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Posts Tagged ‘bees’

How Honey Bees Work in the Hive

jobs-of-honey-bees

 

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ey are from, what they eat, and what they look like

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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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Honeybees are in trouble: Colony Collapse Disorder

Colony Collapse Disorder – Honeybees are dying due to a number of reasons such as pesticides, climate change, mite infestations, and habitat destruction. In the mid-2000s, honeybees have been decimated because of colony collapse disorder. During winter time between the years of 2014 through 2017, a higher number of commercial bees have died compared to the normal number. One of the most common problems that beekeepers face is the colony collapse disorder that kills their bees as well as the hives that those bees have established.  This phenomenon causes the worker bees to die at an alarming rate thereby leaving their queen and immature bees behind. It’s important for bee keepers and those planning to raise bees to be aware of this problem so that they will be able to educate themselves with what to do should this happen to them.

What is a Colony Collapse Disorder?

Everyday, billions of bees are go out of their hive to gather food (mostly, nectar) and pollinate. However, recently, the bees that left to hunt for food are mysteriously not coming back. Let’s look at the facts that might shed light to this phenomenon. The problem was first discovered in the year 2006 and 2007 where the bee keepers reported an alarming decline on their bees and colonies. Most of the owners find dead bees near the hives and the queen left alone with the young which eventually led to the death of all bee workers in a hive and the collapse of the colony (hence, Colony Collapse Disorder).

Cause of Colony Collapse DisorderColony-Collapse-Disorder

The cause for this phenomenon hasn’t been discovered as of yet however, scientists and experts have think that it’s partly because of the fact that the pesticides alone could have weakened the bees immune system or worse, killed them. This led them to believe that the Colony Collapse Disorder could have been caused by acute pesticide poisoning. Another theory of scientists is the increase in the Varroa Mite population, the newly emerged Acute Paralysis, and the gut parasite common in bees called Nosema. Keepers experience the most loss in their honeybee population during the winter. However, on 2015, they were able to experience more loss on summer than on winter. If the loss continues to rise, there’s no stopping them from going extinct by the year 2035.

The honeybees are known to be the best pollinator species. For most of their life, they buzz around from flower to flower collecting pollen and nectar. This, in turn, leads to the propagation of fruits, flowers, and other agricultural products that are sold in the market.

The decline in the crops led to an increase in demand. Producers as well as keepers were forced to top off the original price of their products to address the problem. Moreover, colony collapses doesn’t just affect the crops. It also affects the supply of dairy and beef since honeybees also help in the pollination of hays, clover, and forage products. This also led to the increase in the prices of milk and beef products in the market.

Colony Collapse Disorder

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Essential Beekeeping Supplies

Essential Beekeeping Supplies

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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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How to Handle Your Honey Bees

Honey Bees are very familiar to us all. Beekeepers love to see their hives, bustling with activity, surrounded by sweet-smelling flowers.

The bees constantly dart from flower to flower and then back to the beehives.How to Handle Your Honey Bees

Handling bees is not difficult. You just have to understand their habits and take some basic precautions.

Some beekeepers wear full beekeeping suits, while others wear beekeeping jackets. Some beekeepers don’t wear any type of bee protection at all.

Are Bees Deaf?

One of the main precautions when approaching the hive is quietness. For many years, people thought bees were deaf, but that has turned out not to be the case. A study found out that bees use special organs in the antennae to hear. They also are sensitive to vibrations.

One should approach the hive without a lot of noise. Be careful not to jar the hives or smash your equipment (such as a hive smoker, hive frame holder and hive tool) on the top of the hive.

beekeepingSome beekeepers even treat their bees as pets. Now, they won’t come when you call, but the bees will get used to your presence. If you are kind to them, they will treat you as such.

When Bees Sting

In fact, bees seldom sting except in self-defense, or in defense of their hive. If you see a honey bee on a flower hard at work, it will almost never fly and attack you. Bees do not think about stinging, unless they are bothered or touched.

Now some bees are easily provoked, but sometime people are the same way. When they start to get aggressive, it is most often due how you handle them.

Generally speaking, the temper of our bees depends on how we manage them. Treat them with kindness and you will be rewarded likewise.

As the saying goes “Do onto your bees as you would have them do onto you”.

 

 

 

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Types Of Honeybees In North America

Types Of Honeybees In North America

There are several popular races of honey bees in North America that are raised for the purpose of making honey. Some of these races are a lot more gentle than others. Obviously these “gentle bees” would be ideal for beekeepers.

But that is not the only factor to take into consideration when deciding on which bees to have for beekeeping. Some bees are more likely to swarm than others. All bees will swarm if crowded; but some races are much worse than others. Finally, as with everything, cost is another factor. Some bees are more expensive than others. It would make sense for beginning beekeepers to start out with gentle and inexpensive bees.

