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Building a Warre Hive: What's the cost?

High School Icon Secondary

Critical & Creative ThinkingAustralian Curriculum General Capability: Critical & Creative Thinking

NumeracyAustralian Curriculum General Capability: Numeracy

Personal and social capabilityAustralian Curriculum General Capability: Personal and social capability

Australian Curriculum Cross Curriculum Priorities: Sustainability Priority

 

 1. Before you start this project, of having and maintaining a bee hive, you need to consider whether the school or community patch would like a bee hive. You need to research the benefits of having a bee hive and also the downside of owning one.

Go to the following comprehensive article "Beginning in Bees" [PDF 29 pages] and prepare a presentation for the School Executive including the Principal if you decide to go ahead with a beehive at school.

Beginning in Bees

2. Write down a list of things that need buying eg. smoking equipment etc and find out the cost. You will also need to find out the cost of buying a new hive compared to making one.

What is your budget for this project?

You need to investigate with the Principal and Kitchen Garden Coordinator [if you don't have this program, you might need to research this first] about the feasibility of having a bee hive at the school - after you have read this article.

3. You will need to comply with Workplace Health and Safety requirements too. This compliance is compulsory - so you will need to research this possibility. It is within this article.

4. If you decide on making a beehive, look up the following instructions. These plans are excellent but remember this construction involves using a saw and a hammer. So be cautious and use the guidance of your woodwork teacher!

How to build a Warre Hive

Bee Hive
Warre Hive

Warre Beekeeping: How to build a Warre Hive

Hive



5. With the guidance of your woodwork teacher:

  • estimate the amount of wood required to build a new bee hive
  • work out the wood used: Is there any special wood you need to use so that it will survive the outdoors for long periods of time?

6. With the guidance of the local Landcare Coordinator and the local Amateur Beekeepers' Association, you can buy a queen and a hive of bees.

You will need to work out a maintenance timetable so the bees are free of disease, are well fed especially over the school holidays, during winter and also during summer.

May 2016
Boorowa Central School launched a project in 2016 of creating native  bee hotels.

Contact the school directly to find out more about this project. 

 

Bees and Hexagons

MiddleMiddle  High School Icon Secondary

NumeracyAustralian Curriculum General Capability: Numeracy

1. Read and listen to the following resources: Video

https://youtu.be/QEzlsjAqADA

 

Reading

What is it about Bees and Hexagons TeacherTeacher High SchoolSecondary

Mathematics Teachers and Advanced Students

Apiological: Mathematical speculations about bees


Apiological
Hexagons Reading

2. Using Prezi, explain why Bees use hexagons (not always!) in the structure of their honeycombs.

Prezi

 

 

 

 

Fires and Beekeeping: What's the implications?

High School Icon Secondary

Personal and social capabilityAustralian Curriculum General Capability: Personal and social capability

Australian Curriculum Cross Curriculum Priorities: Sustainability Priority

 

 

1. In the "2007 INQUIRY INTO THE IMPACT OF PUBLIC LAND MANAGEMENT PRACTICES ON BUSHFIRES IN VICTORIA", two beekeepers [apiarist], Gavin Jamieson, and Bob McDonald,  pleaded with the Inquiry to listen to the needs of beekeepers.

Part of what they had to say was...:

"My name is Gavin Jamieson. I am a beekeeper and have had an interest in fire for most of my adult life. The position of beekeeping in recent years, particularly since 2000, there has been a huge loss of beekeeping sites.

They have been burnt in a range of caused fires; some pure reduction burning fires and some wildfires, mainly wildfires.

The loss to beekeeping is considerable in that the recovery of the forests takes anything from five to 20 years and, therefore, the whole industry is lost, the potential to produce honey and the pollination services that the community expects from us.

Negotiations with government, or attempted negotiations with government, to try and find alternative sites has been very frustrating and almost non-existent. Yet there are parts of Victoria that have not been burnt that do not have reference areas on them or wilderness areas on them that could be used by beekeeping industry people, individuals and collectively, and we cannot seem to get to square one."

