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close this bookManual for Trainers of Small Scale Beekeeping Development Workers (Peace Corps, 1983, 392 p.)
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentPreface
View the documentAcknowledgments
Open this folder and view contentsIntroduction
View the documentSession 1: Establishing observation hives - group resource assessment
Open this folder and view contentsSession 2: Introduction to family live-in
View the documentSession 3: Training site investigation
View the documentSession 4: Defining expectations
View the documentSession 5: Assembling protective clothing
View the documentSession 6: Constructing KTBH's and preparing the apiary site
Open this folder and view contentsSession 7: Bee colony cycle - introduction to Trainee facilitation
Open this folder and view contentsSession 8: adult learning and an introduction to method demonstrations - basic insect anatomy
Open this folder and view contentsSession 9: Communication and listening skills
View the documentSession 10: Establishing individual nucs
View the documentSession 11: Functional biology of the honey bee
Open this folder and view contentsSession 12: Introduction to assessment and selection
View the documentSession 13: Introduction to program evaluation
View the documentSession 14: Bee management techniques
Open this folder and view contentsSession 15: Basic nutrition
Open this folder and view contentsSession 16: Types of bees and the bee-human relationship
View the documentSESSION 17: Foraging
View the documentSession 18: Hive design criteria and swarm boxes
Open this folder and view contentsSession 19: Role of the volunteer in development
Open this folder and view contentsSession 20: The bee space and types of hives
Open this folder and view contentsSession 21: Obtaining bees
View the documentSession 22: Transferring colonies
View the documentSession 23: Family live-in analysis
Open this folder and view contentsSession 24: Queen rearing
Open this folder and view contentsSession 25: Health and hygiene
View the documentSession 26: Swarming, supersedure and absconding
View the documentSession 27: Culture shock
View the documentSession 28: Constructing a swarm board and swarms
View the documentSession 29: Visual aids-queen rearing preparation
View the documentHandout 29A: Selecting communication tools
View the documentHandout 29B: Visual aids
Open this folder and view contentsSession 30: Extractors and solar wax melters
Open this folder and view contentsSession 31: Women in development-the role of men and women
Open this folder and view contentsSession 32: Mid-program evaluation
View the documentSession 33: Melliferous plants
View the documentSession 34: Preparation for site visit-information gathering
Open this folder and view contentsSession 35: Site visit-follow-up and cloncusions
View the documentSession 36: Honey
View the documentSession 37: Other hive products
View the documentSession 38: Anaphylactic shock
Open this folder and view contentsSession 39: Introduction to the bee fair
View the documentSession 40: Beeswax field trip
View the documentSession 41: Bees and trees
View the documentSession 42: Project planning and development
View the documentSession 43: Creamed honey and beeswax products
View the documentSession 44: Introduction to final assessment
View the documentSession 45: Cost analysis and project evaluation
View the documentSession 46: Bee diseases and pests
View the documentSession 47: Insecticides and bees
Open this folder and view contentsSession 48: Cooking with honey
View the documentSession 49: Introducing innovation-expectations beyond training
View the documentSession 50: Future training needs
View the documentSession 51: Site restitution
View the documentSession 52: Final program evaluation
Open this folder and view contentsAppendices

Session 11: Functional biology of the honey bee

Trainer Note

· This is a Trainee-facilitated session. See Session 7, "Bee Colony Cycle", for guidelines.


2 hours


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)

Trainer Note

· See Steps 5 and 6 of Sesson 7, "Bee Colony Cycle".