62 terms

Beekeeping for Beginners

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The 4 main species of Honeybee...
3 are indigenous to Asia/India, and "our" honeybee was indigenous to Africa/Europe.

"Our" Honeybee was introduced to America in the 17th century with Spanish colonists in Central America.
Can a bee live on its own?
A Queen honeybee can survive a winter to start a colony the following spring.

Any other bee will die.
Honeybees live year round. True or False?
True.

Honeybees live year round in a social setting. Lone bees cannot survive on their own, unless they are a Queen.
Bee anatomy Fill-in
Honey Bee Basic Anatomy contains
Head
Thorax
Abdomen
Honey Bee Head contains
- Head
1) two Antennae
2) two simple eyes
3) two compound eyes
4) mandible
5) bee ass tongue - called proboscis, it's like a straw
Honey Bee Thorax contains
-Thorax
1) 6 legs
2) 4 wings
Honey Bee Abdomen contains
- Abdomen
1) Honey crop - a special stomach for storing nectar
2) Intestines
3) Intestines
4) Rectum
5) stinger apparatus
6) stinger
Honeybee Stinger Apparatus'
Worker bees have barbed stingers that get lodged in the tissue of their target; when the bee removes itself from said target it tears its abdomen apart resulting in its death.

Queen bees have barbless stingers that are usually used to kill other Queens. As they are barbless, a Queen can sting multiple times.
Honey Bee
Apis mellifera;

A stinging winged insect that collects nectar and pollen, produces wax and honey, and lives in large communities.

It was domesticated for its honey around the end of the Neolithic period (or New Stone Age, aka 10,200 BC - 4,500/2,000 BC.) and is usually kept in hives.

Managed for honey, bee pollen, royal jelly, bee's wax, and pollination.
The Honeybee caste system is based on?
Reproduction ability

Queen lays eggs
Workers tend eggs
Drones mate then die
Three castes of Honey Bees
Queen
Worker
Drone
Queen Bee
The only reproductive female in the hive, and her only function is to reproduce and lay eggs in the colony. (She can lay 1-2000 a day.)

Develops from young worker bee larvae; has overdeveloped ovaries resulting in her elongated abdomen which is her most distinguishing feature.
Worker Bee
A sterile female bee that makes up the vast majority of the hive.

Does not reproduce, but instead works for the community by collecting food and maintaining the hive.
Drone Bee
Only male bees that develop from an unfertilized egg, and his only function is to mate with a queen.

Very boxy and bulky compared to worker bee. He has larger head, eyes, and wings to assist with on the fly mating.
Caste populations in a healthy hive
Queen: if there are more than 4/5 there's a problem.
Workers: thousands upon thousands.
Drones: a few hundred max
Life Cycle of Honey Bee
Egg
Larvae
Pupae
Adult
Length of Life Cycles of Queen Bees
Queens
~ 16 days total
Egg: ~0-2 days
Larvae: ~3-8 days
Pupae: ~9-16 days
Adult: emerges on ~16th day
Fertile: ~23 days & on
Max Life expectancy: 3-4 years
Length of Life Cycles of Worker Bees
Workers
~ 21 days total
Egg: ~0-2 days
Larvae: ~3-9 days
Pupae: ~10-21 days
Adult: emerges on ~21st day
Infertile
Max Life expectancy in Spring/Summer: 6-7 weeks
Max Life expectancy in Winter: 4-6 months
Length of Life Cycles of Drone Bees
Drones
~ 24 days total
Egg: ~0-2 days
Larvae: ~3-10 days
Pupae: ~11-23 days
Adult: emerges on ~24th day
Fertile: ~38 days & on
Max Life expectancy: 4 months
Honeybee egg
Looks like a grain of rice
Brood
The developing beedom: egg, larvae, pupae.
How is a Queen honeybee created?
Queen bees are modified worker bees, and they are created by their special diet.

They are fed more often and they are fed more amounts of royal jelly, of which worker bees usually only get a little.

A Worker larvae can be made into a queen if attention is given to it in its first 3 days.

If attention is not paid until after the first 3 days, then it results in an inferior Queen which is quickly killed and replaced.
Royal Jelly
Royal jelly is a honey bee secretion that is used in the nutrition of larvae, as well as adult queens.[1] It is secreted from the glands in the hypopharynx of worker bees, and fed to all larvae in the colony, regardless of sex or caste.[2]

When worker bees decide to make a new queen, because the old one is either weakening or dead, they choose several small larvae and feed them with copious amounts of royal jelly in specially constructed queen cells. This type of feeding triggers the development of queen morphology, including the fully developed ovaries needed to lay eggs
Primary food source of bees
Pollen / Nectar / Honey

Pollen is their protein source, while Nectar/Honey is their carbohydrate source.
Honey Capping
The thin layer of new wax that bees build over the top of cured (or dried) honey is called capping wax.

Depending on their genetics, bees either place the capping wax directly on the surface of the honey, or they may leave a little air pocket between the surface of the honey and the wax.

These two methods (Dry and Wet Capping) make no difference in the flavor, color, or quality of the honey, but they make the finished combs look dramatically different.
Dry Capping
The honeycomb with the air pockets is said to have dry cappings.

The comb appears white or very light tan.
Wet Capping
Honeycomb with wet cappings is not actually wet, but it looks like it might be.

The appearance is darker and may have a variegated pattern due to scattered mini air pockets, which have a lighter color.
What kind of hives do unmanaged (feral) bees prefer?
Protected, but partially exposed.

