“Bees do have a smell, you know, and if they don’ they should, for their feet are dusted with spices from a million flowers.” – Ray Bradbury, Dandelion Wine
It is that time of year. Bees will start swarming. What is a swarm you ask? Swarming happens when a new queen is born in the hive for whatever reason. The new queen stays and the old queen leaves with 40 to 60 percent of the bees in the hive. A scout goes out ahead of time searching for a suitable home for the colony. When a home is found then the old queen and the bees that are with her move in.
If you see a swarm notify a local beekeeper or local beekeepers club right away. PLEASE don’t spray and kill them.
A Few Bee Facts
1) Scientists at St. Louis University believe that a toxin in bee stings called Melittin can kill HIV by poking holes into the virus’s protective envelope.
2) Bees are not native to the US.
3) Bees have two stomachs. One for eating and one for storing nectar or water so they can take it back to the hive.
4) Bees communicate through pheromones and dance.
5) A Queen lays around 1,500 eggs in one day.
6) Drones are the male bees.
7) Drones are all run off or killed in the fall.
8) Drones don’t have stingers.
9 ) Bees can only sting once and once they do they die.
10) The average worker bee makes around 1/12th of a teaspoon of honey in her lifetime.
11) Honey has natural preservatives and bacteria can’t grow in it.
12) Bees are the only insect in the world that make food that humans can eat.
13) Propolis is a sticky substance collected from the buds of trees, and used to weatherproof and plug holes in the hive, has also been found to have anti-bacterial properties.
14) People use the bees to sting an area riddled with arthritis in order to combat the effects of the disease.
I have a lot of people ask me about becoming a beekeeper. I always tell them to read as much as they can about the subject and to join their local bee club. Also look for a local beekeeper that would be willing to let you go along with them and teach you. I also recommend starting with two hives. One can buy package bees. nucs or whole hives sometimes and if you are lucky maybe catch a swarm. I usually buy a 3 pound package.
I plan to do more in depth stories on beekeeping in the near future. Thanks for reading my blog. Hope you enjoyed it. Be kind to one another, share the love and don’t squat with your spurs on. God Bless you one and all. If you have any beekeeping questions ask away.