Facts About Honeybees That Must Be Known By All Beekeeping Beginners
It still amazes me that a big number of people have a fascination with honeybees, on many occasions when I meet people and they discover that I’m a good beekeeper they always throw a ton of inquisitive questions my way looking for intelligent answers. A few examples of these enquiries often go like… How do bees produce honey? What causes bees not to return to their hives? Why are bees disappearing? Are bees dang1terous creatures? And is it possible to make money with bees?
I am always replying to a lot of these questions the best way I know how while trying to educate some of them about bees. Being a professional honey beekeeper I often get telephone calls from persons who’re trying to get me to rush over and remove the clusters of bees off their properties and most of time they’ll mention that there is a hive or nest that’s in their backyard, and the picture they paint is of an actual hive may be made of wood. Only to discover that they are referring to a group of bees that has formed a swarm in a tree somewhere near their home.
I consider the questions an opportunity to share my knowledge of honeybee facts, I let them know the difference and many are intrigued by the big difference between a swarm, a nest and a hive. A swarm actually speaks about a group of bees that have decided to leave a hive and set a new colony just randomly on the spot, in most instances they’ll set up in a tree and sometimes on the outside corner of someone’s house, right at coner where they’ll get shelter. This group is usually made up by bees in excess of 20 000 individuals with one queen.
What causes honeybees to swarm is overcrowding in a hive, a new queen is then created and just before it emerges from the cell, the old queen of bees will leave the colony and take with her half of the work force. They will swarm in a tree branch and cluster there in the mean time for several days until the perfect location can be found by scouts. It’s what the honeybees work so hard without tirering, everyday all day building inside the hive. The brood, eggs, honey and the adult bees that the colony consists of are the reason a nest can be refered to as a nest.
A hive is the container or casing where bees live; there are different types of manmade hives that have removable frames giving easy and instant access to the combs. You might have seen some beehives on fields or orchards where an apiary has been set up. They’re usually wooden boxes and they will be painted white, hives are built mianly for housing a bee colony.
The best thing about honey beekeeping is that hone don’t need to be pushed before they do their work, they live according to a social order and each and bee in the colony is assigned a duty. When a new beehive is set up or they fly to a new found environment or home. You’ll notice that within an hour of coming into the new hive, the worker bees instantly leave the nest on foraging flights.
Everything is done in the best interest of the colony because the workers will immediately start building honeycombs inside the hive in preparation of the queen bee to start egg layng process for the development of the new colony.