Course code LauZ3122

Credit points 3


Total Hours in Course81

Number of hours for lectures24

Number of hours for seminars and practical classes8

Independent study hours49

Date of course confirmation20.01.2020

Responsible UnitInstitute of Soil and Plant Science

Course developer


Marta Liepniece

Mg. agr.

Prior knowledge

Biol1001, Botany

LauZ3175, Agroecology and environmental protection

Course abstract

The role of bees in the economy and ecology. The history of beekeeping, beekeeping in Latvia and the world. Honeybee and its subspecies. The composition, life and functioning of the bee family. Bee products, their use. Organisation of the production of honey and other beekeeping products. Apiary organisation, bee feed, nectar plants, crop pollination. Bee diseases and pests.

Learning outcomes and their assessment

Knows types of individuals in the bee colony, life and functioning of the bee family, bee anatomy and physiology, the subspecies of bees - practical work and 1st test
Knows bee products diversity and methods in beekeeping, bee feed base, nectar plants, bee diseases and pests - Test 2 and 3.
They are able to choose the best methods for obtaining various beekeeping products and the methods for limiting bee diseases and pests - practical work, test 4.

Competence to set up an apiary and manage work in the apiary. Evaluate bee feed basis. Develop a bee-base and pollination plan for bees and carrying out an assessment of pollination efficiency - practical work.

Course Content(Calendar)

1. The role of bees in the economy and in the ecosystem. The history of beekeeping. 2h
2. Biology of the bee family. Types of individuals in the bee colony, life and functioning of the bee family. 2h
3. Bee anatomy and physiology: digestive, bloodstream, breathing and nerve systems . 2h
4. Subspecies of honey bees. Bee breeding. The importance, characteristics, tasks and methods of selection work.2h
5. Rearing, assessment and change of bee mothers. 1h
6. The classification of the honey bee diseases and the possibilities for spreading. Measures to limit diseases. 2h
7. Pests in beekeeping, possibilities for limiting its. 2h
8. Beekeeping equipment and establishment of apiary. 2h
9. Necessary equipment for the production of various bee products. Equipment for raising bee mothers. 1h
10. Beekeeping, methods of the honey bee breeding. 2h
11. Preparation of bee colonies for honey yield and methods in beekeeping to obtain/produce particular products. Pre-treatment of the products obtained. 2h
12. Feed base of the honey bee. The honey bee feed sources. Nectar, contributing factors to its formation and excretion. 2h
13. Cultivated nectar plants and the possibilities for their use. Measures to ensure a continuous yield of honey. 2h

14. Use of bees in crop pollination. Measures to ensure efficient pollination. 1h

Requirements for awarding credit points

Test with a mark.

Students must completed all practical work. The average score of four tests must be at least 4 points.

Description of the organization and tasks of students’ independent work

Literature studies, processing and presentation of results of practical works. Working for groups during practical works. Preparing for tests.

Criteria for Evaluating Learning Outcomes

The final mark is the average of four tests. The final mark can be extended by one point if the practical works is assessed at 7.5 and higher.

Compulsory reading

1. Biškopība (1970) J. Ārgaļa red. Rīga: Zvaigzne, 487 lpp.
2. Ritmanis Z. (2004) Medus un citi biškopības produkti. Rīga: Nordik, 264 lpp.
3. Šteiselis J. (2009) Biškopība iesācējiem. Rīga: Zvaigzne ABC, 147 lpp

4. The hive and the honey bee : a new book on beekeeping which continues the tradition of “Langstroth on the hive and the honeybee”. 1992. Ed. Graham J.M. Hmilton, Illinois: Dadant & Sons, p 1324

Further reading

1. Dade H.A. (2009) Anatomy and Dissection of the Honeybee. Oxford: Alden press Cardiff: International Bee Research Association, 158 p.

Periodicals and other sources

1 . Nozares žurnāls “Biškopis”

2. Journal of apiculture science.


Compulsory course in the professional higher education bachelor's programme “Agriculture”, agronomy with specialisation in horticulture and rural farming for full-time students at 4th and part-time students in semester 5th.