Our Apiarist has year of experience under his belt when it comes to bee behavior, beekeeping and bee removal. Ever wondered why bees swarm or what are the healing properties of honey? You'll find these answers and more in our Bee Blog.
What do you think of when you think about honeybees? Maybe a creature buzzing around collecting nectar, making honey and being a bit of a nuisance during your summer BBQ? While this might be an accurate perception of the honeybee, it does not do the honeybee justice. In reality, honeybees play a critical role in… The post The Life Cycle of a Honeybee appeared first on Live Bee...
What do you think of when you think about honeybees? Maybe a creature buzzing around collecting nectar, making honey and being a bit of a nuisance during your summer BBQ? While this might be an accurate perception of the honeybee, it does not do the honeybee justice. In reality, honeybees play a critical role in our ecosystem. As one of the primary pollinators in the world, their work keeps flowers and crops thriving and our dinner plates full of the delicious, healthy foods we love.
But for such a small creature who lives a relatively short lifespan, the lifecycle of the honeybee is fascinating. Today we are going to dive into the hive to learn more about the development of honeybees from eggs to adults. We will also explore the life expectancies of the different types of bees inside the hive. Let’s dive in!
First, we will go through the basic stages of a bee’s life, starting with the egg stage and ending with the adult stage.
The queen has two primary jobs throughout her life: mating and laying eggs. After she has mated, she will spend her days laying eggs – about 2,000 per day for her entire life. The eggs she produces can be male or female, depending on whether or not she has fertilized the egg. The non-fertilized eggs will become male, drone bees; the fertilized eggs will become female, worker bees (and maybe even a queen!) The queen will lay the eggs in the hive cells where they will be prepared for the next stage of life: larvae.
All larvae are fed royal jelly for the first three days of their lives. After three days, the workers and drones stop eating royal jelly. Bees that are destined to become the queen, however, will continue to feast on royal jelly. During this phase, adult worker bees will cap the hive cells with beeswax to allow the larvae to continue to develop to the next stage: pupae.
This is where the real development of the bee begins. While cozied up inside the cell, the bees begin to take on the appearance of the bees we are accustomed to seeing. They begin to develop hair and other bodily features such as wings and legs.
When the bee is ready to emerge in its adult form, it will escape the cell and join the rest of the colony. Depending on the type of honeybee, they will emerge at different times and begin doing different jobs. Let’s explore the average length of time it takes for each type of bee to develop from egg to adult:
Queen: about 16 days (3 days in the egg phase, 5-6 days in the larva stage, 8 days in the pupa stage)
Worker: about 21 days (3 days in the egg phase, 6 days in the larva stage, 12 days in the pupa stage)
Drone: about 24 days (3 days in the egg phase, 6-9 days in the larva stage, 14 days in the pupa stage)
In this post, we won’t go into the roles of the queen, worker and drone. However, it’s essential to know that each bee has a particular job to do from the moment they become an adult. The type of work they do can impact their life expectancies. For example, the life span of a worker bee can vary depending on the season. They are also more likely to encounter predators (like humans!) while foraging, which can significantly decrease their life expectancies.
Two factors contribute to the viability of the queen: the overall strength of the hive and the queen’s ability to produce eggs. In the winter, the queen relies on the worker bees to huddle around her and keep her warm. If the worker bees are unable to survive the winter, the queen will be unable to make it through the cold months.
As we mentioned earlier, one of the primary roles of the queen is to produce eggs. You might think she has it pretty easy; however, the colony has a close eye on her. If they see that she is producing fewer eggs, she will be replaced! Queens live an average of 3 to 4 years, but can live up to 7 years.
The life expectancy of the worker bee depends largely on when they were born. Bees that are born during the “busy season” from late spring to early fall will live approximately six weeks. They have a short lifespan because they will be working hard during the summer and early fall months as foragers, nurses and housekeepers, among other things.
Worker bees that are born after the busy season still have an important job to do, but one that is not nearly as strenuous of the “busy season” bees. Their primary responsibility is to ensure the care, comfort and protection of the queen during the cold winter months. These worker bees may live between 4 and 5 months.
The drones have a fairly sad story. Their primary job is to mate with the queen. And as soon as they do, they die! For those who have not mated with the queen and have made it until the winter, their fate is no better. Drones don’t contribute much to the hive. They do not forage nectar or pollen, and they do not assist in making honey. Instead, they eat! Because of this, the drones are ejected from the hive in the winter when hive resources are too valuable to waste. For a drone that does not die from mating or die from eviction from the hive, he will live between 5 and 7 weeks.
