Oxford, Ohio, United States
Posted Sep 19, 2011
The most commonly kept honey bee in the US is the Italian honey bee. They are a wonderful variety of bee that are relatively easy to work with an harvest honey from. They tend to be good producers with low aggression. When working with bees, most new beekeepers don a full suit to protect them from head to toe. However, if you are careful, methodical, pick the conditions and have a working smoker, a lot of more experienced beekeepers will work their bees with no protective clothing. Unfortunately, honey bees have been invaded by a host of parasites and diseases that forces the beekeeper to manage a hive more than they used to have to manage. Now, to get a hive through the winter, it is required that you medically treat for varroa mites at a minimum. Other common pests of honey bees are hive beetles, wax moths, tracheal mites and Nosema infections. All of these pests/infections require active management by the attentive beekeeper. The harvest you reap, however, is worth all of the work required to keep your bees healthy. Suburban and urban beekeeping is becoming quite popular as well so almost anyone can become a beekeeper. Contact your local agricultural department to find clubs of beekeepers near you.