Bee Facts | Buzz Beekeeping Supplies

Bee Facts

Honey Bee Facts : Where they are from, what they eat, and what they look like

Honey bee (Apis mellifera)

Honey bee is also known as a European Honey Bee or a Western Honey bee. Honey bees are incredibly important pollinators for flowers, fruits, & vegetables. It is their primary value. Honey bees are flying insects which flies a speed of around 25km per hour, beating their wings 200 times a second. They are known for collecting nectar from said plants and produce honey from it. Honey bees transfer pollen between the male & female parts to allow flowers, fruits, & vegetables to grow.

What they look like:

honey bee

Honey bees are mustard yellow and brown in color. they have hairy, stocky bodies, to which the pollen sticks on to their hair.

Where they are from:

Honey bees are not native to the Americas but it seems that they have originated in eastern tropical Africa and spread from there to Europe and eastwards into Asia to the Tien Shan range. It is variously called the European, western, or common honey bee in different parts of the world.

What they eat: 

Firstly, honey bees mostly eat and drink the pollen and nectar they harvested from flowers, but there are some differences in bee diets depending on the age of the bee and species, and there are also some exceptions to this general rule. 

Bee members in a colony:

Honey bees are social insects that live in hives (or colonies) and are divided into three types of members with specific tasks to support the colony.
honey-bee

from left: worker, drone, queen bee

  • Queen Bee: There is only one queen bee who runs the whole hive. Her job is to lay eggs to spawn the next generation of bees for the hive. The queen can live up to five years. She is busiest in the summer months, when she can lay up to 2,500 eggs a day! The queen fertilizes each egg as it is being laid. The queen occasionally will not fertilize an egg. These non-fertilized eggs develop into male drones.
  • Male Drones: These are male bees and their main function is to mate with the new queen.
  • Worker Bees: These are all female bees and they forage for nectar and pollen from flowers and do all different tasks to maintain the hive. They build & protect the hive, clean and circulate air by beating their wings. Worker bees are the only bees most people ever see flying around outside the hive.

 

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Honey Bee Facts : Where they are from, what they eat, and what they look like

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How to help bees this summer | Save the Bees, Save the Planet!

Help Bees – As we all know by now, bees and other pollinators are important. Every other species on earth greatly rely on them to be able to survive. In recent years, massive decline of the bee population has been reported and now threatened with extinction. Because of this known fact, it has raised awareness and is attracting new beekeepers as well as the veteran beekeepers to manage and hopefully help in increasing the bee population.

Beekeeping requires a lot of work and research and is not at all times a hobby that is appealing to everyone. But, fret not, non-beekeepers can also help save wild bees and their population.

Wild BeesWild bees help supplement pollination to a number of different fruits and vegetables and other crops. These are strawberries and blueberries, apples, pears, summer vegetables, tomatoes. Peppers, squash and melons. Wild bees usually don’t have the need to attack and sting anyone if needed since they don’t have a colony to defend.

A little list of the types of wild bees out there: Bumblebees, Sweat Bees, Leafcutter bees, Squash bees, European Honeybees, Mason bees, Mining bees.how-to-help-bees

Ways to Help Wild Bees

1. Help Conserve their Natural Habitat

Help conserve nesting sites of bees such as forests, meadows, wetlands, or anywhere they can have access to flowers for nectar and pollen. You can do this yourself and you can also ask for help and work together with community groups.

2. Plant a variety of flowers

Giving easy access of flowers to bees really help. Flowers with overlapping bloom cycles is preferable, making it a steady food source for the bees.

how-to-help-bees4. Provide clean access to water

This is another important factor, most especially during the summer time. It can help provide water through having a well-maintained drainage ditches, ponds, maybe even provide a birdbath or a small clean puddle in your flower garden.

5. Use harmful pesticides wisely

Pesticides can’t always be avoided because it is necessary for some plants. To help reduce pesticide exposure to bees, there are products that are bee-friendly or least harmful to pollinators. Another tip is to use pesticides during the evening when bees are not active or during the time when the plants are not in bloom yet.

