• 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…

  • Bees,  Solitary Bees

    Mason Bees for Pollination

    When you think of pollinators, you probably think of honey bees and butterflies, but there is an insect that is 120 times more effective at pollination than honey bees.  That insect is the mason bee.  Mason bees are gentle, solitary bees that are beneficial for any garden.   In this article you will learn all about the mason bee, how to care for them, and where to find mason bee cocoons for sale.   Disclosure: As an affiliate I earn from qualifying purchases. This is at no cost to you and helps to keep this website running. What is a Mason Bee? Like the leafcutter bee, mason bees are excellent pollinators.  Mason…

  • Bees,  Solitary Bees

    A Guide to the Leafcutter Bee

    When you think of solitary bees, the mason bee likely comes to mind first, but I find the leafcutter bee equally or even more interesting.  Leafcutter bees are quite common across the US.  They are wonderful pollinators, pollinating crops such as blueberries, onions, carrots, and alfalfa.   Disclosure: As an affiliate I earn from qualifying purchases. This is at no cost to you and helps to keep this website running. What is a Leafcutter Bee? Leafcutter bees are solitary bees that are known for cutting circular pieces of leaves to construct their nests.  They are very gentle and rarely sting, and are excellent pollinators.  They differ from honey bees in that…

  • Bees,  Gardening

    Why Are Pollinator Gardens Important?

    Pollinator gardens are not only beautiful, they actually play a crucial role in our ecosystem. So, why are pollinator gardens important? Should you start a pollinator garden at home? Read on to find out. Disclosure: As an affiliate I earn from qualifying purchases. This is at no cost to you and helps to keep this website running. What is a Pollinator Garden? A pollinator garden is a type of garden that is planted specifically to attract pollinating insects.  This is done by planting nectar and pollen producing plants, as well as plants that provide shelter for pollinators.   Pesticides should be prohibited in pollinator gardens, as it will kill pollinating insects. …

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • Bees

    What do Bees Need to Survive?

    Like humans, bees need certain things in order to survive.  Because bees have lived on their own for millions of years, you may not have given it much thought. But without these 3 main things, a bee colony will be doomed.  So, what do bees need to survive? Food Like all living creatures, bees need food to survive.  Food is so important to them that they spend much of their time collecting and storing food. What exactly do bees eat?  The following are food sources for bees: Pollen Nectar Honey Pollen and nectar are foraged from nearby flowers. That’s why it is very important for a bee colony to be…

  • 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…

  • Bees,  DIY

    Propolis Benefits for Hair

    For those who struggle with hair loss and thinning hair, the answer may be in an unlikely place.  Propolis has long been used for skincare, cosmetics, and medical purposes.  But a recent study has shown that there are also propolis benefits for hair, especially thinning hair.  What is Propolis Propolis is a resin like substance made by bees from tree resins and sap.  It is usually dark brown and has a sticky texture, which is why it’s often called bee glue.  Bees use propolis all over their hive to fill cracks and gaps in the walls.   Propolis is also used to line nest cavities and even reduce the hive opening. …

  • worker-bees
    Bees

    Types of Honey Bees and Their Roles in the Colony

    Honeybees are eusocial insects. That means that they live in groups and divide labor among members.  Bees are reliant on each other for survival. Eusocial insects show an advanced level of social organization.  Some eusocial characteristics include cooperative brood care, overlapping generations within a colony, and specialized behavioral groups (castes).  Other eusocial insects are ants and termites.   While it is commonly thought that honeybees have 3 castes, technically speaking, there are 2 sexes and 2 castes.  So when someone says that there are 3 castes, they really mean that there are 3 types (males and 2 female castes).  The 2 sexes of honeybees are male and female, of course. The…