Honey Bee Facts and Offerings

By Sabatino Smith

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Facts:

  1. The honey bee has been around for millions of years.
  2. Honey bees, scientifically also known as Apis mellifera, which mean "honey-carrying bee", are environmentally friendly and are vital as pollinators.  Honey bees are responsible for pollinating over one third of the United States fruits and vegetables.
  3. It is the only insect that produces food eaten by man.20150802_202335_B
  4. Honey is the only food that includes all the substances necessary to sustain life, including enzymes, vitamins, minerals, and water; and it's the only food that contains "pinocembrin", an antioxidant associated with improved brain functioning.  Once the honey bee caps the cell containing the honey it will never spoil unless heated over 120 degrees. Honey was discovered inside the ancient Egyptian Tombs and it was still edible.
  5. The old honey comb can be melted down to create pure bees wax. This valuable natural wax is commonly used in cosmetics and candles among numerous other items.
  6. The honey bee's wings stroke incredibly fast, about 200 beats per second, thus making their famous, distinctive buzz. A honey bee can fly for up to six miles, and as fast as 15 miles per hour.
  7. The average worker bee produces about 1/12th teaspoon of honey in her lifetime.  One hive can produce approximately 50 to 100 pounds of honey per year. 
  8. A hive of bees will fly 90,000 miles, the equivalent of three orbits around the earth to collect 1 kg of honey.
  9. It takes one ounce of honey to fuel a bee's flight around the world.
  10. A colony of bees consists of 20,000-60,000 honeybees and one queen. Worker honey bees are female, live for about 6 weeks and do all the work.
  11. The queen bee can live up to 5 years and its role is to fill the hive with eggs. She is the busiest in the summer months, when the hive needs to be at its maximum strength, she lays up to 2500 eggs per day. The queen bee has control over whether she lays male or female eggs. If she uses stored sperm to fertilize the egg, the larva that hatches is female. If the egg is left unfertilized, the larva that hatches is male. In other words, female bees inherit genes from their mothers and their fathers while male bees inherit only genes from their mothers.
  12. Larger than the worker bees, the male honey bees (also called drones), have no stinger and do no work at all. All they do is mating. In fact, before winter or when food becomes scarce, female honeybees usually force surviving males out of the nest.
  13. Only worker bees sting, and only if they feel threatened and they die once they sting. Queens have a stinger, but they don't leave the hive to help defend it.
  14. It is estimated that 1100 honey bee stings are required to be fatal. 
  15. During winter, honey bees feed on the honey they collected during the warmer months. They form a tight cluster in their hive to keep the queen and themselves warm.

These facts illustrate the importance the honeybee plays in the sustainability of human life.  Below are two avenues people can take to maximize the benefits the honey bee will deliver to a person interested in a more self-reliant lifestyle.

Offerings:

Self-Managed:

  • Purchase Bees and Equipment
  • Work the Hives Yourself

This includes introductory lessons on how to properly maintain the hive so it’s viable year after year. You’ll also learn how to grow your apiary without purchasing additional bees.  Honey bees do two things; make honey and multiply.  Once you begin with one, two, three or any number of hives it is possible to manage and grow your apiary without purchasing additional bees.

Apiarist-Managed:

  • Purchase Bees and Equipment
  • Apiarist Works the Hives

An apiarist manages your hive/hives throughout the year for a predetermined fee.

This option allows you to reap the benefits of the honey bees pollinating your crop/garden and enjoy the rewards of the honey harvest without the investment of time.

For more information and pricing contact Sabatino Smith at sgsmith36@gmail.com or (585) 509-4154.

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