This beekeeping information on the types of honey bees will help you decide which type is right for you.

Italian Honey Bees

Italian bees have become the most popular bee in the United States; in large part thanks to their gentle behavior. They are also Italian Honey Beepopular and the most distributed due to their ability to survive in most climates. These bees survive winter will and breed in the spring. They are bred down south. You can find them in the north as well; however they will not be available for purchase until late spring or summer.

Italian bees are most often recommended to beginners because of how common they are and how easily they are found in packages. Their biggest weakness is their tendency to rob and drift. More food is consumed by bees that are located in hard winters/colder climates because they need to compensate for the heat loss by eating more food. Otherwise they do survive well in the winter. They produce a minimum amount of propolis, which makes it easier for them to keep the hive clean and easy to work with.

Worker bees are a light color and the queen is a darker color; thus making her easy to locate. These bees are yellow in coloring with bands on the abdomen. There are weaknesses in any honeybee species so despite their moderate tendency to swarm and strong tendency to rob, they are a good beginner bee. That is probably why they are the most common of honeybees.

Caucasian Honey Bees

Caucasian Honey BeeNext are Caucasian honeybees. They are a silver/grey to brown in color. They are gentler than the Italian bees and are not prone to robbing as the Italians are. They are slower to start in the spring but otherwise are just as productive as the Italian bees. They do produce an excessive amount of propolis that if not collected can make the hive very sticky to work with.

Caucasian honeybees have a moderate tendency to swarm and have a large and strong population. They survive winter well and forage earlier on cooler days. They are also slow to start up in spring. They are not prone to rob. Finally, they have a longer tongue than almost all other honeybees which means they can take advantage of nectar that most bees cannot.

Carniolan Honey Bees

Next are Carniolan honeybees, which are a subspecies of the Western honeybee. They originate in Slovenia (which is located in carniolan honey beethe southern part of the Austrian Alps). They can also be found in parts of Hungary, Romania, Croatia, Bosnia, Herzegovina, and Serbia. They are a darker brown to black in color. They are the second most popular bees after the Italians. Their ability to defend themselves against insects and pests as well as their extreme gentleness towards beekeepers make them a great choice overall. Not to mention that they are resistant to some parasites and diseases.

They are the best wintering bee as the queen stops all brood production in the fall. They build up very rapidly in the spring; otherwise it depends on the flow of nectar and pollen. They tend to swarm when there is no space. They are not likely to rob; but if pollen is scarce brood rearing is greatly decreased.

Rrussian honey bee ussian Honey Bees

The Russian honeybee came from the Primorsky region. They have evolved traits of being resistant to mites since living where it is home to the Varroa and Trachael mites. These bees resemble the Carniolan bees in color. These bees winter well in extremely cold temperatures and small clusters. Brood rearing is highly dependent on forage availability. They tend to swarm. Further they are expensive.

 

Buckfast Honey BeesBuckfast Honey Bee

Lastly we have the buckfast honey bees. Buckfast honey bees were developed by Brother Adams in the 20th century; actually they are a mixed race of bees. They have become very popular with beekeepers due to their extreme gentleness. Beyond that they build a strong population in the spring and manage winter well. They adapt well to areas with cold damp winters and have a low tendency to swarm. They are excellent honey producers even though they are inclined to rob. Finally they are resistant to tracheal mites.

Types Of Honeybees In North America

 

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Beekeeping For Beginners – Your First Bee Hive

Beekeeping for beginners – If you have ever thought about the idea of beekeeping, then you are probably aware of how rewarding a hobby it can be. We need bees in our natural environment, especially for pollination. In fact, about 80 percent of all flowering plants are cross-pollinated by bees. Unfortunately, their numbers are diminishing at an alarming rate as we strive to eradicate the intrusion of pests.

The good news is that something as simple as starting beekeeping in your neighborhood can make a big difference in keeping ourbeekeeping for beginners planet green. The primary habitat for bees is usually hives, whether natural or artificial. Due to the quandary mentioned above, it’s becoming harder and harder to find natural beehives.

However, you can still provide a private habitat for the bees to call home, which can be purchased from an established beekeeper or designed at home as a DIY project.

Once you have prepared your hive, the next step is to find the bees. Your first option is to go for a natural source. If you know someone who has a beehive in some space in their house, such as the attic, chances are they will gladly give you the bees for free (or even pay you for the trouble).

You can also purchase a bee package from a professional beekeeper. These are usually sold as a bunch in one box, with the queen enclosed in a different container. You just transfer the whole lot to your hive and hope that they will be attracted to the queen and start a colony. If it works, you may end up with a working hive in just a couple of weeks.

Your third option is to purchase a bee bundle referred to as a Nuclear Hive (NUC). This is the option I started with years ago.

