• 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…

  • Beekeeping,  Bees

    Oxalic Acid Fogging for Varroa Mites

    With varroa mites so prevalent among beehives, it is only a matter of time before a beekeeper will need to think about mite control. Proper mite detection and treatment is critical in preventing infestation and colony collapse.  There are a few different methods for treating varroa mites, and it is best to change up the treatment every so often to prevent resistance. Oxalic acid fogging for varroa mites is an effective method for treating these pests.  What are Varroa Mites? Varroa mites are tiny external parasites that feed and live on honey bees, their larvae, and pupae. These mites cause malformation and transmit viruses, resulting in weakened honey bees.  While…

  • close up photo of bumblebee on flower
    Beekeeping,  Bees

    When to Stop Feeding Bees in Spring

    For the most part, bees can feed themselves, but there are times when a beekeeper may want to step in and offer some assistance.  Feeding bees sugar water can be very helpful to new colonies or during a nectar dearth.   While feeding bees sugar water can save a starving colony, it is also important to know when to stop feeding bees in spring. Giving bees too much sugar water when they don’t need it isn’t good for them too.  What do Bees Eat? There are three things bees eat – pollen, nectar, and honey.  Worker bees spend much of their time foraging pollen and nectar to bring back to the…

  • Beekeeping,  Bees,  DIY,  Kids

    Do Bees Need Water?

    Everyone knows that bees gather pollen, nectar, and propolis, but people often forget about another very important resource bees must collect – water. As a beekeeper, you must provide an adequate water source for your bees. Even if you are not a beekeeper, it’s nice to leave a watering station out for the bees as well. Do Bees Need Water? Yes, just as bees need food, bees need water as well. Bees need water to survive, and if there isn’t a reliable water source near their hive, they will go out in search of water. Bees use water for drinking and for multiple uses within the hive. How Bees Collect…