What I knew about bees and honey could be stored on the end of a bee’s nose! What I did know mostly came from the fact that I was allergic to their stings as a child, and that honey on toast is very good to eat. However, today I know considerably more thanks to the November meeting of the Torske Klub.This month’s speaker at the Torske Klub was Harry Patterson, a retired teacher, tennis instructor and beekeeper hobbyist. Mr. Patterson uses his teaching skills to instruct and familiarize listeners in the “life styles of a bee hive.” He gives presentations to various groups and civic organization around the area including school children and garden clubs. In the half hour we give each presenter I learned a lot about bees and honey.
Did you know ?
The population of a hive is almost completely female? Each hive has three types of bees, Drones (male), Workers (female) and the Queen. A hive may have from 2,000 to 60,000 Workers, with from zero to 500 Drones, and one Queen.
A queen is produced when the workers build a special cell in the hive and feed the larva in the cell with a special food called “royal jelly.”
Because a drone has no use in the winter they are expelled from the hive in the autumn.
Unlike colonies of social wasps and bumble bees, honey bee colonies live year after year. Therefore, most activity in a bee colony is aimed at surviving the next winter. During the winter, bees cluster in a tight ball to concentrate warmth in the hive. In January, the queen starts laying eggs in the center of the hive using stored honey and pollen to feed the larvae.
Honeybees are not native to the USA. They are European in origin, and were brought to North America by the early settlers.
Bees maintain 93 degrees Fahrenheit in the center of the winter cluster (regardless of the outside temperature). During the summer months some bees will be put on “fanning duty” to create a constant air flow through the hive, keeping the hive cool even in 150 degree heat.
Now we both can say we do “Know beeswax about bees!”