Beekeeping with A cerana in Movable Frame Hives

Bees of most races of A. cerana are smaller than A. mellifera; they also build smaller colonies and are less productive for the beekeeper. Unlike A. mellifera, A. cerana does not collect or use propolis. A. cerana was the only hive bee in Asia until A. mellifera was introduced in the late 1800s; it had been kept in traditional hives (logs, boxes, barrels, baskets, pottery) since the first or second century A.D. in China and probably from the 300s B.C. in the upper Indus basin, now in Pakistan.

The movable-frame hives used for A. cerana are like a scaled-down version of those for A. mellifera. Colony management is similar, except that the beekeeper needs to take steps to minimize absconding by the colonies. In India 30 to 75% of colonies may abscond each year. To prevent this, a colony must always have sufficient stores of both pollen and honey or syrup, and preferably a young queen. Special care is needed to prevent robbing when syrup is fed. Colonies must also be protected against ants and wasps.

The bees at higher latitudes are larger, and in Kashmir (altitude 1500 m, and above) A. cerana is almost as large as A. mellifera and fairly similar to it in other characteristics; for instance, the colonies do not abscond.

Beekeeping for Beginners

Beekeeping for Beginners

The information in this book is useful to anyone wanting to start beekeeping as a hobby or a business. It was written for beginners. Those who have never looked into beekeeping, may not understand the meaning of the terminology used by people in the industry. We have tried to overcome the problem by giving explanations. We want you to be able to use this book as a guide in to beekeeping.

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