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The Waggle Dance

A honey bee colony consists of tens of thousands of individual members, each having a specific role within the context of the “superorganism.” Communication among colony members is a very important part of a healthy and productive hive. Honey bees utilize two basic methods of communication to distribute pertinent information: behavior and the production of…

What is Honeycomb?

What is honeycomb? Honeycomb is a cluster of repeating hexagonal beeswax cells that fill the interior of a  honey bee beehive. While adequate, this definition raises more questions than it actually answers. Let’s take a closer look at this miraculous substance and its ingenious design! Why the hexagon? Honeybees are not unique in their selection of…

What is Propolis?

Propolis – Propolis is probably one of the most fascinating of all honeybee produced compounds. Propolis is a resin. It is very sticky when wet but dries into a dense, rigid, construction compound. Honeybees use propolis to seal small cracks and holes in their hives. Propolis itself is very resistant to fungal and bacterial infection and…

The Queen Bee

The Queen – The Queen bee is the “life central” of the entire colony. The overall health or quality of the colony is ultimately a reflection of the overall health and vigor of the queen. The queen is the sole reproductively functional female of the entire hive. She is the only female with fully developed ovaries….

The Drone Bee

The Drone Bee – A honeybee colony is primarily female. Male bees or drones make up a small percentage of a colony. Typically drones numbers range from 300-3000 depending on the maturity of the colony. A strong colony can exceed 80,000 individuals in the summer. Procreation is the primary function of the drone bee. The drones…

The Worker Bee

The Worker Bee – All worker bees are female. However, worker bees are unable to reproduce (eusocial). Worker bees play a critical role in nearly all colony activities. Worker bees visit flowers collecting pollen and nectar. Pollen is collected on the back legs of worker bees. These pollen baskets or corbicula are transported back to the colony….

Honey, The Commercial Product

For thousands of years, humans have known that honey is a miracle food from nature. It only takes a quick search on the internet to find literally hundreds of health benefits and incredible recovery stories attributed to honey. Honey has antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral properties. Honey soothes coughs and boosts immune response. Honey has been…

Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD)

Historically, beekeepers have observed localized or small-scale colony collapse as a result of various pathogens moving through and exploiting regional honeybee populations. However, in November 2006, Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) was formally recognized by the international scientific community as a global pandemic. Despite extensive documentation of this tragic phenomenon, there is very little consensus regarding…

What is Bee Pollen?

Bee Pollen – Before we begin discussing what bee pollen is, let’s first examine what bee pollen is not. Plant pollen at its most basic level can be divided into two basic categories,  anemophilous pollen and entomophilous pollen. As a general guideline, gymnosperm plant species are anemophilous and angiosperm plant species are entomophilous. If you live near any pine species, chances…

What is Beeswax?

Beeswax – Nutritionally speaking, beeswax has little to offer. Beeswax does have a bit of vitamin A, but otherwise not nutritionally dense. However, beeswax is a very good source of roughage in one’s diet. Beeswax does have many practical uses outside of diet. Beeswax is a great natural addition to any skin care product. It serves…