March 1998. (Archived article in
http://www.airoot.com\\beeculture).

Pests and Diseases 39


Prevention, Treatment and Treatment Doses

Getting rid of EFB is comparatively easier than AFB. Usually, re-queening a colony with a
young, vigorous queen is sufficient to control the disease. Another way of controlling it is by
treating it with Terramycin (TM 25 or TM 10) or Sulfatysol powder.

Terramycin in liquid form loses its potency quickly so it is advisable to the powder form. Mix
½ teaspoon of TM 25 (use 2½ times the amount if using TM 10) with ¾ spoonful of
powdered sugar. Dust a teaspoonful of the mixture over the brood combs three times at the
beginning of honey flow.9

Nosema Disease

Nosema is caused by the protozoan, Nosema apis. Nosema infections have been
compared to high-blood pressure in humans. It may be within a colony’s population for
years but may not express any symptoms. Cool, wet seasons seem to aggravate the
development of latent Nosema. Beekeeper manipulations and robbing or drifting bees are
the primary means of the spread of Nosema. Nosema apis is a spore-forming protozoan.

Symptoms

Extreme fecal markings on the hive’s exterior are a common indicator of Nosema. However,
all dysentery infections are not due to Nosema. Bees, with swollen abdomens and
unhooked wings, crawling in front of a fecal-spotted hive are general indicators of Nosema -
though those symptoms could also indicate other non-related problems. Internal
examination of the infected bee would be required to tell if Nosema is the causative agent.

Treatment

The antibiotic Fumadil-B (fumagillin) gives excellent control of Nosema. Fumadil-B should
be mixed in cool sugar syrup at label rates and fed in the early part of the year, and again as
late as September.

Unfortunately, there are other diseases that commonly occur, for which there is no control.
Currently, no chemical controls are available for the viruses causing sacbrood and bee
paralysis. Also, the common fungal disease, chalkbrood, has no chemical control.

Sacbrood

It is a disease of larval honeybees caused by a virus and commonly found in weak colonies
or in colonies under stress. Colonies with adult bees that have suffered from pesticide
exposure are usually affected by sacbrood two to four weeks later. However, sacbrood is
not considered a serious disease.

9
Technology Resource Center Foundation, Inc. “Module 5: Pests and Diseases of Honeybees”, n.d.

Pests and Diseases 40


Symptoms

1. The outer skin of dead larvae becomes hard and sac like.
2. The dead and infested larvae can easily be removed intact with a toothpick or
matchstick.

Prevention and Treatment

No methods of treating or controlling sacbrood are known. Again the maintenance of strong
colonies is the best insurance against sacbrood infections.10

10
Ibid.

Pests and Diseases 41


Photo Sources

The upper right hand and lower left hand photos on the cover and those in
pages 3, 5, 14, 21, 23 were from http:\\www.beemaster.com.

All other photos are NRMP2 files and were taken by Alice Follosco and
Arlene Cid.
REFERENCES

Ancestral Domain and Natural Resource Management in Sagada, Northern Philippines,


Cordillera Studies Center, University of the Philippines College Baguio.
Documentation Reports on Beekeeping, 1998.

Bee Culture Magazine online [http://www.bee.airoot.com/beeculture]

Beekeeping Guide for the Philippines. DMMSU, ATDC, n.d.

Calderone, Nicholas. “Disease Management.” Bee Culture 129 (January 2001). Archived
article in http://www.bee.airoot.com/beeculture.

Ecosystems Research and Development Service, DENR-CAR. “Honeybee Culture Under


Forest Tress in the Cordillera.” Technology Transfer Series VII (1), 1997.

Handout for Basic Beekeeping - United Beekeepers Association, Irisan, Baguio City, n.d.

Hobbyist and Student Beekeeping Course [http:\www.beemaster.com]

Morse, Roger. “Integrated Pest Management for Varroa Mites.” Bee Culture (November
1999). Archived article in http://www.bee.airoot.com/beeculture.

Technology Resource Center Foundation, Inc. “The Five Modules on Beekeeping.”


Correspondence School, Continuing Education Program. Pamantasan ng Bagong
Lipunan, Metro Manila, n.d. (Photocopy)

Tew, James E. “Treating Hives.” Bee Culture (March 1998). Archived article in
http://www.bee.airoot.com/beeculture.

The Internet Apiculture and Beekeeping Archive webpage [http://www.ibiblio.org/bees].


