Thursday, February 26, 2009

Adventures in Beekeeping II

I thought I would share a little beekeeping info with you. I have gotten so many e-mails with questions. It seems there are many of you who have thought of the possibility of having hives.
First of all it is important to know that you DO NOT have to own a farm to have bee hives. You can raise bees in your yard or in the city if there are parks nearby. Bees need to have a nectar supply (flowers) within a two mile range from their hive. And believe me, they will find it. Honeybees are safe and keep to themselves for the most part if you leave them alone. Afterall, they have much work to accomplish in their short life spans, so they pretty much keep on task.

In order to keep bees, you need a hive. Modern hives are wooden structures that contain frames on which the bees store their honey.This is a part of the hive known as a "super". In it you can see several frames. The frame below is filled with honey.It is on several of these frames that the queen bee lays her eggs. Below is a picture of a brood frame with cells of brood food.Amazingly, the queens only job is that of reproduction. She mates with the drones (and she does that only once....midflight....and with many drones in a row). After that she returns to the hive and lays up to 2000 fertilized eggs per day. By the way, upon mating with the queen, the drones die. They serve only one purpose in the hive....stud service. The actual worker bees are all female. It is these bees that are responsible for raising the brood, building the honeycomb, acquiring the nectar and turning it into honey. They also tend to the queen, keep the hive clean, and serve as guards at the entrance.....all these jobs, held by the women!
Imagine all of these little worker bees in their tiny aprons!!
To Bee continued..........

2 comments:

Ruth said...

Wow! Bev~ Such great info. I can't wait until you have honey.
Ruth

Jessie said...

Thank you so much for sharing this! It is so neat to see the bees straight out of the hive. What a fun yet dangerous and rewarding job that must be!
hugs

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