If you are a regular reader of our blog, then you may have read our last post about how you can help save honeybees. In that article, we share some practical ways that you can support honeybees as well as other pollinator populations. Here are just six ways you can do your part to help… The post Choose Wildflowers for a Bee-Friendly Garden appeared first on Live Bee...
If you are a regular reader of our blog, then you may have read our last post about how you can help save honeybees. In that article, we share some practical ways that you can support honeybees as well as other pollinator populations. Here are just six ways you can do your part to help protect the honeybees from severe decline:
While there are plenty of other things you can do to help bees, today we want to dig a little deeper into creating bee-friendly lawns and gardens. Specifically, we want to talk about wildflowers!
Not only are they beautiful to look at, but wildflowers provide ample sources of nectar and shelter for honeybees and other pollinators. As more and more people become concerned about the plight of our honeybee populations, we hope that they consider planting wildflowers and other native plants in their yards.
Although certainly not the only reason for honeybee declines in recent years, the trend toward clean, manicured yards has removed a valuable resource for honeybees, butterflies and other insects. And with continued development and less green spaces, there are even fewer spots for pollinators to do their work. Sure, you might not be able to plant many, but even a small area of wildflower and native plant growth can provide an oasis for bees and other pollinators.
Here are just a few reasons why wildflowers make a great addition to your garden:
When you plant a variety of wildflowers in your garden, you will find that a wide variety of creatures will come for a visit. Butterflies, bumblebees, caterpillars and others will begin to flock to your property to fuel up, find shelter and continue the pollination process.
No matter where you live, you can find a wildflower or native plant that can grow successfully in your climate and soil. These days there are plenty of websites that can help you identify the best options for your location. A visit to your local garden store might be the best first stop.
There is nothing lovelier than a meadow of native wildflowers growing untamed. The colors are vibrant and perfectly complement the natural landscape. Wouldn’t that make a great addition to your property?
If you are ready to provide an enchanted garden of wildflowers for your local bees, you are probably wondering where to start. One thing to consider is that pollinators don’t just need a food source in the summer months. To really do your part, try to choose flowers that will bloom throughout the year (or during as many months as possible.) Do your research to find which plants thrive in the spring, summer and fall months.
The next step is to choose which wildflowers to grow! This is fun, but can certainly become overwhelming. Below, we have included a list of wildflowers for honeybees and other pollinators based on the season.
Although not an extensive list by any means, this should offer a starting point when you begin to plan your bee-friendly wildflower garden.
At D-Tek Live Bee Removal, we specialize in humane bee removal services. During our removal processes, we never use harmful pesticides or chemicals that can harm bees. After the removal is complete, we rehome the bees with a local apiarist who will provide a secure place for the bees to thrive. In this way, we can rid you of your bee problem while doing our part to protect the precious bee populations that are in decline.
Will you plant wildflowers in your garden? Which ones will you choose? We’d love to hear how you create a bee-friendly space for your local honeybees and other pollinators. Let us know in the comments below!
It’s no surprise that honeybees and other pollinators play a vital role in our world’s agricultural systems. Bees have been disappearing, and this should be a major concern for everyone. Sure, it might seem like a big problem that you alone can’t solve. But there are plenty of practical things you can do to help… The post 6 Ways to Save Honeybees appeared first on Live Bee...
It’s no surprise that honeybees and other pollinators play a vital role in our world’s agricultural systems. Bees have been disappearing, and this should be a major concern for everyone. Sure, it might seem like a big problem that you alone can’t solve. But there are plenty of practical things you can do to help save the bees.
Why are bees so important? Honeybees, in particular, are responsible for pollinating the flowers that provide fruit, vegetables and legumes. You can even thank the honeybee for that morning coffee that you love so much!
Research has shown that approximately 30% of the world’s crops rely on pollinators like the honeybee to support agriculture. Without their hard work, much of the food we rely on would not exist.
There are several threats to honeybees around the world. Colony collapse disorder has been a significant concern for beekeepers. Stressors such as insecticides, pollution and infestations by varroa mites have also contributed to the decline of the honeybee population. Other factors that prevent honeybee populations from thriving include weather change and significant reductions in green spaces.
