The Word Honeymoon Came From Bees? And Other Fun Bee Facts

Here are the fun facts! Thanks, American Bee Journal!

The honey bee is the only insect that produces food eaten by man.

A honey bee can fly for up to six miles, and as fast as 15 miles per hour, hence it would have to fly around 90,000 miles -three times around the globe – to make one pound of honey.

It takes one ounce of honey to fuel a bee’s flight around the world

Honey is 80% sugars and 20% water.

Honey bees produce beeswax from eight paired glands on the underside of their abdomen.

Honey bees must consume about 17-20 pounds of honey to be able to biochemically produce each pound of beeswax.

Bees maintain a temperature of 92-93 degrees Fahrenheit in their central brood nest regardless of whether the outside temperature is 110 or -40 degrees.

A populous colony may contain 40,000 to 60,000 bees during the late spring or early summer.

The queen bee lives for about 2-3 years. She is the busiest in the summer months, when the hive needs to be at its maximum strength, and lays up to 2500 eggs a day.

The queen may mate with up to 17 drones over a 1-2 day period of mating.

The queen may lay 600-800 or even 1,500 eggs each day during her 3 or 4 year lifetime. This daily egg production may equal her own weight.

She is constantly fed and groomed by attendant worker bees

Worker honey bees live for about 4 weeks in the spring or summer but up to 6 months during the winter.

The average honey bee will actually make only one twelfth of a teaspoon of honey in its lifetime.

Honey bees fly at up to 15 miles per hour

The Honey bee’s wings stroke 11,400 times per minute, thus making their distinctive buzz.

A honey bee visits 50 to 100 flowers during a collection trip.

Honey bees, scientifically also known as Apis Mellifera, are environmentally friendly and are vital as pollinators

Now to get back to the where the word Honeymoon:

Fermented honey, known as Mead, is the most ancient fermented beverage. The term “honey moon” originated with the Norse practice of consuming large quantities of Mead during the first month of a marriage.

So there you go! Amazing fun facts about our bees. Such little creatures, yet such important work.

How Do HoneyBees Talk to Each Other?

Honey bees do indeed have their own form of communication. They use it to find a new home, or where to go for nectar.

They use a form of dance. It has been named the waggle dance.

What is the purpose of the “Waggle Dance”?

The waggle dance is the method used to show other bees where the nectar is.

When the scout bee finds a really good source of nectar, she does this dance.

The honey bee walks and begins moving its abdomen all the while making a buzzing sound with her wings.

How far she walks and the speed of her wings tell the others how far the nectar is.

As the other bees get the direction they fly out of the hive right to the nectar.

If the nectar is considered close about 165 feet. the waggle dance is a series of round movements, to show that it is closer.

The sickle dance tells the others the nectar is further away.

This waggle dance is indeed quite a fascinating way to communicate!

Let’s Talk About the Birds and The Bees! (0r at least what the Bees do)

bees and pollination
Bees collecting nectar

So what is the relationship between flowers and Bees?

We have heard since childhood about “the birds and the bees” the euphemism about explaining sex.

Well, it turns out that Bees make sure that flowers do have a sex life.

The most important thing that bees do is pollinate. And pollination is how flowers and plants reproduce.

This Is How Pollination Happens

A bee is the collector of nectar and pollen. So as she goes from the flower of a plant she takes some pollen from the stamens—the male reproductive organ of the flower— and she sticks to the hairs of her body.

She then goes to visit the next flower. There some of this pollen is rubbed off onto the “stigma”, or tip of the pistil—which is the female reproductive organ of the flower.

When this happens, fertilization is possible, and a fruit, carrying seeds, can develop.

So the bee is totally the matchmaker for the flowers.

And Here The Story Gets Even Better

The flowers know they need the bees. so each flower has a scent that attracts the bee.

The bee is also attracted by the color of the flower.

Bees just happen to be attracted to flowers that are tubular or flat and open so the nectar is easily available.

So that is how the flowers and the bees work together to keep our food system in full bloom.

Amazing that tiny bees are responsible for flowers blooming, plants producing crops and honey as well. They are the only insect that provides food for us.

16,000 KINDS OF BEES?

According to Wikipedia, there are 16,000 known species of Bees!

Isn’t that a phenomenal amount of bees?

And they belong to 7 biological families.

What are the 7 Biological Families?

  1. Andrenidae – these are mining bees
  2. Apidae- this is the Honey Bee family
  3. Colletidae – these are called “plasterer bees”
  4. Halictidae- these are the “sweat bees”
  5. Megachilidae -these are the mason bees, carder bees, leafcutter bees.
  6. Mellittidae -mining bees that collect oils
  7. Stenotritidae -these bees are awesome fast flyers

Which continent does not have bees? Only one!

