Thursday, May 25, 2017

The Not-So Secret Life of Bees

Five years ago if you’d told me I was going to have tens of thousands of bees living in my backyard, I’d have laughed you out of town. And yet. . .here we are.

When my husband first started talking about keeping bees, I was pretty sure he'd lost a few marbles on his way home from work that day, but from the minute he set up the first hive, I was sold! Now, granted, I don't actually do much of the work, but I usually suit up and go out to help with hive checks, and every time I do I'm amazed at how it all works.

As soon as a bee chews her way out of the cell and joins the hive, she's put to work. The hive, much like a house, always needs to be cleaned, and that includes dusting out the cells so that they can be filled with honey or so that the queen can refill them with new eggs in them. It also includes disposing of the dead, which they do by simply carrying them out the door, and dropping them outside.

Nurse bees tend to the brood and guard bees do just that - guard the hive and let the rest of the bees know if danger is near. Some of the bees work on building up the honeycomb while other bees are in charge of capping each cell to protect the contents. 

The cells on the left, capped with the creamy white wax, are filled with honey, and the the cells on the right, capped in brown are new brood - and the queen can lay about 1500 eggs a day so there's a lot of capping going on! 

And, of course, while all this is going on, there's other bees who are repairing the hive and foraging for pollen, water and propolis (basically bee glue) which they bring back to the hive. The only job the drones (male bees) have is to mate with the queen. They serve no other purpose, they are incapable of feeding themselves, they don't have stingers, and once they've mated, they die, so it kinda sucks to be a drone. 

With all the work these teeny little creatures do, I almost feel bad about harvesting some of their honey, but if you've ever tasted fresh honey right out of the hive, you know how good it is, so sure, I feel bad, but every time I drop a spoonful of it in my tea, or spread it on toast, I forget all about being sorry. :)   

If you ever get a chance to visit someone with hives, I'd highly recommend checking it out. And if you're looking to brighten up your garden this summer, the bees would love it if you gave them some pretty new flowers to pollinate. Check out this link for some great ideas!  :)

USA Today bestselling author Laura Drewry writes fun and sexy contemporary romances filled with heartfelt emotion and characters readers can relate to. When she’s not writing, she likes reading, watching Marvel movies with her boys, Pinning recipes she'll never make, and cheering for the Yankees. Laura lives in southwest British Columbia with her husband, three sons, two dogs, a handful of chicken and about 30,000 bees.


CATCH AND RELEASE - Fishing for Trouble Book 3

The irresistible O’Donnell brothers return in a charming novel from the bestselling author of Off the Hook (“The perfect balance of sweet, sexy, and wonderfully romantic.”—Lauren Layne).

Hope Seaver is an up-and-coming TV producer tackling the hardest gig of her career: a reality show set at the Buoys, a scenic fishing destination owned by three handsome, stubborn brothers. Liam and Finn O’Donnell are willing to tolerate her crew for the sake of the business, but Ronan would rather chew off a limb than open up on camera. Somehow Hope has to convince him of her good intentions—and stop herself from swooning every time Ronan walks into the frame.

Ronan knows that he’s the reason his brothers gave up their old lives to run the Buoys, and he needs to make it worth their while. So if this out-of-towner with the kind eyes and dazzling smile wants to give them the free publicity they desperately need, Ronan can’t say no. He just won’t let himself get burned again by a double-dealing woman. But what if Hope’s good-girl routine isn’t an act? When Ronan lets his guard down long enough to catch a glimpse of the real Hope, he likes what he sees—enough to give love another shot.


dstoutholcomb said...

my dad has an apiary. He lets my boys help him when we visit.


Iqra said...

nice post

Laura Drewry said...

I think that's so great for your dad to get the boys involved! :)