The question for many bee enthusiasts, and those concerned about the future of our world without them, is: what can we do to help?
The good news is that there are plenty of things you can do to contribute to the success of honeybees. If we all work together, we can protect our honeybee populations from dying out.
Read more about the threats to honeybees:
It should be a no-brainer, yet many people still opt to use pesticides, herbicides and other toxic chemicals on their lawns and gardens to rid them of insects and weeds. These chemicals are fatal and responsible for the decline in bee populations.
Not only are these chemicals harmful to bees, they can also have adverse effects on your family. Even products labeled as organic may be unsafe. Do your research to ensure that you are choosing the best option for you and your family.
If there’s one thing a bee loves, it is nectar. When considering your landscaping options, be sure to include plenty of flowers that provide ample nectar and pollen supplies for honeybees. Bee-friendly plants also include some weeds such as clovers and dandelions. Sure, your neighbors might complain, but what’s really more important?
If you live in an urban environment without much outdoor space, you can still do your part to help save the honeybees. A windowsill or small balcony can be a great place to create a bee garden that will help them to thrive. Plant some herbs like mint and lavender or native wildflowers. Both of these will attract bees and provide them with a source of nectar and pollen.
Don’t forget the water! Bees need a water source to survive. A simple container filled with fresh water that includes some rocks or branches to act as a perch for the bees can provide an oasis during the busy foraging season.
There’s nothing better than raw, local honey. Not only does it taste amazing, supporting your local beekeepers allows them to do the vital work of caring for and sustaining honeybee populations. But don’t stop there! Purchasing your produce from local farmers and eating organic fruit and vegetables helps to support bees as well.
Unfortunately, there are still many people around the world who are not aware of the importance of honeybees and other pollinators our global food supply. Arming yourself with knowledge and sharing it with others can help them make smarter choices for themselves and our honeybees.
If you are faced with an unwanted swarm or hive on your property, especially those that pose a danger to your structure, family or pets, be sure to choose a bee removal company that specializes in live and humane removal practices. Companies that use pesticides and other harsh processes are not focused on sustaining bee populations.
With a company like D-Tek Live Bee Removal, you can have peace of mind knowing that your bees will not be harmed. In fact, they will be rehomed with a local beekeeper who will ensure that they can continue to pollinate and contribute to the local environment.
Preventing the decline of honeybees throughout the world is everybody’s business. We encourage you to review the suggestions above. Then, do your part by choosing one or two tips that you can start this week. Thanks for your help in protecting honeybees!
You probably know that honey bees collect nectar and pollen. But, do you know how they carry these valuable resources back to the hive? Honey bees are specially designed to collect, transport and process nectar and pollen into energy sources. They have unique physical features that enable them to do this important work and keep… The post How Do Bees Carry Pollen? appeared first on Live Bee...
You probably know that honey bees collect nectar and pollen. But, do you know how they carry these valuable resources back to the hive? Honey bees are specially designed to collect, transport and process nectar and pollen into energy sources. They have unique physical features that enable them to do this important work and keep the colony happy and thriving.
Before we dive into how they transport these substances, let’s find out why bees need nectar and pollen in the first place.
Nectar is a valuable source of energy and a critical component in honey. It provides food for the brood and nourishment for adult bees to use during the winter months when they cannot forage.
The worker bees are responsible for collecting nectar from flowering plants and herbs. Once the nectar is collected, the forager bees return to the colony to begin the process of transferring the nectar and converting it into honey. During the conversion process, the water content in the nectar is evaporated. Enzymes and digestive juices are also added to create honey.
While nectar is the primary source of sugar and energy, pollen is the primary source of protein for the honey bee. Protein is vital to the success of the hive. It is the primary ingredient in bee bread, a mixture produced by nurse bees, and used to feed the larvae. Therefore, pollen plays a key role in successfully raising new bees. Just like bees need pollen, flowers rely on honey bees and other pollinators to spread their pollen to other flowers.
So now that we know why pollen and nectar are essential to bees, let’s find out how they carry the substances back to the hive for use as food.
Different bees have different ways of carrying pollen back to the hive. Honey bees have structures called corbiculae to collect and transport pollen. Also known as pollen baskets, these structures can be found on the back legs of worker bees. When empty, the pollen baskets are invisible. It is only when they are filled with pollen that they become visible. In fact, they become so noticeable that they can easily be seen by the naked eye. Once the baskets are full, the forager bees return to the hive and drop off the load.
