We have two beekeepers on staff. Between them they have dozens of bee stories.
“When I first got bees, they arrived by mail from Florida. When I opened the box, they were scrambling everywhere.” Carrie said. “It took them awhile to figure out where they were and what was going on. I had set up and prepared for their arrival, creating an environment in my backyard with hives, spacing, flowers. It was my flowers and the spring’s wildflowers everywhere blooming that were my welcome.”
“I remember one morning in particular, my bees were humming happily, the bird bath was full with water, baby bees surrounded the outer edges. There were dragonflies, bumblebees, butterflies, and hummingbirds. In all my years living at this house, I have seen hummingbirds maybe five times. That morning, there were five hummingbirds and they spent the whole morning.”
I asked her, “Why do you think they all came. Were they a welcoming committee?”
Carrie said, “Honey. They smelled the honey. Foxy, my Pomeranian, was part of the scene too. She was jumping for bees and butterflies. The grass was green. The trees were leafed out. Flowers were blooming. It was beautiful.”
I said, “It sounds like a Disney movie.”
“It was!” she said. “My friends started calling me Snow White.”
What could be more beautiful than a baby bee on a honeycomb of gold, wings open, ready to fly. Head and body are natural gem amber-colored citrine with a six-sided cell filled with honey-colored gold, waxed over in pure white diamonds.
There are three types of honey bees within a hive: the queen, the workers, and the drones. A queen bee is the only female bee in the hive that gets to reproduce. Worker bees are all female, and are all offspring of the queen. There are males in the hive called drones. The drone bee’s only purpose is to mate. After mating, the drone bee will die immediately.
There’s no such thing as a “king bee” in wildlife. A honeybee queen is the single most important bee in a colony, as she produces the entire population of a colony.
The average lifespan for a healthy worker bee when all is going well, is somewhere around 4 to 6 weeks. The period begins when the bee emerges from her brood cell and ends when she lives out her month or month and a half lifespan.
What is so remarkable about bees is all they accomplish in such a short time, that these daughters build brooding cells, and create honey cells all from special wax. What’s also remarkable is that they travel out on such short, fast wings to flowers 50 feet, and up to five miles away to collect pollen to make honey.
How much flying to make one pound of honey? 90,000 miles, or three times around the globe to make one pound of honey. An amazing feat for a team of new born babies to accomplish just weeks after birth.
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