Sunday, September 6, 2020
Monday, August 31, 2020
Honeybees use their wings to fly, right? Honeybees have multiple important uses for their wings, including controlling the temperature, and communication. They can flap their wings up to 200 times in just a second!
Honeybees release what are called pheromones, which humans also have. Pheromones are excreted through the glands of a honeybee. Pheromones have a smell that the other bees need to be aware of, because different smells mean different situations. During an emergency, a honeybee will use their wings to fan around a banana smelling pheromone to alert the other honeybees what is happening. The queen uses her pheromones to let the other honeybees know that she is their queen, and the hive she is in is their hive too. When the queen is ready to pass away or is getting old, she releases less pheromones, or different smelling ones, and that let's the other honeybees know that they need to prepare for a new queen soon.
The honeybees use their wings to control the temperature in their hive. When it needs to be warmed up for colder climates, honeybees will ball up together and fan their wings to generate a nice, toasty heat for themselves. In hot climates, honeybees will bring droplets of water to their hive, and fan those out to evaporate the cool sensation of the water. Without their wings, honeybees would freeze in the winter, or overheat in the summer.
Honeybees use their wings to create honey! When nectar is brought back to the hive from floral sources, a honeybee will put that nectar in a cell of the honeycomb, and she will then use her wings to fan the nectar, so it draws water out and becomes thicker. This is needed, so that the water content is down to at least 18%, and the honey will then not spoil.
With all the different uses of a honeybee's wings, they sure are buzz-y bees!
Saturday, August 1, 2020
Honey is more than a sweet treat! We find antibacterial, antifungal, antimicrobial (cleaning) and hygroscopic (helps with healing) properties in it which makes it useful for much more than eating. If you want to learn how honey gains these properties you can learn about it in our past blog post about enzymes. Honey has many purposes both in and outside of the kitchen. Try out of some of our favorite ways to use honey!
|Honey sticks have 1 teaspoon of honey in them|
which is the perfect amount for a face wash!
- Energy boost: Honey has the power to give you energy! A lot of athletes take honey before their competitions. The healthy sugars and protein rich pollen in honey give your body the nutrients it needs to perform!
- Face wash: To moisturize and clean your face with honey, simply wet your face with warm water and smooth some honey on your face. Leave it on 10-15 minutes and rinse off. You’ll find that your skin is cleaner, softer, and your pores are smaller. Tip: honey sticks are the perfect size for one face wash. Some Honey Queens like to travel with honey sticks to always have honey on hand for their face washes.
- Heal cuts and wounds: Did you know honey can be used to treat small cuts, burns, and bites? Some people even call honey “Nature’s Neosporin because of the cleaning and healing properties. Take some honey on a band-aid and place on your wound. Some hospital use honey as their preferred treatment for burns.
- Heal pimples: If you or your older sibling get pimples, you can dab some honey on it next time you get one. The cleaning properties of honey help it go away!
Try adding honey to your favorite drink
to soothe your throat
- Hair magic: Honey can even be used on your hair! To moisturize your hair so it’s less frizzy and make it shiny, smooth honey throughout wet hair and leave for 10 minutes before rinsing.
- Beauty bath: Some say that Cleopatra bathed in milk and honey to keep her skin healthy and beautiful. Try adding a spoonful or two of honey to the water next time you take a bath!
- Soothe your throat: Honey coats your throat whenever you eat it and is a natural cough suppressant. You can add it to tea or your favorite drink or snack. One of our favorite drinks is honey water which you can make by warming up water and adding honey to taste.
- Sleep aid: Try taking a spoonful of honey before you go to bed to help you fall asleep!
Wednesday, July 1, 2020
In a hive of honeybees there are three different types of bees. The have very different, but very vital, jobs they need to complete to make honey and live happily. In a hive, there is only one queen. The queen is different based on a few factors: size, diet, and job. There are important steps that need to be taken for a female bee to become a queen.