Hollow trees, inside walls, under rock slabs.

Different species have different preferences as to colonizing in cavities, or more in the open.
Bee Space
The crawl space, usually about a quarter of an inch, left between combs of hives allowing the bees access to the entirety of comb/cells.

If the space between any two surfaces in the hive is too small for a bee to pass through easily, the bees will seal it with Propolis. If the space is larger than a bee needs to pass through easily, the bees will construct comb in the area.
Propolis
"Bee Glue"

A red or brown resinous substance collected by honey bees from trees . Its mixed with wax to make a sticky glue that is used in sealing cracks and repairing their hives.
Differences between Honey and Brood Capping
First difference is the obvious: Brood capping is capping over developing bees, while Honey capping is the capping over stores of honey nectar/pollen.

Another difference is that although bees cap brood cells one at a time, they cap honey cells in groups. Once an area of comb is ready to cap, the bees may cover many square inches of stored honey at once.

Lastly, there is a difference in color and texture. Honey Capping tends to be more indistinct and lighter (becoming darker as it cures), while Brood Capping has defined edges and is darker.
Beeswax
basic building material of a hive

Plates on the bottom of a Honeybee contain wax glands that secrete wax flakes, which the bee then molds into comb.
Hive
The Structure in which a colony of bees reside.
Colony
The Bee Family Unit

The entire societal population of workers, drones, and queen.
Queen cells
are the largest of cells; usually hang vertically and look like a peanut
Queen cap
If the Queen cell lacks a cap, or the cap is hanging off like an opened soup can, this mean the Queen has emerged.

If the Queen cell is still capped and there is a hole eaten through the top or side, this means that another bee has killed the Queen.

Another Queen may have eaten through and killed the other Queen, or Workers may have killed the Queen if they decided they had already raised a sufficient Queen.
Brood Capping
The thin layer of new wax that bees build over the top of developing bee cells.
Honeycomb
a structure of hexagonal cells of beeswax, made by bees to store honey and eggs.
Capping
The thin layer of new wax that bees build over the top of either developing bee cells or cured honey.
Diameter of comb cells and their result
Cell diameters range from 4.6 - 6 mm.

The Queen measures the diameter with her legs and the size determines what kind of egg she will lay in that cell.

The largest cells are fertilized and become queens.
The smallest cells are fertilized and become workers.
The medium cells are not fertilized and become drones.
Cells
Downward tilted pockets meant to store honey, nectar, pollen, eggs, larvae, and pupae.

The largest cells are fertilized and become queens.
The smallest cells are fertilized and become workers.
The medium cells are not fertilized and become drones.
Difference between colonies and hives
Although they are often used synonymously, their Webster difference is that a hive is a STRUCTURE bees may live in, while a colony is the FAMILY UNIT of bees.

COLONIES live in a HIVE.
Bees emerge ready to work immediately. True or False?
True
Worker Honeybee Duties during life span
Cleaning hive
Capping
Feeding
Receiving and handling pollen/nectar
Comb Building
Cleaning debris (including dead bees)
Ventilating (by batting wings; to prevent humidity)
Guard Duty
Foraging

It is usually roughly 3 weeks before a bee takes on flying jobs, i.e. foraging for food and water.
Foraging honeybees...
Are task-oriented, and collect either nectar, pollen, or water depending on what the colony needs.
Bee Bread
A mixture of pollen and enzyme-rich bee saliva molded into pellet form and then packed into comb cells.
Nectar
A natural sugar solution in flowers that attracts bees.

It contains roughly 50-80% water, as well as sugar (sucrose, glucose, fructose, etc), and several other acids, proteins, oils, minerals, and pollens that vary from species to species.

It is the latter various substances that effect the taste and color of the honey.
Nectar becomes honey when...
The nectar is 18% water
The difference between nectar and honey is...
The water content.

Nectar is just watery Honey, and Honey is just a more solid nectar.
Bees create honey by...
collecting pollen and nectar into their stomachs where their enzymes convert the concoction into simpler sugars which are then regurgitated into cells by the worker, or passed from bee to bee until they are put in cells.
After a bout of bad weather, you may find dead bees littered about the hive site. This is normal. True or false?
True.

Dead bees produce an acid that tells worker bees to remove them. Dead bees can accumulate in a hive during bad weather when the bees cannot get out. After the bad weather passes, you may find dead bees littered about the hive site. This is normal.
Pheromones
A chemical form of social communication spread both by vapor and touch.
Waggle Dance
a series of patterned movements performed by a scouting bee, communicating to other bees of the colony the direction and distance of a food source or hive site.
Unmated Queens are called...
Virgin Queens
Shortly after emergence, a Queen bee leaves the hive in search for a...
Drone Congregation
Drone Congregation
A place, usually found near tree lines or series' of buildings that can be quite far from the hive, where both Queens and Drones are attracted to for the purpose of mating.
Queens and Drones mate...
"On the fly"; meaning that they mate while flying in the air, rather than on the ground or another surface.
A Queen will mate with roughly __________ Drones.
12 - 18; this can last several days, and happen over several "flights".
Queen bees store the collected sperm in their...
Spermithica
After mating with a Queen, the Drone...
Dies. Its genitalia tears off when finished mating, killing the drone.
After her mating flights, a Queen...
returns to her hive. She will never mate again. She fertilizes her eggs as they pass from her using the stored sperm in the her Spermithica that she collected during her mating flights.

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