Read the rest of their submission. What are the beekeepers arguments? Summarise their points of view into 10 clear dot-points. Reading

Compare with 3 other students in the class. Reduce the points of view down to 15 dot-points from the group of four students.

2. Did you think they were listened to by the Inquiry? Read some news stories about other State Beekeepers:

ABC Rural NT
22 February 2016
Tasmania 21 February 2016
21 February 2016
SA 2014
12 February 2014
 

3. You are to create a presentation about the key points, that your group of four came up with, and, the stories from the other states, in a way that you know people will listen to what you have to say.

4. How will you know your message will be listen to?

 

Let's do the maths for the Almond Industry and the Bee Brokers!

MiddleMiddle  High School Icon Secondary

NumeracyAustralian Curriculum General Capability: Numeracy

CriticalAustralian Curriculum General Capability: Critical and creative thinking

 

1. In pairs, read the following snippets of information.  Read

"In Australia, the almond industry is one of the biggest renters of honeybee hives for pollination. Almonds bloom for a few weeks at the end of August and rely almost completely on insect pollination to produce harvestable almond fruits."

"In 2017–18, almond production was valued at $441 million (LVP), with exports valued at $440 million."

"The domestic market for almonds continues to grow strongly at around 10 per cent per year due to an increasing move to plant-based diets and the health benefits of nuts. The industry has focused on export market development, with three tonnes of almonds being shipped overseas for every tonne consumed in Australia."

"The industry has been expanding rapidly since 2016 with an additional 20,000 hectares being planted, bringing the total industry orchard area to 50,000 hectares. The orchards are concentrated along the Murray Valley in Victoria (53%), SA (21%), and NSW (24%), with an orchard in WA (2%)."

"The many plantations across northwestern Victoria rent more than 150,000 hives each year, costing millions of dollars in rental fees. Costs per hive vary depending on the crop, covering costs to the beekeeper such as how far they have to travel, the time of year (early season pollination can be more stressful for honey bees and require more feeding costs for beekeepers to maintain hive health), and the risks (e.g. chemicals) bees might face in the crop. For almond pollination, one hive can cost around $70-100 to rent."

Beehives on trucks
Trucks carrying millions of bees – and water supplies and forklifts – move at night after all the foragers have returned to the hive, so you might not actually see them being moved.
(Source: Farm Biosecurity)

"Research also indicates higher fruit set rates are achieved when hives are placed in smaller placements and spread evenly across the orchard, rather than larger placements placed less often. Honey bees will mainly forage on a single tree and if they leave this they are most likely to move to the next tree in the same row."

"It is recommended that between 6 and 7 hives per hectare are used to achieve adequate pollination."

"This season, Mr Monson, a Bee Broker contracted 200 beekeepers to deliver 110,000 hives."

ABC News 21 January 2019
(Source: ABC News 21 January 2019)

 

"Beekeeper Rex Carruthers has been trucking bees to Victoria for 15 years.

In just 12 days, he made three return trips south to deliver 21 million bees in almost 1,500 hives. Rex Carruthers

"It's been a pretty stressful year this year because of the drought, we've done nothing but work on bees for six months to try and get them in pretty good order," he said.

The bees have four weeks to pollinate hundreds of thousands of flowering almond trees before Mr Carruthers does another three round trips to truck them home.

On arrival, he drops his beehives at designated spots around the orchards.

"After freight and feeding, they can net $100 a hive," Mr Monson said.

"If you had a thousand hives, that's $100,000 and it sets you up for the year."

The Bee Broker usually gets 4-5% for each hive s/he organises - shared between the almond grower and the beekeeper.