Antarctica!

They live anywhere that contains insect-pollinated flowers. And Antarctica does not have insect-pollinated flowers.

How Many Kinds of Bees Make Honey?

Only one of those 7 families called Apidae are Honey Bees.

Honey is made by what is called social honeymaking bees. They feed the hive and the queen through the winter. 

Most bee species don’t make honey. Why? Not being in the social bees classification they do not live in a hive!

In fact, most bee species are solitary bees. They live in the ground or in wood.

Which Species of Bees Make Honey?

Apis Mellifera, the Western Honey Bee, is the species recognized globally as the Honey Bee.

How Do Bees Do Different Flavors of Honey?

Dependent on the flower that the nectar was collected from is where the flavor comes from.

If the nectar came from clover, we have clover flavored honey. Or orange blossom honey! Our bees add natural flavorings!

In fact, if you buy honey and see that a flavor has been added that is not the bee doing it!

What Is The One Thing That Honey Maker Bees Have in Common?

The one thing that all honey maker bees have in common is they all have the same social structure. All honey makers are called “eusocial”.

That means truly social! So for the honey bees, they one Queen, and many workers. And they all have specific jobs!

What Is A “Race” of Bees?

A “race” of bees is the term used as for instance, a breed of dogs.

There are 20 races of Honey Bees. Only two are found in South Africa. The rest are in America, Europe, and Asia.

The most common races of Honey Bees are German, Italians, Caucasians Carniolans, and Africans.

There are also hybrid Honey Bees that humans have genetically modified. They are called Russians, Buckfast, Africanized, Cordovan.

If I Am New To Beekeeping Which Bee Race Would Be Best?

Apis mellifera ligustica also known as the Italian Bee is considered the favorite. It is known for being calm.

So much to learn about bees!

Do Bees Kiss? And Other Bee Questions

honey comes from bee kisses!

Yes, they do!

That is how they pass the nectar from Bee to Bee! So when the worker bee goes and collects nectar she stores it in her second stomach (that is only for nectar).

When she gets back to the hive, she transfers it to other bees.

So isn’t it amazing that we can say honey is made from Bee kisses?

HOW MANY LEGS DOES A HONEY BEE HAVE?

 The honey bee has three pairs of legs. They are divided into 6 segments so they are very flexible.   The front legs clean the antennae, while the rear legs have pockets so that the pollen can be collected. It is called a pollen basket.

DO BEES SLEEP?

No! But they do remain motionless during the night so that they have the energy for all the work they do the next day!

HOW FAR CAN BEES FLY PER DAY?

The bee has the capacity to fly 5 miles per day. But usually about a mile per day. But get this fact.

An entire bee colony can fly the distance between the moon and earth each day! Truly phenomenal!

HOW HIGH CAN A BEE FLY?

Depending on the obstacle in its path is how high a bee will fly. But mating drones will fly higher to find the Queen.

WHY DOES A HONEY BEE STING?

Only when the bee is frightened or feels the need to protect the colony.

DO BEES SEE COLOR?

Yes, they do! They see the ultraviolet and blue spectrum. And flowers reflect ultraviolet light so they are quite easy for the bees to find and see.

An interesting fact about color? Bees cannot see red!

HOW MANY EYES DO BEES HAVE?

Bees have 5 eyes! 2 large compound eyes. 3 smaller ocelli eyes in the center of their heads. Ocelli mean those eyes are simple eyes used only to see movement.

DO MALE AND FEMALE BEES HAVE STINGERS ?

No, they don’t! Only the female has a stinger.

5 Tools You Need To Be A Beekeeper

Being a beekeeper is a truly important gift to the world.

These tiny creatures are responsible for the bulk of our food. The beekeeper is literally the keeper of the bees and the insurer of our food production.

In many ways, beekeepers are doing an amazing service to thousands of their neighbors by helping bees grow in population so they can pollinate our food sources.

So if you are thinking about stepping into being a beekeeper I bet you have wondered what tools might you need?

Here Are 5 Tools To Get You Started!

  1. The Amazing Astronaut like Suit! Protective Gear is an absolute must!
  2. The Smoker
  3. The Hive Tool
  4. The Bee Brush
  5. Extracting Machine

What does each of these tools do?

The Protective Gear

Image result for beekeeper suit

The Beekeeper’s protective gear is to protect the beekeeper from stings. Although some seasoned beekeepers no longer feel the need to use this gear, as you start out, it is highly recommended.

Some beekeepers think that wearing one might impact the way they can interact with the bees.

