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Posts Tagged ‘honeybees’

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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Raw Honey Health Benefits

Raw Honey Health Benefits – Aside from being a great sweetener alternative, did you know that honey can bring a lot of healthy benefits? It’s even used medically in the ancient times as a natural wound treatment for faster healing.

Health Benefits of Raw Honey

Here are some of the many benefits of raw honey:

1. Contains Antibacterial and Antifungal Properties

As a rule of nature, all living organisms are equipped with something to protect them against parasites. In this case, raw honey contains a naturally occurring antiseptic, hydrogen peroxide. A lot of research has shown that honey could actually kill unwanted bacteria and fungi and prevent infections caused by these microorganisms.

2. Aids in Wound Healing

According to a review, raw honey – Manuka honey, in particular – aids in faster healing of wounds as well as burns and lessens the risk of infections. It’s also an effective medication against foot ulcers and infected wounds in diabetics that could lead to amputation. Another research has shown that the use of raw honey increased the speed of wound healing by 43% while it resulted in a 97% success in healing a diabetic’s foot ulcer. – Raw Honey Health Benefits

Moreover, further studies have also shown other benefits of raw honey such as healing skin conditions such as psoriasis and lesions from herpes.

3. Alleviates Sore Throat

Honey may be sweet but it can be an effective natural medication to help soothe a sore throat. If you feel like you’re coming up with a sore throat, mix a spoonful of honey with lemon and enjoy the following days virus-free.

In addition, honey is also an amazing cough suppressant in children. One study have showed that honey was more effective than the other two cough medications commonly used to treat children’s coughs. However, it’s important to remember that mothers shouldn’t give honey to their child if they’re less than a year old to avoid the risk of botulism.raw_honey_health_benefits

4. Rich in Antioxidants

Like fruits and vegetables, one of the most common benefits of raw honey includes the fact that it contains a lot of antioxidants that help reduce inflammation and free radicals in the body. When the body is free of these free radicals, it could help in delaying ageing, preventing cancer, as well as protect the heart from developing chronic diseases.

5. Help Aide Digestion

According to research, honey can help in reducing the bacteria, H. pylori that causes stomach ulcers. It has also been used to treat diarrhea, although this can’t be backed up by research. It can also help nourish the good bacteria in the body which makes it a potent probiotic.

6. Helps In Lowering Triglyceride Levels

Triglycerides are the most common culprit of heart diseases. If your diet typically consists of refined carbs, you’re most likely to develop high triglyceride levels. However, several studies have also shown that substituting refined carbs with honey can significantly decrease the triglyceride levels in your body. – Raw Honey Health Benefits

 

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Raw Honey Health Benefits

Good Luck and Happy Beekeeping!

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Raw Honey for Allergies

Raw Honey for Allergies – Did you know that honey could be used as a natural remedy for allergies? Many people have been using this technique to treat their seasonal allergies. Amazingly, it

Raw_Honey_for_Allergies

produced interesting results.

How Does It Work?

As people searched for an explanation for this discovery, experts explained that using raw honey for allergies is similar to getting an allergy shot. Though the latter has been backed up and proven by scientific research to be effective, raw honey for allergies has not. However, they explained the effectiveness further.

The idea of using raw honey to treat seasonal allergies works in the sense that the person who is allergic to seasonal change – specifically, during the spring where pollen is most abundant in the air – ingests small amounts of pollen if they eat honey. As a result of frequent ingestion, the person’s immune system can get used to the constant exposure to pollen which is contained in the honey. Eventually, the person will experience few, mild seasonal allergies.

Scientific Study to Back Up The Discovery

Two studies have been reported to test the effectiveness of raw honey for allergies. One research used local honey in treating seasonal allergies. Results showed that eating high doses of localRaw_Honey_for_Allergies honey reduced the subjects’ allergy symptoms in the span of eight weeks.

Another study in Malaysia also showed that the subjects who ate a gram of honey for each kilogram of body weight experience alleviation in the symptoms of allergic rhinitis while the other group who consumed honey-flavored corn syrup in the same amount noticed no difference.

Due to insufficient data to back this up, researchers are encouraging others to do more research on this topic. When proven to be effective, this could cause a great impact in the field of medicine.