"Almonds (Prunus dulcis) are a high value horticultural crop that rely almost exclusively on European honeybees (Apis. Mellifera) to produce nuts. The Australian almond industry is concentrated in the Riverland region of South Australia, the Sunraysia region of Victoria and the Riverina district of New South Wales. The rapid expansion of the industry has created speculation that there is a hive number shortage looming. Australia currently uses some 190,000 hives for almond pollination, which are sourced from all states on the eastern seaboard. Industry forecasts suggest that the demand for hives will increase to 300,000 by 2021 when industry plantings will reach its peak. Currently, there are 372,529 commercial hives registered in Victoria, South Australia and New South Wales. Whilst there are sufficient hives to service future almond pollination demand, there is only 50 per cent participation in pollination from beekeepers." (Pollination Services for the Almond Industry)

 

2. Re-order the information so you can see and analyse it.

3. Work out:

a. the number of hives needed for the hectares planted in Australia. State your reasoning.

b. how much income does an almond grower with 2 hectares of almond trees have after paying the Beekeeper and the Bee Broker?

c. how much income did Mr Monson make?

d. how much income did Beekeeper Rex Carruthers make?

 

4. Think about the costs for the Beekeeper, Rex Carruthers to undertake the six trips. What items could be listed under his "Cost" budget?

The Crop Pollination Association lists an extensive list of pricing factors. Re-consider your "Cost" budget using this information.

Optional extra: Read the following article about what Beekeepers have to do to be part of this pollination process. Almond pollination: hive management. Does this information affect your assessment of costs?

5. What sort of work would a Bee Broker have to do to convince both the Almond grower and the Beekeeper to use his services? List the jobs and provide a reason. How could the Bee Broker persuade the Beekeeper to contribute some of his/her hives to pollination instead of honey production?

6. After reading this SMH news item (15 May 2019), assess the cost to the Webster company. When will they recoup their investment? Read

SMH 15 May 2019

7. Do you think the Bee Broker job is in jeopardy as a result of this acquisition by Websters? Why? Why not? Discuss!

 

Material sourced from:
ABC News
Beeaware

 

 

Websites, Games & Apps

 

Bee Patrol  - Another activity involving bees and mites coming into Australia

Biosecurity Officer
Biosecurity Officer


Beeswax and Furniture Polish - A comparison

Furniture Polisher
Furniture Polisher
Beekeeping Games

PrimaryPrimary

ICT Capability Australian Curriculum General Capability: ICT Capability


Beekeeping Games
Killer Bees

PrimaryPrimary MiddleMiddle

ICT Capability Australian Curriculum General Capability: ICT Capability

Killer Bees
Bees and Honey: Game

PrimaryPrimary

ICT Capability Australian Curriculum General Capability: ICT Capability


Bees and Honey

 WebQuests

To Bee or Not to Bee (Years 3 - 4): An adaptation for students in Years 5 - 8.
(Web Archive Only - you may need to get your school's IT person to let you access this site)

PrimaryPrimary MiddleMiddle

ICT Capability Australian Curriculum General Capability: ICT Capability

To Bee or Not to Bee

1. Have a look at this WebQuest. Work out how you would adapt it for students in Years 5 - 8.

What changes would you make to interest students in Years 5 - 8. What extra things would you get students to do?

2. Create your new adaptation of this WebQuest using either Zunal or Quest Garden and publish your new adaptation. Remember to acknowledge the first WebQuest's contribution to your new WebQuest.

 


Did You Know?


Australian Beekeepers Cedar and Stuart Anderson have created an Ingenious Invention That Turns Beehives Into Flowing Honey Taps

"Beekeepers Cedar Anderson and his father Stuart have, essentially, hacked the honeycomb—a nearly flawless geometric and structural achievements—to make it more mechanically efficient. In a nutshell, Flow frames have a partially formed honeycomb matrix within a transparent frame. Bees complete the comb, fill the cells with honey and cap them. To harvest the honey, the beekeeper inserts a tool into the top of each frame and twists, a move that splits each cell in the honeycomb vertically, allowing the honey to flow freely. It is collected at the bottom through a tube."
(Source: Wired, 25th February 2015)

Their company: Honeyflow
Honeyflow


Honey Flow
https://youtu.be/WbMV9qYIXqM

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