The cost of the gear is about $95.00 (US) and includes beekeepers veil pants, and jacket

Gloves cost around $35 and are very long and vented. Some beekeepers chose not to use them as they can be somewhat bulky.

As an experienced beekeeper might suggest, bees respond to the energy you put out. So knowing that you are protecting them will work in your favor.

What is the Smoker?

Image result for beekeeper smoker

The smoker for some beekeepers is the most used. It creates smoke that interrupts their communication system and calms the bees.

That allows the beekeeper to do hive inspections, and any repairs needed on the frames. Using the smoker also allows the beekeeper to extract the honey.

The smoker is also designed to protect the beekeeper’s hands. It runs around $30-40.

The Hive Tool

What is the Hive Tool?

Image result for hive tool

The hive tool has one tapered end and one curled end . They come in many bright colors so that it is easy to find!

What is the hive tool used for? It is used for inspection, to help pry open any areas stuck with propolis, helps to cut open the honeycomb, and has many endless applications for the beekeeper.

They usually are quite inexpensive running around $7.

The Bee Brush!

Image result for bee brush

The bee brush is designed to help the beekeepers move the bees away from areas that need repair. It has very soft bristles.

Some beekeepers do not use the brush for it could impact the health of the bees.

The cost of the bee brush runs about $6. And you can decide if you are comfortable or not working with this brush.

Extracting Machine

There is a manual machine or an electric option.

Using centrifugal force the honey is pushed out of the comb and into containers. Usually, people rent these machines for about $25 per weekend.

But if you wish to have your own machines after you have been in business for a bit, you can easily find them.

With all of these tools, you decide what physically works best for your needs and the bees.

Hope this was helpful information.

What Does A Beekeeper Do?

The work of the Beekeeper is vital
A beekeeper at work with a hive.

First Off, What is a Beekeeper?

A beekeeper refers to the person who keeps honey bees in hives or other receptacles. Beekeepers are also known as honey farmers or apiarists.

What Kind of Training Does A BeeKeeper Need?

A high school diploma is quite enough. But there is also the ability to get degrees in Apiary and beekeeping if people want to do this professionally or for reasons of research.

For the backyard enthusiast, there are online courses to help get you started.

Anyone who wants to become a beekeeper can. You just need to educate yourself on all aspects of Beekeeping and honey making.

How Much Time Does It Take To Be A Beekeeper?

During the winter there is little to do. So it is mainly seasonal work. An experienced beekeeper can expect to spend anywhere from 10-35 minutes per week per beehive.

A beekeeper also provides services to vegetable and fruit farmers for pollination by raising Queen bees to sell to farmers.

What Is The Job of The Beekeeper?

  1. The Beekeeper manages the bees.
  2. It is their job to monitor the hives
  3. Remove the honey for human consumption
  4. Maintain healthy bees
  5. Prepare the colonies for production
  6. Inspect the colonies for any infection or infestation
  7. Replace the Queen bee when necessary
  8. Follow safe food safety guidelines for harvesting the honey

Springtime is a busy time for the beekeeper. Getting the hives ready for production.

Beekeepers collect honey for an added income

When Beekeepers Harvest Honey

  1. The beekeeper must wear protective gear including gloves and a veil.
  2. A smoker, it gives out puffs of smoke, is sometimes used to calm the bees
  3. After the beekeeper removes the comb, the wax coverings are removed and the honey is extracted
  4. The beekeeper can do this by hand or by a mechanical extractor
  5. The beekeeper then strains and purifies the honey so that it can be consumed and sold.

Why is Being A Beekeeper Important?

  1. Most importantly they help the bees grow their population

2. Beekeeper ensure that bees will continue to thrive

3. Beekeepers by keeping bees help to pollinate the flowers and crops for the food that we all eat

4. The genetic gene pool is kept stronger by adding new bees.

5. Just two hives can pollinate an entire garden and produce thriving plants and crops.

6. Beekeepers are the keepers of the bees helping to make sure we do not lose our food source.

Beekeepers are actually changing the world by helping the bees to pollinate and keep us in food

What Are The Benefits of Being A Beekeeper?

  1. You get to wear an astronaut outfit
  2. It is very calming and awe-inspiring
  3. The beekeeper is actually changing the world by saving and helping the bees
  4. Bees produce products that can provide an income, from propolis, beeswax, and honey.
  5. Bees can fit anywhere. It does not take much space.
  6. You get to be working outside in nature.

The job of a beekeeper is vital to our world. If you are thinking about becoming a beekeeper do let us know.

Next time you see a bee, thank it for the food it gives us.

