Honeybees are used to pollinate crops and produce honey. But it’s not just the honey that is valuable in this relationship! The bees are also used to create honey through a very delicate process of harvesting and purifying the nectar stored in their hive. There are even people who collect these hives for their use or as a business venture, which requires them to produce these products.
In the world of hives, it’s not just the bees that are important. Technology is also used to make hives more efficient and increase their functionality. For example, many modern hives are built using special materials such as frames with plastic parts that can withstand harsh environments. In addition, there are various kinds of tools that help with harvesting honey in a much more efficient manner than simply shaking bees out of the hive directly.
1. Concrete Hive
Hives are typically designed with a bottom board onto which the honeycomb is placed. This allows the bees to build their precious home out of wax and honey, which they create from pollen. But this also makes it extremely difficult to extract the honey without damaging the product or hurting the bees! One solution that people have developed is to use a plastic or concrete bottom board. This material is light and strong, making it easy to transport the board when full of liquid honey from the hive. The plastic or concrete board can also be washed easily, keeping it clean after each harvest.
2. Bee Escaping Gloves
Ever try to shake bees out of a hive only to have them sting you in self-defense? It’s not only painful but also quite frustrating! But by using special gloves that allow you to carefully remove the bees from their hive without forcing them to sting, honey collectors can harvest much faster and more efficiently. These gloves are typically made using the same material as bee suits, with some additional perks such as zippers for easy removal and longer cuffs for more protection.
3. Electric Smoker
To lure the bees from their hive and into a box, many people use a smoker. This is especially useful in areas where there is a lot of outside human traffic or noise that could upset the bees and make them harder to collect! One issue with the traditional smoker is that you must use wood to make smoke. But it is possible to make an electric smoker that uses a heat source to produce smoke from small pieces of wood! This removes the need to carry around firewood, making it easier on the worker.
Honey is often sold in jars or other packaging at supermarkets and farmers’ markets, but more industrious bee collectors take their product to be processed into liquid gold! This requires an extractor that can take all of the honey out of its natural container and turn it into a creamy delicious substance. Because of the delicate nature of the process, this requires a special machine that is capable of rotating the honeycomb while also heating it. This can be done by using a steam source or merely by boiling the honey on the stove!
5. Solar Panels
Bees are always working to make honey, even through cold and rainy weather. Luckily, their hives are designed to withstand some harsh climates and can even provide warmth to the bees! However, this also means that they are generating a lot of heat inside the hive which can make it difficult to work with during cooler months. To combat this problem, many bee hobbyists and professionals will install solar panels onto their hives to use natural energy sources to keep the hive warm if necessary.
6. Beehive Shakers
While bee suits and bee gloves are helpful to use when collecting bees from the hive, it can be hard to get an entire colony of bees without shaking them out! This is where a high-quality beehive shaker comes into play. This tool can quickly break up the hive and remove most of the bees using vibration. It does this by placing a container underneath the hive, which then vibrates after being turned on. The vibrations loosen the bees, allowing them to fall into the container below.
7. Cool Room to Harvest
These methods are all great at extracting honey without damaging the hive, but what about hot? To ensure that the workers aren’t too hot or uncomfortable during harvesting time, many people will use a cool room to keep the products cool. This can be done with a tent, portable air conditioner, or even fans! In addition, these rooms typically use similar materials to those used in hives, meaning that they can also be cleaned with ease and very little damage is done to the bees while they are inside them.