How to help wild bees this summer | Save the Bees, Save the Planet!

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Importance of Keeping Bees

Importance of Keeping Bees – Bees are considered to be among the most hardworking insects in the world. They play a great role in our ecosystem besides pollinating and making honey. There are more than 20,000 known species of bees in 7 recognized families in every continent except Antarctica. Extreme cold climate is the main reason why there are no bees in Antarctica. If we are to understand the importance of keeping bees, we need to educate ourselves and others about bees to protect them and their ecological niches.

There is a famous quote from Albert Einstein which states that,if bees disappeared from the face of earth, man would only have to live for 4 years’. This might be true because all bees are pollinators of crops. In fact, about 84% of crops grown for human consumption rely on bees and a few other insects to pollinate them.importance-keeping-bees

Pollination of crops increases yields and quality through cross pollination which facilitates exchange of genes. When plants from the same species are cross pollinated, they mix traits bringing about variations which help in better sustainability and viability of the species.

Bees are also known to make honey which has numerous benefits to man. Honey is mainly made from nectar collected from different species of plants. People have started keeping bees in beehives (apiculture), providing them with water and planting flowers around the hives to determine the type of nectar these bees collect to make their honey.

There are a lot of benefits when you take up beekeeping as a hobby and/or business. Here’s some of them:

– They Produce Honey
This is one of the most common reasons why people want to take up beekeeping. Raising bees for honey means that you get to have fresh honey ready at your back yard – one which you’re sure that’s organic and free of artificial flavoring. Each bee can produce up to half a teaspoon of honey; imagine how much honey a colony with thousands of bees can produce.importance-keeping-bees

– Healthier Crops
Plants mostly rely on bees to propagate. The bees are an excellent plant pollinator. A lot of people has expressed that raising bees has made their landscapes healthier and they noticed that their plants and trees were producing bigger fruits.

– Wax
Bees also produce wax which they make into wax comb. There are a lot of uses for wax including cosmetics and creams.

This has been a source of income to a lot of people who have kept bees specifically to produce honey. Honey is in high demand nowadays due to its numerous benefits making bee keeping a reliable source of income. – Importance of Keeping Bees

Importance of Keeping Bees

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Good Luck and Happy Beekeeping!

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Steps to Take When Capturing a Honey Bee Swarm

Honey Bee Swarm – No matter how much you take care of your bees, they will always end up leaving the hive together with their queen in order to create a new, independent hive. During this time, before your bee population gets smaller and smaller, you would need to find a new swarm of bees to replace the old one.

When you notice that your bees have started to become lesser and lesser, it’s an indication that you have to capture a new hive. Say that you saw a swarm somewhere near your house and you want to capture it with to replenish your beehive, here are the steps you can take:

  1. Assess the Situation

Before you start cutting off the swarm, it’s important that you assess the situation first before taking action. If it’s just within an arm’s reach, don’t hesitate. However, if it’s up above a tree branch where you’d need a ladder to capture it and whether or not it’s dangerous or if it’s worth the risk or not.

When planning on capturing a Honey Bee Swarm, you would need to do it fast since swarms usually don’t settle around one location for long. You also have to make sure that you’ll be capturing a genuine swarm and not an established hive already since it can be more difficult to relocate.

  1. Prepare Your ToolsHoney_Bee_Swarm

Wearing the right kind of protection is vital when you’re capturing bees. Although they can be submissive, it’s still important to keep yourself protected should the situation turn for the worst. The most important gears to wear are bee suit, gloves, and a veil to protect your face and head.

When you’re ready to capture the swarm, you would also need a box to keep the bees in to get them ready to be transported to their new home.  For instance, a breathable cardboard box will do.

  1. Secure the Queen Bee

A colony of bees won’t survive without their queen. One of the goals of capturing a Honey Bee Swarm is to get the majority of it and the only way you can do this is if you catch the queen with them as well. The honeybees need their queen to successfully establish the hives.

