|Manual for Trainers of Small Scale Beekeeping Development Workers (Peace Corps, 1983, 392 p.)|
· This is a Trainee-facilitated session. See Session 7, "Bee Colony Cycle", for guidelines.
Good beekeeping requires that the beekeeper know bees, their needs and how to supply the requirements of the colony. The beekeeper who understands bee biology is better able to ensure that appropriate management techniques are carried out. This session provides the Trainees with background biology on honey bees and gives them the opportunity to observe the various life stages of bees.
· To discuss the castes, anatomy and life cycle of bees.
· To discuss the role of each caste in the colony.
· To list the resource needs of the colony.
· To examine the life cycle stages of honey bees.
- Small Scale Beekeeping, Chapter 3.
- The Social Organization of Honeybees
- The Hive and the Honey Bee
- Contemporary Queen Rearing, p. 19.
blackboard, chalk, samples of different castes of bees, observation hive with bees, nucleus with bees, schematic drawing of honey bee (see p. 81, The Hive And the Honey Bee), hand lens, personal protective clothing, smoker, fuel, matches
Step 1: Anatomy of the Honey Bee (15 minutes)
Pass around samples of various honey bees and hand lenses. Point out and describe the basic features of the anatomy of the honey bee on a large schematic drawing while the Trainees examine the samples. Focus on those structures which are useful to bees in their role as pollen and nectar gatherers. Introduce vocabulary terms from the language in which the Trainees will be working. Encourage discussion and answer questions.
Step 2: The Castes and the Honey Bee Life Cycle (35 minutes)
Give a brief lecture on the castes and the honey bee life cycle. Describe the three castes found in honey bees. Emphasize the characteristics which distinguish one caste from another.
Explain the specific functional duties and relate those duties to the anatomical structures of each caste. Include in the discussion the temporal change of tasks in workers. Outline the life cycle of the queen, worker and drone. Emphasize the role of nutrition in determining the formation of queens and the different developmental times for each caste.
Step 3: Resource Needs of the Colony (20 minutes)
Question the Trainees as to the resource needs of a bee colony and list these. Point out that the specific resource needs of the colony change during different periods of the yearly cycle and relate the availability of resources to management. Explain that the beekeeper can supply specific nutritional needs during certain periods to increase the productivity of the colony.
Step 4: Demonstration/Review (35 minutes)
Use a colony of bees to demonstrate and review the topics discussed. Use a colony that demonstrates a normal, healthy condition and stress the importance of recognizing such a condition in a colony so that one quickly becomes able to spot a diseased condition. Provide the Trainees with an opportunity to distinguish between drone and worker brood and between eggs and young larvae. Point out the royal jelly surrounding all larvae less than two days old. Also point out callow adult bees or tenerals.
Step 5: Session Evaluation (15 minutes)
· See Steps 5 and 6 of Sesson 7, "Bee Colony Cycle".