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Ask The Beekeeper
09-08-2011, 05:01 PM
Post: #1
Ask The Beekeeper
After some prompting, consider my Beekeeper Shingle officially hung!

I would love to wax poetic on my friend Apis Mellifera, (the European honey Bee), however, this may prove to be the only post in the forum if I do. I would much rather field any and all questions you may have so, ask away.

Bee Fact #1 each bee in a colony makes 1/12 of a teaspoon of honey in its life.

Bee Fact #2 each bee lives 4-6 weeks in the summer and 3-5 months in the winter

Bee Fact #3 each colony has 60-80,000 bees in it at its peak during the summer months.

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09-08-2011, 05:48 PM
Post: #2
RE: Ask The Beekeeper
I've heard that, according to classical physics, it's impossible for the bee to fly. (Something to do with wing size, body size, flap speed etc.)

Well, clearly bees CAN fly. Are you familiar with that modern myth? And is there some truth to it? (If you look closely, you'll be able to see a conical had on my head with DUNCE written all over it.)

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09-08-2011, 06:25 PM
Post: #3
RE: Ask The Beekeeper
(09-08-2011 05:48 PM)old honda rider Wrote:  I've heard that, according to classical physics, it's impossible for the bee to fly. (Something to do with wing size, body size, flap speed etc.)

Well, clearly bees CAN fly. Are you familiar with that modern myth? And is there some truth to it? (If you look closely, you'll be able to see a conical had on my head with DUNCE written all over it.)

I too have a touch of the cranial conical-ness...

Yes, I have heard this said before. However, the honey bee has a home base to resource (flower, water etc) flight radius of 5 miles. Clearly, they can fly. My suspicion though is that the physics is more related to the laden bee (yes, that is a very weak Monty Python reference). The forager bee will often return to the hive with both her (most bees in a colony are female), pollen baskets full and its honey stomach full. I am not sure how much weight this is in micro-grams but it does put a significant strain on the bee.

When I open a colony I can readily tell which bees are active foragers and which ones are not yet as the wings of an active forager will often be all tattered and amazingly about 1/2 the size they were when they emerged as an adult bee. At that point I am indeed amazed that they can fly at all. In fact most bees do work themselves to death. Dying while foraging feet, yards or miles from home.

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09-08-2011, 07:01 PM
Post: #4
RE: Ask The Beekeeper
Mmmm...I love to go to the local farmer's market and get a nice pint jar of raw honey. I know you can cook/bake with it in place of sugar, but I love it in my tea or on hot biscuits from the oven.

The Hubby and I on occasion will affectionately call each other "bee barf" (aka Honey)

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09-08-2011, 07:04 PM
Post: #5
RE: Ask The Beekeeper
Ok......that just seems totally wrong to me for some reason. Doesn't really have enough sting to it.

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09-08-2011, 08:44 PM
Post: #6
RE: Ask The Beekeeper
(09-08-2011 07:04 PM)boomer Wrote:  Ok......that just seems totally wrong to me for some reason. Doesn't really have enough sting to it.

Ba-dum-dum, ting!Big Grin


All right Councilor, I have two questions:

1.How/why did you get started keeping bees?

2. Do you think you can taste the difference when the bees have been polinating one kind of flower over another?

"Life ain't like books.
Books got somebody writin' 'em and tryin' to entertain ya.
Life is more like a set of Legos.
Unless you take care of 'em, you lose a few pieces and you end up steppin' on 'em with bare feet.
You gotta take care of your life."
~Laura Moncur
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09-08-2011, 09:32 PM
Post: #7
RE: Ask The Beekeeper
(09-08-2011 06:25 PM)Counselor Wrote:  My suspicion though is that the physics is more related to the laden bee (yes, that is a very weak Monty Python reference).

I was gonna say, do you call all your bees "Eric?"

Your bee fun facts are fascinating! 1/12 teaspoon of honey per bee?! I will never look at a jar of honey the same way again!

Blah blah blah....yada yada yada!
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09-09-2011, 01:51 AM
Post: #8
RE: Ask The Beekeeper
I read a book about an assassin who had the code name Beekeeper.

Apparently we have some serious trouble ahead in the UK, as bees are dying out, the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DeFRA) are actually spending time and money to find out what the problem is.

No bees - no plants pollenated - no fruit, no food, NO CIDER!!!!!!

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09-09-2011, 06:32 AM (This post was last modified: 09-09-2011 06:39 AM by Counselor.)
Post: #9
RE: Ask The Beekeeper
(09-08-2011 07:01 PM)2Beers Wrote:  Mmmm...I love to go to the local farmer's market and get a nice pint jar of raw honey. I know you can cook/bake with it in place of sugar, but I love it in my tea or on hot biscuits from the oven.

The Hubby and I on occasion will affectionately call each other "bee barf" (aka Honey)

Honey = Bee Barf... Well, kind of. If you are familiar with how REAL Maple Syrup is made, (lots of boiling maple tree sap where it takes 40 gal of sap to make 1 gal of syrup), the process of making honey is not that different.

Yes, the bees do regurgitate the nectar but it is still mostly water at that point. After returning with their payload, a bee will sit with that drop of nectar on its tongue until it is roughly 19% water it will then place it in a cel (honeycomb) to be cured the rest of the way (15-17% water) before the individual honey cel is capped over.
(09-08-2011 09:32 PM)burma.girl Wrote:  
(09-08-2011 06:25 PM)Counselor Wrote:  My suspicion though is that the physics is more related to the laden bee (yes, that is a very weak Monty Python reference).

I was gonna say, do you call all your bees "Eric?"

Your bee fun facts are fascinating! 1/12 teaspoon of honey per bee?! I will never look at a jar of honey the same way again!

More like Erica Smile

A colony can make over 100 pounds of honey in a year. However, the reality is that due to changes in farming practices (fields are cut before blooms are done) etc. colonies average about 50 pounds.

Brings new meaning to "busy as a bee"
(09-08-2011 08:44 PM)HardwareGrl Wrote:  
(09-08-2011 07:04 PM)boomer Wrote:  Ok......that just seems totally wrong to me for some reason. Doesn't really have enough sting to it.

Ba-dum-dum, ting!Big Grin


All right Councilor, I have two questions:

1.How/why did you get started keeping bees?

2. Do you think you can taste the difference when the bees have been polinating one kind of flower over another?

#1 - I work in a High School and a friend (who was a beekeeper) told me he was going to give me bees when I moved out of our condo, (He kinda gave me no choice). That was 10 years ago and It never stops being fun.

#2 - Yes. not only can you taste the difference in the finished product, for example clover honey tastes different than basswood or goldenrod honey but you can smell the difference when the bees are curing the raw nectars. BTW Goldenrod honey smells like an old sweaty Gym Locker, yet tastes like butterscotch.

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09-09-2011, 09:05 AM
Post: #10
RE: Ask The Beekeeper
One time I was sitting in a car at a bank drive through with the window rolled down. Suddenly a bee came in the window, stung me on my arm, then left and flew away. Why did he do that?

Wind in my hair, Shifting and drifting, Mechanical music, Adrenaline surge-
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