If Bees Go Extinct

Help save our bees from going extinct

Those little insects that some of us think of as pesky, are actually lifesavers. Because of all they do, they are responsible for most of our food.

So what would happen if Bees do go extinct?

It is actually mind-blowing how these awesome tiny creatures are vital to the health and welfare of our lives.

If our bees go extinct we go very hungry

10 Things That Would Happen If Bees Go Extinct

  1. All the plants that bees pollinate will disappear.
  2. In turn, all the animals that eat the plants will disappear.
  3. Bees pollinate over 30 billion dollars of crops.
  4. Do you like these? Apples, mangoes, peaches, sunflower oil, kiwi, pomegranates, strawberries, onions, AVOCADOS (that means no guac), cherries, coffee, walnuts, cotton, lychee, macadamia nuts, limes, lemons, carrots, cucumber, watermelon, coconut, chili peppers, cocoa, tomatoes, and grapes, we would lose all of this list and more.
  5. Everyday clothing and other items would become unavailable as cotton would no longer be available.
  6. Sustainable and renewable resources would be decimated and have to be replaced with non-renewable outdated wasteful resources.
  7. Did you know that morphine is from the Poppy flower? Well, many pharmaceuticals would no longer be available.
  8. How much do you like honey? That would disappear!
  9. Food costs will skyrocket & malnutrition will be rampant
  10. Simply said, if bees don’t have enough to eat, we don’t have enough to eat!

How much would you miss your morning coffee? That would become so rare and expensive that most people will never be able to drink it again.

bees go extinct
If our bees go extinct say goodbye to your beloved coffee. For real!

So these little “pesky” buzzing bees are doing their job of keeping us healthy and fed.

Quite amazing, yes? What other insect gives us food?

Want to make a difference just by doing a few simple things?

Check out our posts that tell you how you can help keep your coffee and save the bees.

How Do Bees Make Honey?

how do bees make honey

HOW DO BEES MAKE HONEY?

It starts with flowers!

Bee being wooed by the flower’s nectar

Flowers make nectar and pollen. The nectar is a sugary liquid. This nectar literally woos the bees to the flowers.

As the bees are attracted to the nectar they harvest it by their straw-like tongues. Their tongues are called a proboscis.

Image result for proboscis bee
The bee’s proboscis used to collect nectar for honey.

Using their proboscis they suck the nectar out of the flowers.

From their tongue, it goes Into their second stomach. It is different from their first stomach where food goes.

Did you know that bees have 2 stomachs? One for food and one for storing nectar.

The nectar mixes with enzymes in the stomach. The purpose is to break down the larger sugars such as sucrose and convert into glucose  and fructose.

The forager bee goes back to the hive and passes the nectar to a house bee. The house bee keeps regurgitating and then re drinks the nectar for about 20 minutes, breaking down the sugars even more

Once the nectar has been fully broken down, it is deposited into the honeycomb. The bees then go into intense fanning to get rid of any water. Making sure most of the water evaporates.

Now we can see how the expression busy as a bee is so appropriate!

After the fanning, the bees cap the honeycomb with wax and then move on to the next empty comb. This is their job so it is done over and over again.  

Did you know this? The honey bees fly thousands of miles back and forth searching for the nectar and then depositing the nectar back to the hive during their short 40- day life span.

During the winter when the flowers are not blossoming the bees feed off their stored honey. It is ideal for bees because it is full of nutrients and energy.  

Image result for raw honey
this is raw honey it its honeycomb

So for bees, honey is their food. And they work hard creating the honey to make sure they have food during the winter.

busy as a bee isn’t just an expression. it is the life of the worker bee!

Because the bees need only a small amount during the winter, the beekeepers harvest the extra honey only.

The honey-filled combs from the hives are extracted by taking off the wax cap and then placing the beehives frames in a centrifuge.

Once all the honey has been extracted the beekeeper can return the honeycomb back into the beehive. The bees don’t have to rebuild comb that way.

For all the work a bees does, in its lifetime, it only makes about 1/12th of a teaspoon of honey. Amazing fact!

Should the bees have to rebuild the comb it takes them about a week.

Many times, the honeycombs are melted down to be made into candles.

Did you know bees make something besides honey?

It is called propolis. They gather the sap of evergreens and mix it with their own discharges and beeswax.

Really Raw Propolis + Free Shipping. Sold By Beekeeper. 1 Plus Free
This is propolis in its raw form. Bees make honey and propolis!

It creates a stick greenish-brown product used as a coating to build their hives.

Depending on the location of the bees, trees, and flowers they have access to is dependent on the medicinal capacity.

