meta name="google-site-verification" content="w5US-cHL1VE1if8EJqKK39WSvqhczDzKXxyDRaJIh1U" />
Written by Wendi Bailey of Bailey Bee's and Beyond located in Milford, Utah.
Wendi shared this wonderful article about her honey bees. I think it's fascinating but I may be a little partial since she is my little sister. She sure knows her bees and her bee facts.
"We decided to get a few bee hives about 6 years ago when my husband developed some allergies. By eating a few tablespoons of raw local honey daily, you are consuming the same pollen of which is the culprit you are allergic to. This is like getting an allergy shot from your doctor. Obviously, the natural way seems much better for us.
We now have close to 100 hives. We think of our "girls" as little pets. When we return from the bee yards and discover we have brought a bee home, we turn around and take her back home so she won't die. We are a very protective of our "girls".
There are 3 types of bees in a hive. The Queen which is the only bee that lays eggs. She lays about 1000 eggs a day and will live between 1 and 4 years. Without the Queen, the colony will eventually die.
There are the Worker Bees, which are the female bees. They do ALL the work including tending to the Queen, feeding larvae, feeding drones, nectar ripening, producing heat in the winter, collecting water and house cleaning duties. There numbers can range from 40-60,000 in a strong hive and that's a good thing since they literally keep things running smooth. Talk about a "Busy Bee".
The Drones, which are the male bee's, do absolutely no work whatsoever. All they are responsible for is fertilization. They only leave the hive for 2-3 hours each day. If the Worker Bees stopped feeding them, they would die of starvation. My grandchildren love to play tricks on their friends with the male bees since they have no stinger.
A bee will only produce about 1/12 tsp of honey in her lifetime. So, think about that when you eat your next peanut butter and honey sandwich. A lot of bees gave their lives for that sandwich! Those Worker Bees put a lot of work into getting your honey. Honeybees never sleep and do not hibernate but cluster together for warmth. They remain active all winter. They maintain an internal cluster temperature of 92 degrees in the coldest part of winter while raising the brood. They disconnect their wings allowing them to pump their wing muscles to create heat.
A honeybee will visit 50-100 flowers on a single trip out of the hive and will travel 2-5 miles from the hive. When we have our hives out in fields of wildflowers, the honey will take on a slightly floral taste from the fields. It's delicious. Honeybees are responsible for approximately 80% of all fruit, vegetable and seed crops in the US. Flowering plants produce nectar and then the bees will suck up nectar and water and store it in their honey stomach. When their honey stomach is full they return to the hive and put the nectar in an empty honeycomb. Natural chemicals from the bee’s head glands, along with the evaporation of the water, will change the nectar into honey. Bees produce honey as food stores for the winter months when flowers aren't blooming.
Honey never spoils. In its raw form, honey contains many beneficial minerals and vitamins. Honey also has antibacterial properties and anti-oxidants. Honey is the only food that includes all the substances necessary to sustain life, including water. Now you know where the saying " busy as a bee" comes from.
If you have noticed your garden being much quieter in recent years, it’s probably not your imagination. The bee population has been facing an alarming decline worldwide. That’s a scary thought, considering that the majority of the crops we eat reply on these (formerly) frequent visitors. Bees need a pollinator-friendly pit stop with a few fixes.
Try leave-it-alone gardening. Stop obsessing over perfectly planted flower beds and weed-free lawns. Think of your garden as a wildlife habitat. Use birdbaths for give them a water source in the dry summer heat. When looking at a fallen tree or dead limb remember it’s a potential bee nest! Drill bee-inviting holes in dead wood or simply but a premade bee box.
Go native. Local plants match the needs of nearby pollinators. A little research into your local climate and soil will reveal which plants work best in your yard.
Mix it up. Opt for plants of all shapes and colors that will bloom from early spring to late fall. Plant in clumps rather than individual flowers. This makes it easier for the bees to find you.
Most importantly, stop spraying pesticides. The number one threat to pollinators -and the chemicals you should avoid over all others- is neonicotinoid (or neonic) pesticides. Not only are they toxic to bees, but they’re also systemic. When applied, these poisons make their way throughout the entire plant-including the pollen and nectar.
Please do your part in saving this amazing little creature. 🐝🐝🐝
One thing to remember is that Pediatricians recommend waiting until your baby is at least 12 months before introducing honey because it may contain spores of bacteria that can cause botulism. this doesn't mean you honey supply is contaminated--these bacteria are harmless to adults and children over 1.
One thing I learned from my sister is that when your honey gets hard, DO NOT microwave it. It takes away all the nutrients when you do that. Place the jar of honey in a pot of water and heat on the stove. It will slowly melt and all the nutrients remain.
Check out these darling Honey Bee Rocks. Summer is here and the kids need to keep busy. Grab some rocks on your next outing and make a day of painting honey bees. Let them scatter the bees around the garden to add some color and whimsy.