Healthy Bees covers seasonal factors that affect the health of the colony, nutrition, non-infectious disorders, diseases, exotic pests, and strategies to prevent them.
Clear photographs to help you recognise and identify pests and diseases, and videos demonstrate collecting samples from your hive.
CHAPTER 1: The honey bee
Lifecycle of the honey bee
Castes of bees and their roles in the colony
Sex hormones in the hive
CHAPTER 2: Colony size
Colony size varies with seasons
Nectar flow and brood rearing
Managing bees in winter
Managing bees in spring
CHAPTER 3: Nutrition
Food for bees
Feeding sugar to honey bees
Plants as poisons
CHAPTER 4: Effects of seasons and location
CHAPTER 5: Disease and disorder
Health of bees is important
Causes of disease
CHAPTER 6: Strategies to prevent disease
Inspect the hive
Comb replacement program
CHAPTER 7: Diseases of the honey bee brood
Kashmir bee virus
Black queen cell virus
Prepare a larval smear for diagnosis
CHAPTER 8: Diseases of adult honey bees
Chronic bee paralysis virus (CBPV)
CHAPTER 9: Hive pests
Small hive beetle (SHB)
CHAPTER 10: Exotic pests
Sugar shaking to detect external parasites
Large hive beetles
CHAPTER 11: Surveillance and response to exotic pests and disease
Response to surveillance alert
CHAPTER 12: Honey bees and the law
Abandoned or neglected hives
The legal requirement to notify
Biosecurity Code of Practice
Bonus Chapter: Testing for Hygienic Behaviour
Liquid Nitrogen-Killed Brood Test
Appendix 1: Glossary
Appendix 2: The pollen story
Not all pollen is equal
No pollen and the colony dies
Sugar syrup, brood rearing, pollen foraging
Appendix 3: Competencies supported by this publication
Doug Somerville is employed by the NSW Department of Primary Industries as a Technical Specialist for Honey Bees. He has over 25 years experience assisting bee keepers and honey producers with
· best management practices in keeping honey bees;
· seasonal management enquiries;
· disease/pest management processes;
· starting out in bees;
· progressing from an amateur beekeeper to a business in keeping bees.
Doug Somerville has beekeeping experience in the United Kingdom and Canada and has been a guest speaker at several international conferences. He also manages over 100 hives himself for research, honey production and pollination.
Jennifer Laffan has written many publications and training resources for the NSW Department of Primary Industries, including others in the AgSkills series.
General safety precautions
Select bee site
Assemble and maintain a hive
Obtaining bees (buy hives)
Obtaining bees (buy packages)
Light and extinguish a bee smoker
Open, inspect and close a hive
Move a hive
Catch a swarm
Identify flora for honey production
Judging field conditions
Legal considerations for an apiary
Health problems and pests in the hive
Reducing swarming behaviour
Buying second-hand hives and equipment
Industry structure and contacts
Managing Work Health and Safety risks
Check your skill
The complex and wonderful organisation of the honeybee has fascinated many naturalists and writers, but the New Naturalist is fortunate in securing for its library what is undoubtedly one of the finest and most comprehensive treatises on the subject. For many years head of the research station at Rothamsted, Dr Butler's own discoveries (particularly the existence of "queen substance") are truly remarkable.
Skilfully woven into the book are the results of the work of others - such as that of von Frisch on the orientation of bees, and the almost incredible way in which information is conveyed about the distance and direction of food sources, by beautiful, extraordinary dances. The copious illustrations are all taken by the author and are marvels of close-up photography.
This edition contains the finding of latest research, including the discovery of the sex attractant released by the queen and its function; and exactly how the piping sounds made by the emerging queen are produced.
"Excellent guide to the mysteries of bee life, for the general reader as well as the beekeeper and entomologist"
"Important as an exposition of a most suggestive theory, that of the "queen substance". The experiments behind this are fascinating."
"One of the best books of this (20th) century on bees"
British Bee Journal