Know Your Bees
It is easy to identify the difference between a queen, the drones and the hard little workers.
Besides being interesting specimens, other benefits of backyard
beekeeping include delicious honey, wax, and having pollinators fly
about your flower and vegetable gardens.
Backyard Beekeeping: The Queen
The queen of the hive's job is multiplying the population of the hive. The queen can lay up to 1500 eggs per day. The queen stays queen of that hive until she dies or until the worker bees make a new queen to replace her.
The queen has a longer body than the other bees.
The drone’s job is to mate with the queen. This is his only job. He does not make honey. He does not pollinate or make wax. After he is done mating with the queen he just lazily sits around eating honey.
Of course this behavior is not allowed in the busy hive. The hive becomes sick of pampering him and throws him out. He then dies without the safety of the hive. The drone has a stout body and cannot sting.
The Worker Bee
As her name suggests, the worker bee is the busiest bee in the whole hive. Her job description includes:
The worker bee feeds the baby queen a honey-like food called royal jelly. Only worker bees that are under 13 days old can make this really sweet paste.
- Gathering pollen
- Making the wax
- Making honey
- Taking care of the queen’s larva, and
- Raising the baby bees
The worker bee pretty much runs the hive. They know when it's time to make a new queen or drones. By making different sized combs the worker bee makes queens and drones.
There are over four thousand worker bees in a typical hive.
Honey Is A Natural Sweetener
Honey has countless uses. The obvious being the delicious flavor. Honey can be used as sugar in some recipes. As a sweetener in tea, honey is also yummy. Or try it in your favorite granola recipe.
One of our favorite honey recipes is Honey Cake. You will find the recipe on the right column or you can print it here.
Medicinal Uses Of Honey
The honey that you get from your bees is the best thing you could ever harvest from your yard. Besides tasting delicious honey is a medicine. Honey can be used as a medicine for:
- Wounds - Because honey is naturally antibacterial and an anti-inflammatory it can be used to dress wounds. Honey interacts with skin and releases hydrogen peroxide and acts as an antiseptic as well.
- Coughs - Honey is also a delicious cough suppressant. Take a spoonful of honey and add two drops of lemon essential oil for sore throats and irritating coughs. For conditions such as laryngitis, heat water in a tea kettle and pour over a spoonful of honey and two drops of lemon essential oil. See right column for a cough syrup recipe that works wonders. Or you can print the recipe here.
- Allergies - This natural sweetener can help alleviate allergies when used over a long period of time.
Wax can be used to make limitless crafts and gifts. Some of the most useful:
- Soaps and
Backyard beekeeping can also be good for your flowers and garden. The bees do their job of pollination, resulting in more abundant flowers and veggies.
Bees are amazing little creatures. it is astonishing what such tiny insects can do so much for us.
We've just barely skimmed the surface of the topic of backyard beekeeing. There is a lot more to learn and enjoy.
Maybe you can help us out...
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Beekeeping Updates And Tips
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