Because like honey it has many medicinal uses like antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal and anti-inflammatory.

The other product that honey bees produce is pollen. Bee pollen is a ball of pollen made by young bees when they land on a flower. It’s a mixture of pollen, saliva, and nectar or honey. Bees carry these balls back to the hive in sacs on their legs and store them in the hive’s honeycomb. The pollen then ferments into “bee bread,” which feeds a bee colony

So there you have it. That is how Bees make honey.

Such an interesting process isn’t it? And a delicious end result for us.

What Are The Jobs Bees Do in the Hive?

What are the Jobs the Bees Do in the Hive? 

Bees Have 9 Jobs!

The Beehive is A Busy, Well Organized Unit! 

The jobs of bees is quite amazing!

 Thousands of bees work to keep this organized well-functioning hive going.

Each must do their part to keep it running.

Did you know that the life of a honeybee is all work?

As soon as it hatches it goes right to work.

Guess that is where the expression “Busy as a bee” comes from!

So, what do the Bees do each day? And what are their jobs?

 There are 9 jobs in the beehives.

What are the 9 Jobs in the Hives?

The female worker bee is part of the largest population, there are 

50,000 female vs 500 male drones. 

The female bee as it ages will work most of all the jobs. 

Image result for female worker bee cartoon"
the worker bee is always female and she does most of the jobs in the beehive

Let’s jump into the 9 jobs of a Bee. 

  1. Nurse and House Bee, as soon as the bee is hatched, it goes right to work.  Immediately cleans out its hatching cell so that it is ready for the next eggs. Ready to work, the young bee is responsible to feed the brood which includes, young bees, pupae, and larvae.  
  2. Undertaker, did you know that honeybees are obsessive about cleanliness? Because there are so many bodies coming and going, the dead bees must be taken out of the hive. The undertaker bees carry out the dead bees. They gather the bee parts and other debris and remove it from the hive.
  3. Architect  As the young bee’s wax glands matures it secretes wax. When that happens bees can build comb. The bees that produce wax take care of pupae and help to ripen honey cells. So, they are called architects because they are responsible to repair any part of the comb that is damaged and fill in the cracks of the hive with propolis. (a sticky substance that bees collect from tree resin)
  4. Honey Makers and House Cleaners, remember we said bees are obsessive about cleanliness? Some of the female bee jobs are cleaning other female bees. And make sure when bees return to the hive they help pack the nectar and pollen into cells. These bees do honey duty because they have digestive enzymes that are needed for raw nectar. And their other job? Fanning! To ensure that no extra moisture is present while creating the honey. So there is non stop fanning. 

5.     Queen’s Attendants someone has to groom and feed the queen bee. So the job of her daughters is to do just that. As the queen moves her daughters are there constantly grooming or feeding her. Only about 12 bees are the attendant bees

6.     Forager, this is the one that gets the most notice and prestige. Why? Because the forager is the pollinator. And without pollinators, we have no flowers or crops. So the by-product of the forager is crucial. The forager is considered to be the breadwinner of the hive. Each day they go at least 3 miles looking for nectar and pollen. As soon as its stomach is full and its pollen baskets filled, it returns to the hive and drops off its precious cargo. Then it leaves again and starts over. The forager continues this cycle through the entire day of sunshine. Because they fly hundreds of miles, their wings get tattered. Needless to say, this is the last job a worker bee does, because it works itself until it collapses

7. Guard, the guard is the one with a stinger! Its job is to be the entrance guard. No one is allowed in except foragers. It is the guard’s duty to keep wasps and even humans away. So if you are close to a honey bee hive and you get stung, now you know why!

8.     Queen, this is the most crucial job. Why? She is the keeper of the future population. She lays up to 2, 000 eggs per day. Not only does she produce these eggs, but she also chooses where she will lay them, and the number of worker or drone eggs she needs to produce. The only time she leaves the hive is as a young virgin queen then she meets a swarm of bees so that she can mate. Did you know that a queen bee can live up to 5 years, while her worker bees may live up to only 6 weeks?

Image result for queen bee cartoon"
The Queen bee is responsible for the continuation of the hive.

9.     Drones are all male bees. Their job is just to mate with other queens and spread their genes. In the hive, they are lazy, fat and hungry. They rely on their sister’s hard work to take care of them. So although it seems like they are not important to the hive. They are. It is up to them to continue the mating process. Should they still be around by the fall, they are ceremoniously pushed out of the hive. The bees cannot waste honey on the drones whose work is completed

Image result for drone  bee cartoon
Drone bees have only one job in the beehive

Amazing what these tiny insects do. And without them, we would be without most of our food source.