• Bees,  Solitary Bees

    Where to Buy Mason Bees and How to Care for Them

    While mason bees look similar to honey bees, they behave very differently.  The biggest difference between the two is that mason bees are solitary. While honey bees live in a hive with thousands of other bees, mason bees live alone.   Because of the mason bees docile nature, many people have had interest in having a mason bee house in their garden.  Buying a mason bee house is easy, but once you get that set up you need to find out where to buy mason bees.  Mason bees are a great, low maintenance bee to raise. If you are looking for where to buy mason bees, the easiest way to buy…

  • selective focus photography of black and yellow carpenter bee

    How Long Do Bumble Bees Live – The Life Cycle of Bumble Bees

    With the weather starting to warm up, you may soon be seeing the emergence of bumble bees. Easily recognizable by their fuzzy bodies and buzzing sound, bumble bees play a critical role in pollination and the diversity of ecosystems.  Bumble bees have a fascinating life cycle, with their colonies only lasting one year. The life span of bumble bees vary based on environmental conditions and the bee’s role in the colony.  So, how long do bumble bees live?  The Life Cycle of Bumble Bees Colony Initiation The bumble bee colony begins in the spring, with the emergence of a new queen.  This queen has mated and hibernated alone through the…

  • Beekeeping,  Bees

    Caring For Bees in the Winter

    Winter is a vulnerable time for bees.  The 2 things they need to survive – warmth and food are not readily available during the cold winter months.    If there are no flowers to forage from, what do bees eat in the winter? This article will discuss what bees do in the winter, what bees eat in the winter, and how to feed bees in the winter.  What Bees Do During Winter Unlike bears or birds, bees do not hibernate or fly away during the cold months.  Instead, they gather in their hive. When the temperature drops to the 50s it’s time for the bees to return to the hive…

  • Bees

    How do Bees Make Royal Jelly?

    I always found it fascinating that queen bees are genetically identical to worker bees. However, because of their different diets, their physiology and behavior become completely different. It is all due to an amazing substance – royal jelly.  Royal jelly is produced by worker bees.  It is a food source for the queen bee and young larvae, and it is even harvested and used by humans.  But how do bees make royal jelly? What is Royal Jelly? Royal jelly is a very important substance that is made by worker bees – nurse bees, in particular.  This milky white secretion is fed to the queen bee throughout her life. As a…

  • macro shot photography of black and yellow bees

    What Causes Nosema in Bees and What Treatment is Available?

    Nosema is a common disease that affects honeybees.  It is important for beekeepers to know the signs and symptoms of nosema so they can treat and prevent it.  Read on to learn what causes nosema in bees as well as different methods of treatment.  What is Nosema? Nosema is a fungal infection that affects honeybees. Nosema apis and Nosema ceranae are the two species that can affect bees.  Once infected, the fungi invades the honeybee’s gut and damages the intestinal lining.  As a result, bees with nosema experience malnutrition, increased likelihood of contracting other diseases, and ultimately, a shortened lifespan.  Symptoms of Nosema What Causes Nosema in Bees? Nosema infection…

  • honey bees in a hive featured

    How Many Honey Bees in a Hive?

    A colony is the community of bees that live in a hive. But just how many honey bees are in a hive? This is a question that isn’t so easy to answer in exact figures. There are statistically accurate estimates that vary with the size of the hive. So, without talking about specifics, let’s look at how many honey bees typically live in a hive. A single honey bee colony could consist of anywhere from 10,000 to well over 70,000 bees. The hive often functions as a single organism with the majority of members being female worker bees who are all often offspring of the same queen bee. Determining the…

  • DIY,  Solitary Bees

    How to Make a Bee House for Mason Bees

    Beekeeping isn’t just a hobby for people who want to make a profit by selling honey; it’s also useful for flower pollination in a garden. Additionally, gardeners are always looking for new ways to decorate and improve their garden. You can use a bee house to increase the wellness of your garden. For this purpose, you need a different kind of bee and a different kind of bee house than what you would need for harvesting honey. Regular beehives are usually enclosed with one small entrance for bees to enter and exit through. Mason bee houses have a completely alternate setup. Mason bee houses are open-faced with lots of individual…

  • Bees

    How Do Bees Navigate: Understanding the Incredible Navigation System of Honey Bees

    I’ve always found it pretty amazing how honeybees can fly miles away from their hive or nest, and still be able to find their way back home.  Bees possess special navigation skills that allow them to travel long distances without getting lost.  But how do bees navigate?  They use the sun, landmarks, their sense of smell, and polarized light to find their way around.  How Far Do Bees Travel for Food? One of the important jobs of the worker bee is to forage for food.  To do this, they must often travel far away from their hives in search of pollen, nectar, and water.   The distance bees travel for food…

  • Beekeeping,  Bees

    How to Identify Robber Bees

    Once your bee colony is established and producing honey you will have to be on the lookout for robbers. You see, bees from one colony will actually try to steal honey from another colony. In beekeeping this is called robbing, and the bees are called robber bees.  A successful beekeeper must know how to identify robber bees, as well as prevent them.  What are Robber Bees Robber bees are technically forager bees. It is their job to collect food within their flight range.  Their flight range is usually 2 miles from their hive. The food they collect is normally pollen and nectar, but robber bees are after honey.   Robber bees…

  • honeycomb insect bees honey

    Do Worker Bees Lay Eggs?

    In a bee colony, the worker bees are the smallest and most numerous bee in the hive.  They have many roles in the hive, from attending to the queen, foraging, guarding the hive, and building honeycomb.  Worker bees are all female. They are born from a fertilized egg that was laid by the queen.  Worker bees have many roles in the hive, but do worker bees lay eggs? Do Worker Bees Lay Eggs? The simple answer is yes, worker bees can lay eggs.  However, when workers lay eggs, it isn’t a good thing.   Worker bees that lay eggs are called laying workers.  They do not go on a mating flight…