Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Honey Bee Facts

We've added the next supers (boxes) and frames to the hives so the bees can work on filling them up with more brood (eggs and larvae) and honey.  In the meantime, here are a couple honey bee facts:

There are three characters in a honey bee colony:
  • The Queen - Her job is to lay eggs.  Her attendants even feed her and clean up after her so she can keep working. She is the fertile female of the colony, and there is one queen per hive. A good queen can lay 2,000 to 3,000 eggs each day.
  • The Worker - Worker bees (the ones you see flying outside collecting pollen) are infertile females.  They are in charge of many tasks, such as housekeeping, guarding the hive, feeding the queen, drones, and brood, maintaining hive temperature, collecting pollen and nectar...etc.
  • The Drone - The male bees whose only purpose is to mate with a queen. Only one in one thousand actually get the chance to mate.  Drones hang out around the hive, eat, and get kicked out at the end of the season when the workers don't have any more food to spare.
A worker bee's life span is between 6 and 8 weeks. The most common cause of death is wearing out her wings. During her life, she may produce around 1/12 a teaspoon of honey, but may fly the equivalent of 1 and one-half times the circumference of the earth.

Source: American Beekeeping Federation

I'm out of time for today but am looking forward to sharing many more honey bee facts with you.  They are tiny but intricate creatures!

Coming Soon... information about the differences between honey bees, bumble bees, and wasps, and about how much of our diet is pollinated by honeybees.

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