Our speaker today was Mike Reilly who among other things has been a Beekeeper for 14 years. Back yard Bee Keeping has increased in popularity in the US leading to more people having honeybees as their next-door neighbor. Hives can be Langstroth Hives (Boxes stacked on top of one another) which contain frames inside arranged vertically or Top bar hives where frames are arranged horizontally. Bees fly to flowers and extract the nectar bringing it back to the hive and the comb where it becomes honey.
The Queen is the only Bee that lays eggs. Drone Bees are male Bees whose purpose is to mate with the Queen. They do nothing else!!Swarming is the natural reproduction of a honeybee colony, when a single colony splits into two or more colonies. It usually happens in the spring, when the hive becomes overcrowded, and the queen bee leaves with a large group of worker bees to find a new home. Swarming is a sign of a strong and healthy colony and is essential to the bees' survival. Water is essential to a hive, it keeps the hive cool, raises humidity in hive, keep brood moist and water serves to dilute or de-crystalize honey. If there is too much water, honey will rot.
So, what do you get from the Bees? Wax: Propolis (Propolis is a mixture of pollen and beeswax collected by bees from certain plants and trees which is rich in antioxidants.): Honey.
Some fun facts about Bees:
  • A honeybee can fly for up to six miles, and as fast as 15 miles per hour, hence it would have to fly around 90,000 miles -three times around the globe – to make one pound of honey.
  • It takes one ounce of honey to fuel a bee’s flight around the world.
  • Honey is 80% sugars and 20% water.
  • Honeybees produce beeswax from eight paired glands on the underside of their abdomen.
  • Honeybees must consume about 17-20 pounds of honey to be able to biochemically produce each pound of beeswax.
  • Bees maintain a temperature of 92-93 degrees Fahrenheit in their central brood nest regardless of whether the outside temperature is 110 or -40 degrees.
  • A populous colony may contain 40,000 to 60,000 bees during the late spring or early summer.
  • The queen bee lives for about 2-3 years. She is the busiest in the summer months, when the hive needs to be at its maximum strength and lays up to 2500 eggs a day.
  • The queen may mate with up to 17 drones over a 1–2-day period of mating.
  • The queen may lay 600-800 or even 1,500 eggs each day during her 3- or 4-year lifetime. This daily egg production may equal her own weight. She is constantly fed and groomed by attendant worker bees.
  • Worker honeybees live for about 4 weeks in the spring or summer but up to 6 months during the winter.
  • The average honeybee will actually make only one twelfth of a teaspoon of honey in its lifetime.
  • Honeybees fly at up to 15 miles per hour.
  • The Honeybee’s wings stroke 11,400 times per minute, thus making their distinctive buzz.
  • A honeybee visits 50 to 100 flowers during a collection trip.
  • 8 pounds of Honey equals 1 pound of wax
  • Bees are not domestic to US. All are European although they are starting to breed in US.
  • the honeybee is the only insect that produces food eaten by man.
Thanks Mike! It was a fun Morning and we do hope you return to continue telling us about Bees.!