In Conclusion  

Honey is a great alternative to artificial sweeteners. There are a lot of other benefits you get from honey. However, if you are allergic to pollen, you have to consult your doctor to be on the safe side.

Raw Honey for Allergies

raw_honey_for_allergies

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About Small Hive Beetles

Small Hive Beetle – Small hive beetle (SBH) or also known as the Aethina tumida is a well-known harmful pest that damages the honey bee hives and the honeycomb, the honey, and the pollen. Infestation of small hive beetles may force the bees to resort in abandoning their hive. The small hive beetle attacks or causes damage only to hives that are already stressed or weak caused by other factors. In healthy hives, worker bees will defend the hive from the small hive beetles, however, once the bees get outnumbered by SHB, the hive will get destroyed quickly.

How Small Hive Beetles cause damage:

As long as the bee population is higher or sufficient enough while the small hive beetle population is small, the hive should be okay. Otherwise, the SHB can really negatively impact the hive. Unfortunately, the small hive beetle in both larval & adult stages prey on honeybee eggs and brood.

The feeding habits of SHB larvae can cause visual damage to bee colonies. Small hive beetle larvae go through the honeycomb, producing slime in the combs causing destruction to the honey, however, they don’t always damage the honeycombs.Small_hive_beetle

The adult SHB ruins the honey by defecating in it. In result, it ferments the honey and will no longer be fit for consumption for the bees. The fermentation of honey produces a bad odor which the honeybees do not like.

How to detect Small Hive Beetles

Adult SHBs can be easily seen during inspections found running underside the cover and on the top bar of the frames. Larvae SHBs are in clusters in the corners of the hive or the frames. Larva that are not in clusters & not scattered are Wax moth larvae, not small hive beetle larvae. Older SHB larvae move near light sources and one way to remove them is placing a light source underneath the hive. It allows them to move closer to the exit and making them fall on the ground the closer they get to the light source.

Sweep the small hive beetles and drown them in soapy water.

How to Control and Prevent SHB

Small_hive_beetleThe best and most important thing to do is keeping the apiary clean. Other ideas to reduce SHB:

– Place the hives wherein they can receive direct sunlight since SHB prefers the shade.

-Make sure the hives and frames are always in top condition. Rotten or holey ones attract SHB.

-The bottom boards need to be cleaned regularly or make use of screen bottom boards to avoid the buildup of debris which would provide the SBH habitat.

Any insecticide might be able to remove the small hive beetles, but it would also affect the bees. The best way so far is to regularly check the hives and keep everything clean and in great condition.

Good luck and Happy Beekeeping!

About Small Hive Beetles

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A Guide to Capturing a Bee Swarm

Capturing a 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.

Steps to Take When Capturing a Bee Swarm

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 Capturing a Bee Swarmto capture it with to replenish your beehive, here are the steps you can take:

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 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.

Prepare Your Tools

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.

Secure the Queen Bee

Capturing_a_Bee_SwarmA colony of bees won’t survive without their queen. One of the goals of capturing a 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.

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.

Good luck and Happy Beekeeping!

A Guide to Capturing a Bee Swarm

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Benefits of Organic Beekeeping

Organic Beekeeping – Majority of the population use and enjoy honey regularly. Beekeepers work hard to manage bees and harvest the honey we use all the time. If you want to harvest your own honey, then be a beekeeper yourself!

Beekeeping is a fun and potentially profitable hobby/profession. Organic beekeeping can be tiresome because it demands time and lot of effort, however through it all it is rewarding and enjoyable!

How to be a beekeeper?

This is just a very brief overview of how to be a beekeeper. Things to always in consider when starting beekeeping and get to harvesting your own honey and maybe even have your own honey business:

1. What kind of environment and the location best suited for bees.

2. How to feed bees and what to feed them.

3. What type of hives you would want to have.

4. What clothing and protection gear to wear.

5. What are the parasites & pests you need to look out for.organic_beekeeping

The next thing to do is go research online, read beekeeping books, and even go to a beekeeping class to intensively learn about the all the basics!

Benefits of Organic Beekeeper

– Be able to harvest your own honey and use or sell them

– Using honey is very beneficial for your health

– It goes hand-in-hand with gardening

– Brings the family together because it can be a fun family activity

– Contribute to helping save the planet

Good luck and Happy Beekeeping!

Benefits of Organic Beekeeping

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