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 SUBJECT: AGRICULTURAL SCIENCE

CLASS: SS 3

TOPIC: APICULTURE

CONTENT:

  1. Meaning and Importance of Apiculture
  2. Types and Methods of Keeping Bees
  3. Precautionary Measures in Keeping Bees

Apiculture comes from two Latin words, apis meaning bees and cultura meaning cultivation. From this apiculture is the cultivation of bees. This definition however lacks substance as bees are animals not plants that cannot be cultivated but rear. Hence, apiculture can be better define as the art of rearing, breeding and managing honey bee colony in artificial hives for economic gains through the production of honey and other bee products for man’s use. For bees to produce honey, they feed majorly on nectar and pollen

IMPORTANCE OF APICULTURE

  1. Provision of honey: we obtain honey which serves as sweetening properties
  2. Source of income to the bee keepers
  3. Medicinal use: It is used in curing various ailments
  4. Source of raw materials: bye products of honey such as bee wax is used in manufacturing of candles, polish and adhesives
  5. Pollination: honey bees are pollinators and this is their greatest value in agriculture

TYPES AND METHODS OF KEEPING BEES

TYPES OF BEES: There are many different species of bees most of which are solitary (Apis cerana) while others are social. Social bees live together in colonies and the best known is the honey bees (Apis mellifera).

The major types are Indigenous and exotic bees.

On a wider scale and from recent research findings there are about 25,000 known species of bees world-wide. These are divided into 4,000 generally belonging to 9 families. Bees are classified into the following families

  1. Apidae: these include honey bees and bumble bees
  2. Megachilidae: these are solitary bees and includes leaf cutting and mason bees
  3. Andrenidae: this is a large family of bees with about 1300 species
  4. Colletidae: this consists about 2000 species which includes plasterer and yellow faced bees
  5. Halictidae: these are mostly dark in color with some having green, yellow or red markings
  6. Melittidae: these are commonly found in Africa, about sixty species belonging to four genera
  7. Megamomiidae: this family has about ten species in four genera found in Africa
  8. Dasypodaidae: they are small bee family found in Africa with more than 100 species in eight genera
  9. Stenitritidae: it is commonly found in Australia about twenty-one species belonging to two genera

METHOD OF KEEPING BEES

There are two methods by which bees can be kept or raised. These are traditional and modern bee keeping

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