In capturing the bees, if you see the bees hanging in a low branch, you can easily place a box underneath the branch and cut it off using a pair of clippers. However, if it’s in a larger branch, you can start shaking the branch slowly while holding the box underneath it. If you can’t get the majority of them using the previous steps, go in and transfer the bees to the box by your hands.

  1. Take Them Home

Once you’re satisfied with the amount you’ve captures, it’s time to get the in their new homes. After transferring them to their new hive, you have to give them at least a week to regroup and acclimatize to the new environment. It’s also the time where the bees start creating a new comb without disruptions.

Steps to Take When Capturing a Honey Bee Swarm

Honey Bee Swarm

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Good Luck and Happy Beekeeping!

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Beekeeping Basics: Advice for New Beekeepers

Beekeeping Basics  – Have you ever thought of wanting to be a beekeeper but don’t know where and how to start? Handling bees is much more difficult than people think so here is an idea of what beekeeping is and what beekeepers do.

Beekeepers usually start with managing one or two colonies to work, study, and be familiar with. As the years go by and when the learning experience increases, beekeepers then add more colonies, buy more equipment, harvest more honey and go commercial.

Beekeeping is a form of livestock management which requires beekeepers to really look after bees constantly and have regular inspections. It does require a lot of hard work and dedication to keep them, however, like most things, it always pays off in the end!

Colony Management Beekeepers must do:

– Make sure colonies have enough food and enough space for their expansion.

– Must conduct weekly inspections to control their impulses to leave the hive and swarm, to monitor the population of Varroa and keeping it to a minimum, to keep the bees disease-free, and to ensure that the colonies have prolific queen bees.

Importance of Beekeeping Equipment & Clothing

Normal honey bees can and will sting but usually when they are provoked making them in a defensive mode. Beekeepers especially new ones must always consider the fact that there will always be a possibility of getting stung – almost every beekeeper gets stung.beekeeping_basics

About Bee Stings

There will be pain, redness, and swelling around where the bee sting has penetrated. Remove the sting immediately to lessen the injection of venom. The swelling may last for days and itching may occur. For some people, they eventually become immune after always receiving stings.

Unfortunately, for those who are allergic to bee stings, they don’t get immune but the effects get more severe instead. Their symptoms are also much more severe (such as skin irritation, has difficulty in breathing, may faint, heart rate change…). Urgent medical attention is required. Individuals who gets unconscious after a bee sting can die.

Protective Clothing

Beekeeping protective gear is essential for handling bees, especially for beginners, to minimize the chances of getting bee stings.

– Beekeeping Suit

– Beekeeping Jacket

– Beekeeping Gloves

– Boots

Good luck and Happy Beekeeping!

Beekeeping Basics: Advice for New Beekeepers

 

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Honey Bee Swarm : Are they Dangerous?

Honey Bee Swarm – Encountering swarming bees can cause a panic to most people. However, a honey bee swarm is a natural and amazing part of life. It is a natural process in the life of honey bees. Non-beekeepers would want it removed especially when the honey bee swarm is just somewhere in their property, but it is exciting for beekeepers to see one and maybe even want to captuhoney_bee_swarmre one themselves.

Why Honey Bees Swam?

Swarming happens when a large group of honey bees creates a new colony by leaving the one they had previously established. They leave their old colony which is a normal and natural method in response to crowding within the colony. Honey Bee Swarms usually emerges in late spring and early summer time during the warmer hours of the day.

A honey bee swarm usually contains one queen bee, a few drones, and of course hundreds to thousands of worker bees. They briefly fly around and cluster on shrubs or tree limbs or other objects while scouting bees fly around to find a new nest site. Finding a new site, depending on thehoney_bee_swarm weather, may take an hour or until a few days. Once a suitable site is found, the cluster breaks up fly towards it. They usually swarm on a tree, shrub, house

Are Honey Bee Swarms Dangerous?