All honeybees are born in cells, the hexagonal holes the bees use to store their honey and pollen. The queen's body holds every egg she ever needs to lay in her life. In a day, she lays about 2000 eggs. In order to create a new queen, the current queen lays an egg in a special cell called the queen cell. The queen cell is larger because the larvae, or the baby bee, growing inside of it will be larger than all of the other bees in the hive. When the new queen is developing, worker bees will feed her royal jelly, a special milky substance that is produced from the glands of a honeybee's head. Royal jelly is full of special proteins that help the larvae in the queen cell grow and develop her reproductive organs that allow her to hold and lay so many eggs in her lifetime. The larvae of the new queen will stay in the cell for about 16 days, until she is ready to be born.The queen of the hive is the only honeybee that can lay eggs, so when she knows that she may die soon or something is wrong, she will release pheromones. Pheromones are a smell that tell the other bees what's wrong, and instruct them to prepare for a new queen.
Once the new queen is born, she will sting or suffocate the old queen until she passes away. Sometimes there are a few queen cells made, with more than one queen hatching. The first queen to hatch is seen as the strongest to the other bees, so she will take over. All of the other queens have to be killed because the honeybees only accept one queen per hive. Having more than one would confuse them, and too many eggs would be laid everyday, causing overpopulation.
Once the old queen and all the other young queens have been killed, the new queen assumes her responsibility as mother of the hive. She will reign as long as she is healthy.
Monday, June 1, 2020
|This is what propolis looks like in a beehive.|
It glues the frames together and seals all cracks.
Propolis is made of sap from trees mixed with beeswax and enzymes (special substances which give cleaning and medicinal properties). Beekeepers like to call it “bee glue” because it is a sticky substance the honeybees use to seal up cracks so no dust or debris can come in the hive. Just like a lot of the other products of the hive, propolis has cleansing properties. It cleans the air and any substance it comes in contact with. In fact, the air is so clean that it is considered sterile.
|This nasal spray has propolis in it to boost|
your immune system.
Just like honeybees love propolis for cleaning, a lot of medicine companies like to make cough drops with propolis. You can also find propolis in tinctures (propolis in liquid form that you can take a drop of if you’re getting sick), lip balms, toothpaste, mouthwash, and nasal spray. You can use propolis just like the honeybees do to stay healthy!
The second way honeybees keep the hive clean is through their behavior. If a hive is infected with a disease, the worker bees will remove everything infected and it will not be allowed back inside the hive. This is especially important to prevent spread of diseases. Once they remove it, they clean everything again with propolis. The honeybees even help clean each other and the queen to keep the hive as clean as possible.
|These bees are cleaning off a bee who came |
home from a day foraging.
By using propolis and having careful behavior, honeybees keep the hive extremely clean.
Friday, May 1, 2020
Honeybees make beeswax to form their hive. The bees create hexagonal shaped cells with the beeswax to store honey and pollen in. The cells also serve as a temporary home for the larvae (the developing bees). People may purchase beeswax with the honey still inside the cells, which is known as comb honey.
Comb honey is the most natural form of honey because it is bought exactly as it comes from the hive. Other than comb honey, there is chunk honey, which is a chunk of comb honey in a jar of liquid honey. Beeswax is used in plenty of cosmetics because of its soothing and healing properties. Beeswax may also be used to create candles; the candles have a very fresh, delicate honey smell, and they last quite a long time!
Propolis is what honeybees use to seal the cracks of their hive; the propolis makes the hive safer and more sanitary. Propolis is very beneficial for not only the honeybees, but also humans. Propolis contains anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal, and anti-bacterial properties. It is so rich in beneficial properties because it is made from sap in trees and resin from the tops of leaves and plants along with honeybee saliva and beeswax.
Pollen is a powdery substance honeybees carry from flower to flower to successfully pollinate. To gather it, honeybees collect the pollen on the backs of their legs in their pollen baskets. Then they bring the pollen home to produce bee bread. Bee bread is a mixture of honey and pollen that is fed to the larvae. Humans may also consume pollen; it contains plenty of nutrients and a lot of protein. People may buy it to use on salads and in smoothies. Pollen is a great source of protein for vegetarians.
There are so many different amazing products of the hive people may purchase and use in their life. Make sure you talk to a local beekeeper and try some for yourself!