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MIGRATORY BEEKEEPING IELTS READING

MIGRATORY BEEKEEPING IELTS READING Answers

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  1. prepare
  2. full
  3. smoke
  4. charge
  5. machines
  6. combs
  7. split

Questions 13-19 Suggested approach

 Read the task rubric carefully

. You have to complete the flow chart of the movements of a migratory beekeeper. 

• Read through the flow chart to familiarise yourself with it.

 • Scan the text and note the section that discusses the beekeepers’ movements.

 In this case, the information is scattered throughout the text, so it is important to have a good idea of what you are looking for.

 • Go back to the first box in the flow chart. Note that this box focuses on the start of migration

. • Re-skim the text until you come to this information. It is cued in the fourth paragraph: “By early March …”

 • The flow chart will express the movements differently from the text.

 This is called “paraphrasing”. The fourth paragraph is all about the beekeepers’ preparations

. So the answer to item 13 is “prepare”. 

• Go on to item 14. Remember that you will not use all the words in the box, and although some of the words in the box may seem to fit in the gaps, they have an incorrect meaning.

 Your summary must be an accurate reflection of what is stated in the passage.

                                                            Questions 20 to 27

  1. (hexagonal) cells//comb
  2. frames (of comb)
  3. screen
  4. brood chamber
  5. NOT GIVEN
  6. YES
  7. YES
  8. NO
MIGRATORY BEEKEEPING IELTS READING

Of the 2,000 commercial beekeepers in the United States, about half migrate This pays off in two ways Moving north in the summer and south in the winter lets bees work a longer blooming season, making more honey — and money — for their keepers. Second, beekeepers can carry their hives to farmers who need bees to pollinate their crops. Every spring a migratory beekeeper in California may move up to 160 million bees to flowering fields in Minnesota and every winter his family may haul the hives back to California, where farmers will rent the bees to pollinate almond and cherry trees.


Migratory beekeeping is nothing new. The ancient Egyptians moved clay hives, probably on rafts, down the Nile to follow the bloom and nectar flow as it moved toward Cairo. In the 1880s North American beekeepers experimented with the same idea, moving bees on barges along the Mississippi and on waterways in Florida, but their lighter, wooden hives kept falling into the water. Other keepers tried the railroad and horse drawn wagons, but that didn’t prove practical. Not until the 1920s when cars and trucks became affordable and roads improved, did migratory beekeeping begin to catch on. 


For the Californian beekeeper, the pollination season begins in February. At this time, the beehives are in particular demand by farmers who have almond groves; they need two hives an acre. For the three-week long bloom, beekeepers can hire out their hives for $32 each. It’s a bonanza for the bees too. Most people consider almond honey too bitter to eat so the bees get to keep it for themselves.


By early March it is time to move the bees. It can take up to seven nights to pack the 4,000 or so hives that a beekeeper may own. These are not moved in the middle of the day because too many of the bees would end up homeless. But at night, the hives are stacked onto wooden pallets, back-to-back in sets of four, and lifted onto a truck. It is not necessary to wear gloves or a beekeeper’s veil because the hives are not being opened and the bees should remain relatively quiet. Just in case some are still lively, bees can be pacified with a few puffs of smoke blown into each hive’s narrow entrance.


 In their new location, the beekeeper will pay the farmer to allow his bees to feed in such places as orange groves. The honey produced here is fragrant and sweet and can be sold by the beekeepers. To encourage the bees to produce as much honey as possible during this period, the beekeepers open the hives and stack extra boxes called supers on top. These temporary hive extensions contain frames of empty comb for the bees to fill with honey. In the brood chamber below, the bees will stash honey to eat later. To prevent the queen from crawling up to the top and laying eggs, a screen can be inserted between the brood chamber and the supers. Three weeks later the honey can be gathered. 