In most circumstances, they are not. They feed prior to swarming which reduces the probability of stinging. Another thing, bees that are away from their nest also are less defensive making it unlikely for them to sting, unless of course they’re provoked.

What to do when there is a honey bee swarm?

For non-beekeepers: You don’t need to do anything. Leave them be, keep a safe distance, and patiently wait for them to move since swarms are only temporary.  If you know a beekeeper, you can give it to them and have the swarm relocated for you or call authorities such as pest control operators, etc.

Honey Bee Swarm : Are they Dangerous?

 

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Pros and Cons of Raising Bees for Honey

Pros and Cons of Raising Bees for HoneyStarting a new hobby is easy. But with just like everything else, learning the basics of raising bees for honey takes time and a lot of patience since there are a lot of things you need to consider.

Pros

There are a lot of benefits when you take up beekeeping as a hobby and/or business. Here’s some of them:

– They Produce Honey

This is one of the most common reasons why people want to take up beekeeping. Raising bees for honey means that you get to have fresh honey ready at your back yard – one which you’re sure that’s organic and free of artificial flavoring. Each bee can produce up to half a teaspoon of honey; imagine how much honey a colony with thousands of bees can produce.Raising_Bees_for_Honey

– Healthier Crops

Plants mostly rely on bees to propagate. The bees are an excellent plant pollinator. A lot of people has expressed that raising bees has made their landscapes healthier and they noticed that their plants and trees were producing bigger fruits.

– Wax

Bees also produce wax which they make into wax comb. There are a lot of uses for wax including cosmetics and creams.

Cons

Here are the downsides of raising bees for honey.

– Stings are Popular Among Honeybees

A bee sting can be very dangerous especially if you’re allergic to insect bites and stings. However, those with beekeeping business have developed immunity for the bee venom overtime.Raising_Bees_for_Honey

– Diseases in Bees

There are a lot of diseases that lead to the decline in the bee population. No matter how much effort you put in, there are just times when your beehive just won’t stay healthy.

– The First Year Can be Tough

It takes at least 3 years for the bees to produce a significant amount of honey. So you can’t really sexpect a productive first year for your beekeeping business.

Pros and Cons of Raising Bees for Honey

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Why are Bees Disappearing?

Bees Disappearing – While delivering bees to keepers may not be a postal worker’s most favourite thing to do, still, they know that they have to deliver it. Day by day, keepers face the problem of most of their bees disappearing. They leave to hunt for food but unfortunately, for some reason, the bees fail to come back.

Why are Bees Disappearing? What’s Happening?

Since 2006, the country was faced with a huge decline on the population of honeybees – a phenomenon that was termed Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD). This also caused a huge decline in the Bees_Disappearingeconomy as the number of crops which comprised a significant part of every American’s diet. Since the start of the bees’ disappearances, bee keepers had to order more of the bees in order to replace those they have lost.

For years, the cause of the disappearances remains a mystery to both scientists and bee keepers. However, they believe that the CCD could have been caused by a lot of factors. Initially, the scientists thought it was due to the rapid growth in the population of Varroa mites then after a while they suspected pesticides, as well.

Now, they have start suspecting these three for the cause of CCD and with these three’s combination, the population of bees has decline three-folds, as well. In addition, these are some of the other factors that could lead to bees disappearing and decline:

Pesticides

First, the bees are exposed to pesticides that have been sprayed in the plants they pollinate in. This exposure then leads to the weakening of the bee’s health leaving them too weak to survive the flight home. Sometimes, the pesticides that are sprayed near their colonies that are intentionally for the Varroa mites affects the bees as well which can damage the bees neurologic functioning.

Climate Change

Moreover, the rapid change in the planet’s overall climate has also contributed to the reason for bees disappearing. Constant flooding and droughts can lead to the decline in the availability of flowers which is what bees depend on, mostly. It’s simple, really. When plants begin to decline, so does the bee population.

NoiseBees_Disappearing

Another factor is the noise. One reason for why bees fail to go back home is the fact that they might get lost on their way home because of too much noise which can cause them to forget their way back home.