A NUC is a small working hive usually sold in a cardboard box with four or five frames of bees. Unlike the previous bee package, the queen in this pack is familiar with the other bees. Your work is to simply pour all the bees into your hive, and your beekeeping project is ready to go.

Note that while the information provided above is essential when your are just starting beekeeping for beginners, it is just a tip of the iceberg when it comes to raising honey bees. You need to read and acquire more information about bees to improve your overall chances of having a successful bee hive.

Beekeeping For Beginners – Your First Bee Hive

 

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10 Ways to Help Save the Bees

#1. Avoid insecticides

Modern pesticides (such as Roundup) are stronger than ever before and tend to have a long-lasting toxic effect on bees and other insects. If you are looking to get rid of pests, go for biological control methods instead. Generally, eliminating all unnecessary pesticides from the environment can go a long way towards saving the bees.Save the bees

#2. Steer away from seeds treated with systemic insecticides

Many seeds today are usually coated with systemic insecticides such as Clothianidin, which spread to the entire plant and causes it to become toxic to all insects that may feed on it, including bees. Read the labels on the seed packets carefully before purchasing. If you are still not sure, contact the manufacturer for full details.

#3. Watch out for hidden killers in your garden compost!

Check the labels on your garden compost vigilantly before buying. Some are normally combined with a deadly insecticide known as imidacloprid. You may find it under different disguises, such as “vine weevil protection.” All in all, it is awfully toxic to all insects and living organisms in the soil – including beneficial earthworms. Once the plants absorb the insecticide, bees looking for water from the moist compost (for instance, if you are using hanging baskets) may be killed.

#4. Design a natural habitat

If possible, let some of the free space in your garden run wild. This will create a haven for small mammals (such as hedgehogs and solenodons) and insects such as bees.

#5. Plant flowers that are attractive to bees

Wildflower seeds are readily available from numerous seed merchants. The good news is that they can thrive in virtually any patch of ground, including those waste spaces in your garden you may not be using.

#6. Create a beehive site

If there’s some free space in your garden, you could dedicate a corner to keeping one or two beehives (or even offer it to a local beekeeper). If you choose the latter, consider the fact that he/she will need regular access to the site for maintaining the hive.

#7. Create a wild bee house

This could be as simple as providing a small box in your garden for feral bees to establish a home. You will find this particularly beginner beekeepingideal if you just want to keep the bees without having to look after them. You can find great ideas for these sorts of boxes online.

#8. Support your local beekeepers

Honey has been shown to ease the effects of many allergies like hay fever. Generally, buying honey from a local beekeeper is preferable than from supermarkets, which often source their honey from several thousand miles away. Better yet, go for a beekeeper that does not include any chemicals in their beehives and request for comb honey, which is the best.

#9. Learn and share information about bees

Unfortunately, most people are relatively ignorant of the importance of bees. Carve out some time to read a good book about bees and beekeeping. You’ll be surprised at the fascinating creatures bees really are. If it works out, you may even challenge yourself to:

#10. Start Beekeeping!

Becoming a beekeeper is easier than most people think. Do not be discouraged by the expensive equipment you see in those classy catalogs! In fact, it takes just a hive, some bees and some beekeeping supplies to keep bees successfully.

10 Ways to Help Save the Bees

 

 

 

Interested in beekeeping? Here are some beekeeping supplies you want to get your hands on to start with!

1. Ventilated Suit – https://amzn.to/2D1hJBu 

(NEW)  Ventilated Jacket – https://amzn.to/2Av6piJ

2. Beekeeper YKK Suit Combo – https://amzn.to/2Xk3xLz

3. Beekeeper Journal – https://amzn.to/2WAxTd5

4. YKK Suit – https://amzn.to/2IDJALO

5. Beekeeper Jacket – https://amzn.to/2FirwTW

6. Beekeeping Gloves:

           – Goatskin Beekeeping Gloves – https://amzn.to/2GYxBZW

          – Cow Leather Beekeeping Gloves – https://amzn.to/2uiSExd

7. Queen Marking Kit  –  https://amzn.to/2Wm1kCw

         – Queen Marking Pens – https://amzn.to/3c4vE8y

         –Queen Marking Cage – https://amzn.to/2TDwwdQ

🐝 Good Luck and Happy Beekeeping!

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This jacket was recommended to me by a bee exterminator for handling bee and wasp issues as they arose. I have not needed to use the jacket in battle yet but did try it on to make sure it fit and did not leave any areas exposed. I was pleasantly surprised by how well made it felt. Lots of pockets too.

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Customer Feedback

Very nice gloves.

Suit fits wonderfully. Delivery was prompt. Will buy from this vendor again.

Item received promptly and just as described. Very happy with purchase. Good quality. Fits nicely and material is good fabric.

Beekeeping Bundle Giveaway!

Giveaway Ends 4/15/20