What is a Beehive?
Most bees are housed in a Langstroth beehive. This consists of a stack of two boxes on a base. These boxes are large enough to each hold 10 frames that are designed to encourage the bees to build their combs on the frames. Dimensions are such that there is plenty of clearance for the bees to move around, but not enough to encourage the bees to build combs outside the frames.
A lid closes the top. and a slot in the base provides an entrance for the bees.
The wax combs are used both to raise new bees and to store honey.
Early in the summer when the beekeeper sees the bees storing large amounts of honey, he will remove the lid and cover the top box with a mesh called the queen excluder. The holes are large enough to allow worker bees to crawl through, but too small for the queen. On top of the queen excluder, the beekeeper places another box full of empty frames called the super.
Because the queen can not get into the super to lay eggs there, the workers can lay up combs full of pure honey. This is the honey that the beekeeper harvests in late summer or early fall.
Of course, the lid must be put on top of the super.
I like the
flower. It is so
bright red and smells good.
I am told it is God's favorite plant. The Jewish high priest was instructed to decorate the hem of his robe with embroidered pomegranate flowers. Some say that the forbidden fruit in the Garden of Eden was not an apple but a pomegranate.
Bees are a social insect that lives in colonies. Apiculture is the art of keeping bees. Each colony consists of one queen, about 20,000 worker bees and a few hundred drones. They live in a cavity called a hive. The hive may be a hollow tree, or a set of boxes supplied by the beekeeper. When a hive is over crowded, bees swarm. Occasionally a honey bee swarm will make their hive in the wall of a building or some other place where they are not desired.
The queen is the only fertile female. She lays all the eggs, up to 2000 per day.
Worker bees are infertile females. They tend to the queen, keep house, care for the larvae, guard the hive, forage for nectar and pollen, and carry water to their sisters in the hive.
Drones are the male bee. Their primary duty is to mate with new queen bees. It is suspected they have other duties, but none have been verified. They lack a stinger. Each fall they are ejected from the hive to die in the cold so the queen and workers can survive on the stored honey.
Honey and pollen are the bees' food. Beekeepers are careful only to harvest the excess honey, leaving enough to enable the colony to survive the winter.
A page about bees for your entertainment
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The flavor and color of honey is dependent on the flower from which the nectar is collected. On a given day, a foraging bee will only collect nectar from a single species of flower.
If the bee hive is in the middle of a large field containing a single crop, such as clover, All most all of the bees will be collecting nectar from that flower.
When the beekeeper takes a frame from the super, he will find mostly clover honey in the comb. He will extract the honey and sell it as clover honey or whatever the species of flowers is in the field.
The flavors will range from delicate to strong. The color will range from a very light yellow to a dark amber.
Most small beekeepers such as myself keep the hives where the bees can access a variety of flowers. On a given day, there may be bees visiting several different species of flowers, and a bee may switch species of flowers from day to day. My bees produce a mix of different types of honey. The honey produced by my bees is rather dark and very rich in flavor. I sell it as honey from mixed flowers.
The flower of the
yellow and turns
red as the days go by.
It has so many stamen filled with pollen that gathering nectar is like swimming in pollen. I love to emerge with my coat covered in pollen.
Bee's Favorite Flower
that is the
I have to work a little harder than some other flowers because I must extract nectar from each individual section of the blossom, but it is worth it to taste the delicate flavor of clover nectar.
Pure clover honey is very light colored and has a delicate flavor that many honey-lovers prefer.
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Bee Sting Remedy
Bees do not bite, but they sure can sting. Worker bees have a barb on their stinger so they can only sting once. Drones have no stinger.
If you get stung, apply toothpaste to the sting. It will quickly reduce the sting and will minimize swelling.
Reynold Conger, Author, books
RARE SEPTEMBER SWARM
I collected a swarm of bees on September 27, 2018.
Perhaps a warm autumn in New Mexico increases
the chance of swarming, I heard a buzz and there
was a swarm of bees coming into a plum tree that
I call my swarm tree.
Spring is usually swarm season, but because swarm activity is stimulated by a crowded hive, some colonies will swarm late into the summer, but mid August is the latest I have seen or heard of a swarm of bees. Needless to say, I was not prepared. In fact, storing my swarm kit was next on my list of things to do. At the time I was preparing to put winter feeders into my hives. As I worked, I heard the unmistakable buzz of an incoming swarm of bees. I turned around to see the plum tree surrounded by bees in flight.
That particular plum tree is my "swarm tree". Since my third year of beekeeping, I have collected one to four swarms from that tree. During a swarm, the bees follow the queen's scent. When she lands, she marks the tree well with a scent that lasts for years. The result is that later swarms tend to use the same tree.
I quickly mixed up a batch of sugar water. By the time the sugar water was finished, the swarm had finished landing on the tree. I sprayed the swarm with sugar water to keep the bees from flying. Then I brushed them off into my collection box.
The swarm has now been installed into a new bee box. I am pretty sure I captured the queen, so they have every reason to stay. My intent is to give updates on twitter under the hash tag, #SeptemberBeeSwarm.