How do they fill the pollen baskets? Great question!
While gathering nectar, honey bees find themselves covered in pollen. This is great for two reasons. Pollen stuck to the hair of a honey bee aids in pollination. It also makes it easier for honey bees to collect the pollen they need for food. Honey bees moisten the hairs on their front legs and brush the pollen to their back legs. The sticky mass of pollen that is formed is compressed into the pollen baskets.
When a honey bee lands on a flower, she will use her proboscis (almost like a bee tongue) to reach inside to slurp up the nectar. She will typically visit many flowers on one foraging trip and collect between 25 and 80 milligrams of nectar. The collected nectar is stored in the honey stomach, a second stomach that is only used to store nectar.
Once the honey stomach is full, the bee returns to the hive to begin the transfer process. The nectar is passed from bee to bee. This process helps to remove some water content from the nectar while adding special enzymes from the stomachs of the bees. Then, the nectar will make its way to the honeycomb cells where other worker bees will get to work. The bees fan the processed nectar, further evaporating the water and completing the honey-making process.
For more information on how bees make honey, check out these blog posts from D-Tek Live Bee Removal:
Nectar and pollen play vital roles in the success of honey bees. Both substances provide food and energy for honey bees that allow them to do their work. Without them, honey bees wouldn’t be able to feed their brood or restore the energy of the adult bees.
Do you need a bee expert to help you remove a pesky beehive or swarm from your San Diego area home or business? Contact the live bee removal specialists at D-Tek Live Bee Removal today to learn more about our affordable, humane bee removal services. Our team is ready to answer all of your questions and can usually come to your property the same day!
Did you know that bees have been considered signs of wealth, wisdom and good luck since the ancient times? Bees play a significant role in the mythology of ancient Greeks and Egyptians as symbols of life and love. In fact, the common name Melissa comes from the Greek meaning queen bee! With credentials like that,… The post Why Do Bees Follow Me? appeared first on Live Bee...
Did you know that bees have been considered signs of wealth, wisdom and good luck since the ancient times? Bees play a significant role in the mythology of ancient Greeks and Egyptians as symbols of life and love. In fact, the common name Melissa comes from the Greek meaning queen bee! With credentials like that, you’d think that the idea of being followed by a bee would be a welcome one.
Instead, many people today run for the hills when tailed by a buzzing bee. Sure, many people consider themselves to suffer from apiphobia, the fear of bees. And plenty of others who are allergic to bee stings. But for most people, the unpleasant buzzing and the potential for pain are enough to make bees unwanted suitors.
So if bees are not attempting to deliver sacks of cash, there must be another reason why they keep following us. Have you ever wondered why bees are attracted to some people more than others? In this post, we want to share some reasons why bees might be following you and how you can prevent an unwanted bee sting.
If you were hoping we would say it’s because of your rugged good looks, we have some bad news for you. There are a few reasons why bees are attracted to humans, and they primarily have to do with scent and color. Let’s explore why bees follow us around!
You smell sweet.
One of the primary jobs of a honey bee is to collect sweet nectar from flowers to use as food for the colony. Naturally, when they smell something sugary, they want to check it out. Honey bees are attracted to sweet, sugary smells like those that come from soft drinks and fruits. They also enjoy the sweet scents of certain lotions, perfumes and hair products, especially those that resemble the aroma of flowers.
You smell like sweat.
Humans don’t love the smell of sweat. That’s why the deodorant and antiperspirant industry is so big! But do you know who does? If you guessed bees, you are correct. Bees known as halictids, or sweat bees, are attracted to the scent of perspiration. They are usually darker in color, with a metallic appearance and hints of green or red.
You look like a flower.
You may have heard people say that fashion is pain. Although we disagree with this sentiment, when it comes to bees, it could be true. Bees are especially attracted to patterns and colors that resemble those of a flower. For the most part, bees will leave you alone after realizing that your Hawaiian shirt is not an actual source of nectar. However, bright and floral patterns will make you a high-priority destination for honey bees.
You made the bee mad.
Of course, if you’ve bothered a bee, there’s a good chance that they will let you know it. Bees want to protect their hive, queen and honey supplies. When threatened, bees will defend themselves. Certain species of bees have even been known to chase humans for more than a quarter of a mile!