Air Pollution

Air pollution is another serious threat that bees and bee keepers face. As if the other factors weren’t enough, the issue of scent being lost along the way could also cause these bees to get lost as they buzz from places to places. Bees follow a particular trail of scent that leads them to food, when the car smoke and other pollution combine, the smell of the chemicals that the flower releases gets lost and bees then miss the chance of bringing food home leaving the colony hungry.

What it Means

The loss of bees can have so much effect on the economy and the lives of people. Aside from the fact that there will be more demand for honey, it can also affect other aspects in the agricultural world as well. Since most of the plants depend on pollination to grow and expand, lesser bees means lesser chances for them to survive and propagate.

Why are Bees Disappearing?

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Benefits of Beekeeping

Benefits of Beekeeping – For many people, beekeeping is one thing that they wouldn’t want to get involved in. Partly because they think that it’s not enjoyable, but mostly it’s because they think that beekeeping is one of the most dangerous hobby to take. But what they don’t realize is the fact that there are actually a lot of benefits of beekeeping that they are not aware of.

Benefits of Beekeeping

1. You Produce Your Own Honey

Honey might be one of the best benefits of beekeeping. The honey that is sold at your local grocery stores has already been mixed with preservatives to increase its shelf life. When you have your own hive in your backyard, you’ll rest easy knowing that it’s all natural.

2. You Get to Harvest the Wax

Beeswax is perfect for doing a lot of products. Candles, lipsticks, creams – you name it. The wax that the bees make has an antibacterial effect that can be a great addition to skin care products.

3. Bee Venom

benefits-of-beekeeping

Apitherapy is a method of treating health disorders using bee products. One of this is through the use of bee venom. This is used in a lot of patients suffering from

arthritis and/or other inflammatory problems in the body. This has been used since the ancient times in Egypt, Asia, and Africa and now, in the modern times, it’s still as effective as ever.

4. Bees are Great Pollinators

Beekeepers also observed that when they started their beekeeping business, they noticed a better productivity in their crops. The flowers were blooming better and fruits we’re bigger in size.

5. Relieves Stress

For many people, hearing the gentle buzzing of the bees on a warm, lovely day can be a great way to de-stress and relax. They’re also comforted by the thought that the bees are able to give them the honey that they need as well as an increase in the crops they harvest.

Benefits of Beekeeping

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How Bees Make Honey : How do they do it?

Bees are considered to be one of the most productive and hardworking organisms on planet. The process of how bees make honey hOW_BEES_MAKE_HONEYis intricate and efficient. Each of the bees has a special work to do which makes their honey-making process smooth.

How do They Do It?

The bees make two different kinds of food. One from the nectar and the other from the anthers – particularly the pollen – of the flowers they land on.  The bees that do this job are the forager honey bees.

Here’s how bees make honey:

hOW_BEES_MAKE_HONEYOnce the weather clears up to welcome the warm season, the bees start their foraging journey. As they land on the flower, they suck the nectar up and store it on her honey-containing stomach. And if the bee is hungry, she sucks up some of the nectar and opens a special valve in her stomach to store the nectar in and provide it with the energy it needs to continue foraging.

The amazing thing about the bees is that it can carry pollen equal to its body weight. When the bee’s stomach is full, they go back to their hives and pass out the nectar to the bees assigned indoors. The process of converting the nectar into honey is through passing the nectar from one bee’s mouth to another in order to reduce the moisture by 70%.

Finally, the final step on how bees make honey is placing the honey inside the storage which are then covered by beeswax in the preparation for another batch of bee larvae. The pollen left on the bodies of the bees is mixed with the nectar which serves as the food for the baby bees. This step is necessary for the colony to flourish.

Another amazing fact about the bees is that before they go out to collect another batch of pollen, they clean themselves first. This is not just for aesthetic purposes but they do this in order to make themselves even more efficient in collecting pollen.

How Bees Make Honey ?

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