Basic Honeybee Facts, Aspiring Beekeepers Must Know. I’m so surprised by the large number of people who have a fascination with bees, most occasions when I get to meet people and they discover that I’m a beekeeper they always throw a ton of inquisitive questions my way looking for intelligent answers. A few examples of these questions often go like… How do bees produce honey? What causes bees to just pack and leave? Why are bees disappearing? Are bees really dangerous? And how do you make money with honey?
I always try to answer most of these questions to the best of my ability while trying to educate some of them about basic honeybee facts. As a professional beekeeper I get calls from people trying to get me to come remove bees from their properties and often they’ll say they have a nest or hive that it’s in their backyard, and the picture I get is of an actual hive may be made of wood. Only to find that they are referring to a large cluster of bees that has swarmed in a tree somewhere on their property.
When this happens I get an opportunity to share my knowledge, expertise and Basic Honeybee Facts. I let them know the difference and most are intrigued by the huge difference between a swarm, a nest and a hive.
Basic Honeybee Facts
A swarm actually refers to a cluster of bees that have decided leave a hive and set up shop at random, often they’ll set up in a tree and sometimes on the outside corner of a house right at the roof where there’s shelter. This cluster often consists of bees in excess of 20 000 individuals with one queen.
What causes bees to swarm is an overcrowded colony, a new queen will be created and just before it emerges from the cell the old queen will leave and take half of the worker bees with her. They’ll congregate in a tree branch and cluster there for several days until a suitable location has been found by scouts. This is what the honeybees work so tirelessly for, everyday all day building inside the hive. A nest… it refers to the honey combs, brood, eggs, honey and the adult bees that make the colony up.
The hive is the casing or container where bees live; there are various man-made hives that uses removable frames for easy access to honey combs. You might have seen some on fields or orchards where an apiary has been set up. They’re usually made from wood and they will be painted white, hives are built exclusively for housing a bee colony.
More Basic Honeybee Facts
The best thing about bees is they don’t need to be pushed before they do their work, they have a social order and each and everyone is assigned a responsibility. When a new hive is set up or they fly to a new found location. You’ll notice that within an hour of entering the hive, the worker bees will leave the nest on foraging flights to collect nectar and pollen.This is done in the best interest of the colony because the workers will immediately start building honeycombs in preparation of the queen bee to start laying eggs for the establishment of the new colony.
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