Now that we know why bees follow us let’s share a few tips on how to avoid a nasty sting. We can’t control bees, but we can take certain measures to help prevent an unwanted encounter. Want to steer clear of bee stings? Follow these tried and true tips!
Bees play an essential role in our ecosystem and need to be respected and protected. Even if you think that bees are a nuisance, it’s vital that we take measures to protect ourselves and bees when we come in contact with each other. Now that you know why bees might be attracted to you and how to avoid a bee sting, we hope that you can stay safe while protecting our precious bee population.
If you have an unwanted bee swarm, hive or infestation on your property, call D-Tek Live Bee Removal of San Diego to learn how we can help remove your bee problem safely, humanely and affordably.
All honeybees have a role and fulfill specific functions in the hive. From the matriarchal queen who leads the colony, to the worker bee who does the majority of the heavy lifting, each member of a colony has its purpose. Drones also play a vital role in the hive. They ensure the success and sustained… The post All The Details on Drones appeared first on Live Bee...
All honeybees have a role and fulfill specific functions in the hive. From the matriarchal queen who leads the colony, to the worker bee who does the majority of the heavy lifting, each member of a colony has its purpose. Drones also play a vital role in the hive. They ensure the success and sustained prosperity of the colony.
A drone, which is a male honeybee, has the primary purpose of mating with unfertilized queens. Although this may seem like a relatively simple job, in fact, it is a pivotal need of the colony. Not only are drones one half of the equation to ensure propagation, but maybe more importantly, they provide the necessary variety of genetic possibilities for a colony.
Drone bees aren’t relegated to mating with just the queen of their colony. In fact, they are often found away from a hive in a collection of other male honeybees called Drone Congregation Areas (DCAs). These DCAs are where potential mating matches occur. The male drones hover above the ground at a DCA, waiting for a queen to approach. Queens who are ready to mate arrive at these areas and, if close enough to the DCA, will begin to attract the drones to themselves. During these mating flights, the drones seek to be the closest in proximity to the queen. These flights are not fights, but rather a contest to see who can be the nearest to their potential mate.
The queen may mate with multiple drones from multiple colonies, often 5 – 19 drones in one mating flight! This is where the importance of the drone for the sustainability of a colony becomes clear. By mating with drones from different colonies, the genetic traits gathered through many generations are potentially passed on to that queen’s offspring. This has benefits ranging from new resistance to diseases to hygienic behaviors.
To accomplish this mission, drones have a unique anatomy compared to that of their sister worker bees. They are one of the quicker bees in the colony, as their flight speed must at least match that of a queen. Drones are often the largest bees buzzing around the colony (close in size to the queen at least), and they have larger eyes than their counterparts. Their large eyes help ensure that they can identify a queen approaching a DCA. Their large bodies allow for the mechanics required to accomplish the mating act with a queen. After all, mating with a queen if they were much smaller would not be possible.
Unfortunately for the drone, successfully coupling with a queen during a mating flight is also the last function they will ever provide. The anatomy of a drone ensures their demise. The tools required to deliver the sperm to the eggs are separated from their bodies after the mating ritual. Although their mission in life has then been accomplished, they perish shortly after that.
To add to the somewhat tragic life of the honeybee drone, they are also seen as the most expendable part of a colony when times are difficult for the hive. Workers, who collect and manage the available food stores within the hive, will prevent drones from accessing food during the winter. Eventually, the drones are pushed out of the colony and left to forage. Without the support from the entire colony, they inevitably perish to hypothermia or starvation.
During their life before mating and the subsequent end of their life, which is, on average, around 90 days, there are a limited number of functions that they do provide. Although they do not help with gathering nectar or pollen, as the female workers do, they will help in regulating the temperature of a hive. They do this by either shivering to create more heat, or by flapping their wings in a coordinated attempt to increase airflow and create cooler conditions. The function of regulating the temperature is essential to the survival of eggs and larvae.
Drones do not have stingers, so they cannot fight against potential threats. However, they are aware of dangers to their colony and will attempt to confuse or disorient aggressors by buzzing near an offender.
Even though drones have a limited function within the colony, what they accomplish in that short time is critically important. Without them, the growth of the honeybee population would be impossible! Many think of drones as lazy or that they survive on the hard work of others, but the truth is that drones, like their sisters and their queen, fulfill the exact role that nature has intended for them.
Or if you prefer use one of our linkware images? Click here