Beekeeping Class at Central Park

10 Jan

Here are the notes from the beekeeping class I attended at Central Park in December 2010.

Textbooks can be downloaded from here:
http://gothamcitybees.com/files/BackyardBeekeeping.pdf
http://gothamcitybees.com/files/BeekeepingBasics.pdf

They will soon make announcements about group-purchasing the bees and supplies for this spring, so we can get a group discount.

Next session is January 4th.

Lecturer was “Jim”, and he went over topics such as:
– Red Hook Red Honey (trending topic for sure)
– Bees – as a colony – are more like mammals than insects
– Distinguishing Drones, Workers, Queens
– Anatomy & Mating
– Pheromones & Communication

Myth-Busting:
– “Scientists can’t prove how bees can fly”…only if they have “fixed wings” like aircrafts. Bees move their wings; therefore, they can fly.
– Honey is NOT regurgitated — it’s kept in a separate “honey stomach”. That’s why it is kosher — it is not “excreted” by an insect, which would have made it un-kosher.
– GMO foods and cellphone towers are NOT the cause of hive collapse
– Queens do have a stinger, but they are not barbed, and they can sting again and again without dying like a worker bee. However, they almost never sting.

Bee breeds:
– Italian bees are recommended for beginners
– Russian/German bees are aggressive
– Carnolians are good for more advanced beekeepers
– Africanized bees are more tame at high altitudes
– Minnesota Hygenic – recommended for beginners
– SMR/VSH Carnolian – varroa sensitive
– New World Carnolians. Beekeeper’s favorite. Not for beginners. Best $making
– Guy named Adam Finkelstein (?) is developing a resistant breed

Books:
– Any books written before 1985 does not account for invasive pests, varroa, etc.
– “Beekeeping for Dummies” is a good book

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