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Apiculture- Definition, Products and Its Importance

Apiculture- Definition, Products and Its Importance

What comes to your mind when you think of bees? Yes, Honey. Bees secrete honey from the nectar of the flowers they collect, which has numerous medicinal properties and commercial significance. Apiculture is a scientific method of bee rearing for the production of honey and wax. 

Table of Contents:

  • What is Apiculture?
  • Common Varieties of Bees
  • Importance of Apiculture
  • Products Obtained from Apiculture
  • MCQs
  • Frequently Asked Questions

What is Apiculture?

Apiculture refers to the care and maintenance of honey bees for the production of honey. We can obtain pure honey from bees to treat several diseases, as it is an excellent antioxidant. It involves rearing honey bees in artificial hives to produce honey. Bees are bred in commercial setups in apiaries where there are a lot of artificial bee hives are kept. An apiarist or a beekeeper is a person responsible for collecting honey from the hives and breeding the bees.

Istock

Source: Istock

Common Varieties of Bees

‘Apis’ in Latin means ‘bees’. Those bees whose name starts with the word ‘Apis’ are the honey producing variety and these bees are only bred by the beekeepers. Here are some common honey producing bees:

  • Apis Dorsata: Also known as rock bee and giant bee. It produces a massive amount of about 38 to 40 kg of honey per colony.
  • Apis Indica: Also known as the Indian honey bee, that can be domesticated easily for honey. It produces 2 to 5 kg of honey per colony.
  • Apis Florea: Also known as the little or tiny bee, and produces 1 kg of honey per colony per year.
  • Apis Mellifera: Also known as the Italian honey bee, and it is not a local species. It has very typical characteristics to indicate the availability of food. It stings less, and beekeepers often raise them as it produces large amounts of honey.

Importance of Apiculture

  • Apiculture provides honey that has the most valuable nutritional and medicinal value.
  • It also provides bee wax, which is used in many industries like cosmetics, polishing and pharmaceutical industries.
  • Bees play an important role in pollination and act as pollinating agents to increase the crop yield.
  • Honey, the major product of Apiculture, is used to cure many chronic diseases.
  • Apiculture is performed as both a small and large-scale business to improve employment opportunities and entrepreneurship.
  • Bee farming is an environment to learn about bees' habitat and living. 

Products Obtained from Apiculture

  • Honey: It acts as a blood purifier and has great medicinal value, which treats coughs, ulcers, blood sugar, diarrhoea, vomiting and digestive problems. 
  • Bee wax: It is used in manufacturing cosmetics, lotions, and ointments.
  • Pollen: Transfer the small male reproductive unit for pollination.
  • Royal Jelly: It has a lot of protein and acts as an energising tonic.
  • Venom: Bee venom is obtained from the bee sting to treat rheumatism, arthritis, and other illnesses of the central nervous system. It contains a protein combination that can kill HIV-causing AIDS.
  • Propolis: It is used as an antibiotic-rich health supplement which has germ-destroying properties.

Apiculture- Practice Problems

Q1. Which of the following bees is known as rock bee?

A. Apis Dorsata
B. Apis Indica
C. Apis Florea
D. Apis Mellifera

Answer: A. Apis Dorsata

Explanation: Apis Dorsata is known as a rock bee and giant bee. It produces a massive amount of about 38 to 40 kg of honey per colony.

Q2. Which of the following products is used in the cosmetic manufacturing industry?

A. Honey
B. Royal Jelly
C. Bee wax
D. Propolis

Answer: C. Bee wax

Explanation: Bee wax is used in manufacturing cosmetics, lotions, and ointments for its shining and lustrous nature.

Q3. Pollen is a _______?

A. Male reproductive unit
B. Female reproductive unit
C. Anther
D. Stigma

Answer: A. Male reproductive unit

Explanation: Pollen is a small male reproduction unit that is present in the anthers of flowering plants.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. Which is the world’s largest bee?
Answer: Wallace’s Giant Bee is the world’s largest bee. The female bee has a wingspan of 2.5 inches and a total body length of 1.5 inches.

Q2. How are the bees divided in a beehive?
Answer: The bees are divided into three types, the queen bee, the drone bees and the worker bees. The queen bee lays eggs, the drone bee fertilises the eggs and the worker bees collect the nectar from the flowers.

Q3. How to start Apiculture?
Answer: First, you have to purchase bees and select your hive system. You have to buy beekeeping equipment like safety gear and food supplies. Constant attention and care are required for beekeeping.

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