Beekeeping techniques and honeyb bee breeding

A.Y. 2020/2021
Overall hours
Learning objectives
The course aims to provide students with the knowledge about the biology of bees, the conduct of an apiary and the breeding in honey bee. The practical exercises will be conducted at the Apiary of the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine in Lodi, are designed to bring students to the world of bees and beekeeping by observing the behavior of these insects, the recognition of the three castes (queen bee, worker bees, drones), a visit to the hives, the operations to be carried out in the apiary during the bee season and in the lhoney extraction aboratory.
Expected learning outcomes
At the end of the course the student must demonstrateto know the biology of bees, the products supplied by bees, the main beekeeping techniques, the honey extraction operations and the rules that regulate the activity of the beekeeper. Furthermore, they must know to visit a beehive, recognize the three bee castes and signs of disease, and assess the strength of a colony.
Course syllabus and organization

Single session

Lesson period
Second semester
The lessons will be held on the Microsoft Teams platform and can be followed both in sync on the base of the first semester schedule and asynchronously because they will be recorded and left available to students on the same platform. Some lessons and PDF files may be available on the Ariel platform.
Course syllabus
1) Honey bee anatomy and morphology (1 hour)
2) The castes: queen bee, worker bee and drone. The social physiology. Communication among honey bee (2 hours).
3) Genetics of honeybee: taxonomy, breeds, sexual chromosomes, haploidy and diploidy, relationships among honeybees in a colony (2 hours)
4) Honeybee selection: traits, mating stations, genetic improvement (2 hours)
5) The frame hives. The beekeeping equipment. Location and arrangement of an apiary. (1 hour)
6) Beekeeping techniques:
- Hive inspection and the evaluation of colonies
- The visits in autumn and winter
- The swarming, supersedure,
- Harvesting honey
- Queen rearing (3 hours)
7) Characteristics and production techniques of bee products (2 hours)
8) Parasites and diseases of bees (2 hours)
9) Legislation (1 hour)

Practical activities:
Hive inspection in the apiary of Faculty of Veterinary Medicine in Lodi (8 hours)
Visit to a harvesting laboratory and to an apiary for queen honeybee raising (8 hours)
Prerequisites for admission
Knowledge of biology and botany is required.
Teaching methods
Theoretical lessons on Microsoft Teams platform. During the lessons, both short films shot during visits to the University colonies and films found online will be shown.
Teaching Resources
Contessi A. - Le api. Biologia, allevamento, prodotti - Edagricole
Von Frisch E. - Nel mondo delle api - Edagricole
Material available on Ariel website
Assessment methods and Criteria
The exam consists of 1 written test with open questions. and it will be aimed to verify:
- the achievement of the objectives
- the ability to apply knowledge and understanding
- the student's independence of judgment
- the command of the specific language
Practicals: 16 hours
Lessons: 16 hours
Professor: Rizzi Rita Maria