top of page
Unit 1: Biology of Bees

Apis and Non-Apis Bee species and their identification.

Q.Give example of two Apis and two non Apis bee species mentioning their identifying features.


General Morphology of Apis Honey Bees

Social Organization of Bee Colony


Q.What is piping?

Piping describes a noise made by virgin and mated queen bees during certain times of the virgin queens’ development. Fully developed virgin queens communicate through vibratory signals-Quacking from virgin queen in their queen cells and tooting from queens free in the colony, collectively known as piping. A virgin queen frequently pipe before she emerges from her cell and for a brief time afterwards. Mated queen may briefly pipe after being released in a hive.

Unit 2: Rearing of Bees

Artificial Bee rearing (Apiary)


Beehives – Newton and Langstroth box

Q.What do you mean by Langstroth box?

In modern bee-keeping, the comb are built on wooden frames that are movable. This facilitatesinspection and management of bee colonies. 3 types of movable frame hive are in common use : the Newton type along with its standardized version ISI Type A, the jeolikote villager and its counterpart ISI Type B and the Langstoth type. The beehive is made up of series of square or oblong boxes without tops or bottoms, set one above the other.

This hive has the floor at the bottom with a crown board at the top and a roof overall….. …(For further information follow contact zone).

Bee Pasturage

Q.Make a brief note on bee pasturage.

Plants that yield pollen and nectar are collectively called bee pasturage or bee forage. Plants which are good source of nectar are tamarind, moringa, neem, Prosopis juliflora, Soapnut tree, Glyricidia maculata, eucalyptus, Tribulus terrestris and pungam. Plants which are good source of pollen are sorghum, sweet potato, maize, tobacco, millets like cumbu, tenai, varagu, ragi, coconut, roses, castor, pomegranate and date palm. Plants which are good source of both pollen and nectar are banana, peach, citrus, guava, apple, Sunflower, berries, safflower, pear, mango and plum.

Foraging: This refers to collection of nectar and pollen by bees.

Nectar foragers: These collect nectar from flowers using lapping tongue and pass the nectar to hive bees. Hive bees repeatedly pass the nectar between pre oral cavity and tongue to ripen the honey. Later they drop the ripened honey into cells.

Pollen foragers: They collect pollen by passing through different flowers. Pollen sticking to the body is removed by using pollen comb. Then it is packed using pollen press into corbicula or pollen basket. A single bee carries 10 to 30 mg of pollen which is 25 per cent of bee's weight. Then the pollen is dislodged by middle leg into cells. Pollen is mixed with honey and stored.

SEC API 001.png
SEC API 002.png

Selection of Bee Species for Apiculture

Modern Bee Keeping Equipment

Methods of Extraction of Honey (Indigenous and Modern)

Q.State three disadvantages of indigenous method of bee keeping.

i)Body parts of brood, pollen remain mixed with honey.

ii)Due to killing of eggs and larvae during honey extraction the colony become week.

iii)Construction of new hive by the escaped bees become a matter of chance.

Unit 3: Diseases and Enemies

Bee Diseases and Enemies

Q.What do you mean by chalkbrood disease?

In Asia, Japan, temperate America and Europe the disease has been reported to cause serious problems to bee-keepers. This disease is caused by the fungus Ascosphaera apis. It affects honey bee brood. This fungus only form spores during sexual reproduction. Infection by spores of the fungus is usually observed in larvae (3 to 4 days). Initially the dead larvae swell to the size of the cell and are covered with the whitish mycelia of the fungus. Subsequently the larvae mummify, harden, shrink and appear chalk like. The colour of the dead larvae varies with the stage of growth of the mycelia: first white, then grey and finally, when the fruiting bodies are formed, black.

SEC API 003.png

Brood cells filled with mummified larvae

(Ref:BeeInformed Partnership)

SEC API 004.png

Chalkbrood mummies


Control and Preventive measures

Q.State the controlling measures to be taken to control mites attack on honey bee colony.

Chemical control is by far the most popular method to control mites. Among the commonly used mite-control agents are organic acids, ethereal oils, syntheticpyrethroids and amitraz. The application of chemical substances can only be started after honey harvest.

(a)Formic acid—Can kill sme of the mites in the sealed brood cells. It is recommended that the formic acid be allowed to evaporate in colonies with sealed brood for at least two to three weeks.In this way mites emerging from the brood will also be killed.

(b)Etheric oils—

The only etheric oil that is sufficiently effective against varroa mites is thymol. Thymol can be applied as a commercially available ready-made preparation or in crystal form.

Unit 4: Bee Economy

Products of Apiculture Industry and its Uses – Honey, Bees Wax, Propolis, Pollen etc.

Q.What is propolis?

Honeybees repair their damage comb by a waxy substance, called propolis. It is a resinous substance. It is collected by foraging workers during their pollen-collection and carried to the hives. It has some medicinal importance for human—medicines for tonsillitis, bronchitis and dental infections are made by the substance.

Unit 5: Entrepreneurship in Apiculture

Bee Keeping Industry – Recent Efforts

Q.State the recent effort by Government of India on bee keeping.

The Economic Advisory Council to the Prime Minister set up a Beekeeping Development Committee under the Chairmanship of Professor Bibek Debroy. The Beekeeping Development Committee (BDC) has released its report today (26th June, 2019) India’s recent efforts to improve the state of beekeeping have helped increase the volume of honey exports from 29.6 to 51.5 thousand tonnes between 2014-15 and 2017-18 (as per data from National Bee Board and Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers’ Welfare). However, challenges persist and a lot more can be done to enhance the scope and scale of beekeeping. Some of the recommendations in the report include,

(i)Recognizing honeybees as inputs to agriculture and considering landless Beekeepers as farmers.

(ii)Plantation of bee friendly flora at appropriate places and engaging women self-help groups in managing such plantations.

(iii)Institutionalizing the National Bee Board and rechristening it as the Honey and Pollinators Board of India under the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare. Such a body would engage in advancing beekeeping through multiple mechanisms such as setting up of new Integrated Bee Development Centers, strengthening the existing ones, creating a honey price stabilization fund and collection of data on important aspects of apiculture….(For further information follow contact zone).

Modern Methods in employing artificial Beehives for cross pollination in horticultural gardens.

Honours / Skill Enhancement Course (SEC)

For more detailed Study Material

bottom of page