• Bees

    Why do Bees Swarm?

    In beekeeping, swarming occurs when a single colony splits into two colonies.  This normally happens during the spring, but occasionally bees will swarm during other seasons.  When the colony starts to get too large, the existing queen and half of the bees will leave to find another home.  This phenomenon allows the colony to reproduce.  It’s something the colony does to survive and thrive.  Both the original colony and the swarm colony will have their own queens, so in the end, more bees will be made.  The Swarming Process Preparation Once the hive starts getting crowded, the colony will make the decision to swarm. They will prepare for this by…

  • Solitary Bees

    How to Attract Bees to a Bee House

    Spring is almost here, so that means that if you haven’t yet, it’s time to plan your garden.  Whether you plant fruits and vegetables, or just flowers, it’s beneficial to have a bee house.   Bee houses are not the same as beehives.  While beehives house honey bees for the purpose of collecting honey, bee houses are for solitary bees.  Solitary bees do not make honey, but are excellent pollinators.  Some people buy mason or leafcutter bee cocoons for their bee houses.  Others set up the house and wait for the bees to come on their own.  Read on to learn how to attract bees to a bee house.   Disclosure: As…

  • bee sipping nectar on flower during daytime

    How Do Bees Communicate With Pheromones?

    The queen bee has 2 major roles in the colony. The first one is to lay eggs. She’ll lay 1,500 eggs per day in the spring. The second is to produce pheromones. Queen bee pheromones are really interesting because they change the physiology and behavior of other bees in her colony. Pheromones are the way honey bees communicate with each other. These chemical messages are one of the most advanced ways social insects transmit information. But how do bees communicate with pheromones? What are Queen Bee Pheromones? Queen bee pheromones are a chemical substance released by the queen. Think of it as her own perfume. The queen’s mandibular pheromone, or…

  • black bee on white flower

    How Many Species of Honey Bees Are There?

    Honey bees fall under the genus, Apis – which is the latin word for bee. All bees in this genus are able to produce and store honey, as well as build comb from wax. From there, bees in the genus Apis are split into different species based on their features and characteristics. So, how many species of honey bees are there? How Many Species of Honey Bees Are There? There are over 20,000 species of bees in the world. Honey bees make up just a small percentage of them. However, if we are talking about strictly how many honey bee species there are, the answer is 8. There are 8…

  • Bees

    What is the Average Beehive Population?

    There are so many bees in a hive, it seems impossible to count. But there are reasons beekeepers would want to know their average beehive population. Knowing about how many bees they have can help with hive management and especially if they offer pollination services. Average Beehive Population The average beehive population varies depending on the season. In the summer, when there is a strong nectar flow, there can be 40,000 to 80,000 bees in a colony. However, in the winter, resources become scarce and many bees die off. During this time you’ll find as little as 5,000 – 10,000 bees in a hive. Because of all these variables, it…

  • Bees

    10 Tips to Get the Best Photos of Bees in Their Hives

    Bees are small as people see them, but that doesn’t mean that photographing a bee can be simple. The truth is, most people don’t often have the desire to get up-close to bees. But what if you were looking for information on how to get the best photos of bees in their houses? Is there information that you could find this easily? Here are 10 tips to help you capture the best photos of bees in their hives — without getting stung! Wait Until the Bees are Calm If you want to get the best photos of bees in their hives, you need to wait until they’re calm. Bees are…

  • Bees,  Honey

    How Much Honey do Bees Need to Survive Winter?

    Winter can be a challenging time for bees and for beekeepers. There are no flowers for bees to forage from, and beekeepers are limited to minimal hive inspections.  Luckily, bees spend all year preparing by storing honey.  For beekeepers, it is important to know how much honey bees need to survive the winter.  What do Bees do in the Winter? While some people think that bees hibernate in the winter, that is not true. Instead, bees focus on staying warm. Bees are cold blooded, so it is important for them to maintain a warm temperature within their hive.  To do so, they form what is called a winter cluster.   Winter…

  • 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

    10 Interesting Drone Bee Facts

    A male honey bee is called a drone. Drones have one role in the colony, and when they are no longer needed, worker bees will kick them out of the hive. Often called lazy because they don’t do as much as their female counterparts, drones are vital for the expansion of the bee colony. Read on for more interesting drone bee facts. 1. Drones cannot sting. Drone bees do not have stingers. That means that they are unable to protect themselves. However, they will sometimes swing their abdomen around in an attempt to frighten their attacker. 2. Drones mate in the air. Queens must mate in flight because it increases…

  • honey-bee-colony

    Nucs or Package Bees – Which is Better?

    Like any new hobby, beekeeping has some words that most people don’t understand.  When I first became interested in beekeeping I began to read everything I could online. Luckily, there is  a lot of information online for prospective beekeepers. However, one word kept popping up that I did not understand – Nuc.  What is a nuc in beekeeping? In beekeeping, a nuc is a small colony of bees.  The term nuc is short for nucleus colony, and they typically contain 1 queen and a few thousand bees.  These bees are housed in a small hive containing 3-5 frames.   Nuc vs Package Bees  Both nucs and package bees are both used…