Foul smelling chemicals are often used to irritate the bees and drive them down into the hive’s bottom boxes, leaving the honey-filled supers more or less bee-free. These can then be pulled off the hive. They are heavy with honey and may weigh up to 90 pounds each. The supers are taken to a warehouse. In the extracting room, the frames are lilted out and lowered into an “uncapper” where rotating blades shave away the wax that covers each cell. The uncapped frames are put in a carousel that sits on the bottom of a large stainless-steel drum. The carousel is filled to capacity with 72 frames. A switch is flipped and the frames begin to whirl at 300 revolutions per minute; centrifugal force throws the honey out of the combs. Finally, the honey is poured into barrels for shipment. 


After this, approximately a quarter of the hives weakened by disease, mites, or an aging or dead queen, will have to be replaced. To create new colonies, a healthy double hive, teeming with bees, can be separated into two boxes. One half will hold the queen and a young, already mated queen can be put in the other half, to make two hives from one. By the time the flowers bloom, the new queens will be laying eggs, filling each hive with young worker bees. The beekeeper’s family will then migrate with them to their summer location.

Adapted from “America’s Beekeepers: Hives for Hire” by Alan Mairson, National Geographic.

IELTS READING SAMPLES

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Questions 13-19MIGRATORY BEEKEEPING IELTS READING

The flow chart below outlines the movements of the migratory beekeeper as described in
Reading Passage 2,

Complete the flow chart Choose your answers from the box at the bottom of the page and
write your answers in boxes 13 19 on your answer sheet.

BEEKEEPER MOVEMENTS

Example Answer
in the February, California farmers
hire bees to help …………………pollinate..……
In March, beekeepers … (13) … for migration at night when the hives are … (14) … and
the bees are generally tranquil. A little … (15) … can ensure that this is the case.
They transport their hives to orange groves where farmers … (16) … beekeepers for
placing them on their land. Here the bees make honey.
After three weeks, the supers can be taken to a warehouse where … (17) … are used to
remove the wax and extract the honey from the … (18) ….
After the honey collection, the old hives are rejected. Good double hives are … (19) … and
re-queened and the beekeeper transports them to their summer base

List of Words/phrases

Smoke          chemicals               pay
  Barrels        protection           charge 
 set off           light                      split         
 pollinate      machines             supers
 combs          screen                  prepare
 full                empty                 queens

Questions 20-23

Label the diagram below Choose ONE OR TWO WORDS from the Reading Passage for
each answer Write your answers in boxes 20-23 on your answer sheet.

MIGRATORY BEEKEEPING IELTS READING questios 21-23

Questions 24-27-MIGRATORY BEEKEEPING IELTS READING

Do the following statements agree with the information given in Reading Passage 2? In boxes
24-27 write.

YES                                   if the statement agrees with the information given 

 NO                                     if the statement contradicts the information given

 NOT GIVEN                     if there is no information about this

24    The Egyptians keep bees on the banks of the Nile.

  25    First attempts at migratory beekeeping in America were unsuccessful.

 26    Bees keep honey for themselves in the bottom of the hive.

 27    The honey is spun to make it liquid.

ANSWERS OF MIGRATORY BEEKEEPING IELTS READING

ANSWER of MIGRATORY BEEKEEPING.

13. prepare

14. full

15. smoke

16. charge

17. machines

18. combs

19. split

Questions 13-19 Suggested approach •

 Read the task rubric carefully

. You have to complete the flow chart of the movements of a migratory beekeeper. 

• Read through the flow chart to familiarise yourself with it.

 • Scan the text and note the section that discusses the beekeepers’ movements.

 In this case, the information is scattered throughout the text, so it is important to have a good idea of what you are looking for.

 • Go back to the first box in the flow chart. Note that this box focuses on the start of migration

. • Re-skim the text until you come to this information. It is cued in the fourth paragraph: “By early March …”

 • The flow chart will express the movements differently from the text.

 This is called “paraphrasing”. The fourth paragraph is all about the beekeepers’ preparations

. So the answer to item 13 is “prepare”. 

• Go on to item 14. Remember that you will not use all the words in the box, and although some of the words in the box may seem to fit in the gaps, they have an incorrect meaning.

 Your summary must be an accurate reflection of what is stated in the passage.

                                                            Questions 20 to 27

20

(hexagonal) cells//comb

21

frames (of comb)

22

screen

23

brood chamber

24

NOT GIVEN

25

YES

26

YES

27

NO

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