ANCESTRAL DOMAIN AND NATURAL RESOURCE MANAGEMENT PROGRAM (NRMP 2)
Cordillera Studies Center
University of the Philippines College Baguio
March 1997 - February 2001

LIST OF PROJECT PERSONNEL

PROGRAM HEAD TRAINORS


Rowena R. Boquiren (Mar 1997 - Jul 1998) Greg Kitma (Sustainable Agriculture, Nov 1997 - Apr 1998)
Lorelei C. Mendoza (Aug 1998 - Feb 2001) Ramon Tamayo (Apiculture, Feb - Dec 1998)

PROJECT LEADERS LECTURERS


Rogelio G. Colting (Mar 1997 - Sept 1998) Rene Abesamis (Parataxonomy, Nov 1997)
Gladys A. Cruz (Mar 1997 - May 1999) Marylou Andrada (Water Testing, Feb 2001)
Victoria C. Diaz (Mar 1997 - Sept 1997) Basito Cotiw - an (Livestock Management, Jul 1998)
Alicia G. Follosco (Mar 2000 - Feb 2001) Joseph Dianso (Livestock, Jul 1998)
Ma. Cecilia R. San Luis (Nov 1997 - Feb 2000) Mariano Roy Doy (Parataxonomy, Nov 1997)
John G. Tacloy (Mar 1999 - Feb 2000) Victor Lopez (Water Testing, Feb 2001)
Janet Luis (Mushroom Production, Dec 1998)
Teresita Merestela (Azolla Management, Aug 1998)
STUDY LEADERS Alice Moldez (Biodiversity, May 1997)
Michael R. Cabalfin (Mar 1997 - May 1998) Ruel Pine (Parataxonomy and Biodiversity, Nov 1997)
Emmanuel J. Floresca (Jun 1998 - May 1999) Paquito Untalan (Forest Fire Prevention, Apr 1999)
Alicia G. Follosco (Sept 1999 - Feb 2000) Melizar Valenzuela (Parataxonomy, Nov 1997)
Marissa R. Parao (Mar 1997 - May 1999)
John G. Tacloy (Mar 1997 - Feb 1999)
CONSULTANTS
Carol Gamiao (Community Planning, Dec 1998)
RESEARCH FELLOWS
Micklay Simeon (Topographic Maps, Sept - Oct 1998)
June Prill - Brett (Ancestral Domain, Aug 1998 - Feb 2000)
Arellano A. Colongon, Jr. (Policy Issues, Mar 1999 - Feb 2000)
Bienvenido P. Tapang, Jr. (Institutional Analysis, Mar ‘99 - Feb 2000) LOCAL RESEARCH AIDES
Yolanda B. Botigan (Fruit Tree Growing, Aug 1998 - Feb 2000) Janet Bomogao (Nov 1997 - Dec 1998)
Zenaida N. Ganga (Sweet Potato Production, Jan 1999 - Feb 2000) Juliet P. Calpi (Jul 1998 - Dec 2000)
Dymphna N. Javier (Geologic Study, Apr 1998) Rachel B. Capuyan (Jul 1998 - Dec 2000)
Frederico O. Perez (Land Use Study, Jan 1998 - Jan 1999) Sena Diyawyaw (Apr 1998 - Dec 2000)
Jolan C. Rivera (Land Use Study, Jan 1998 - Jan 1999) Tony K. Kimmayong (Jun - Dec 1997)
Leticia E. Tolentino (Advocacy, Feb 1998 - Feb 1999) Clementina G. Owatan (Jul 1998 - Dec 2000)
Annie G. Sumedca (Jun - Dec 1997)
RESEARCH ASSOCIATES/ASSISTANTS
Jacqueline S. Calsiman (Apr 2000 - Feb 2001) ADMINISTRATIVE STAFF
Mildred I. Calugan (Mar 1999 - Sept 1999) Helena K. Gadgad (Jan - Apr 1998)
Marion Loida S. Difuntorum (Sept 2000 - Feb 2001) Ryan Gonzaga (Jun - Jul 1998)
Alicia G. Follosco (Aug 1998 - Aug 1999) Herbert V. Nalupa (Mar 1999 - Feb 2001)
Mary Ann J. Ladia (Mar 1999 - Feb 2000) Christina M. Reyes (Jun 1998)
Angeli C. Picazo (Jun 2000 - Feb 2001) Gloria Q. Rodriguera (Aug 1998 - Feb 2001)
Giovannie R. Rualo (Aug 1998 - Feb 2001)
Geneva T. Simplina (Oct 1998 - Aug 2000)
COMMUNITY - BASED RESEARCH ASSISTANTS Ruby Luisa D. Sotero (May - Dec 1997)
Ramon G. Bag-eo (Jun 1997 - Feb 2001)
Arlene S. Cid (Jun 1997 - Feb 2001)
DRIVER
Edwin D. Lardizabal (Jan - Nov 1998)
Luisito S. Alimurung (Nov 1998 - Feb 2001)
BEEKEEPER’S LOGBOOK