I wanted to make my first blog about bees, of course, with Pollen for a last name. My adventures into beekeeping started about 3 years ago when one of the parents at the school where I work asked me if I wanted to have bee hives in the school garden. Honestly, at first I was hesitant since I had been slightly afraid of bees most of my life. But, knowing the need to support the honeybee population and the benefits of having more pollinators in our garden I said, “Of course.” Now I am a novice apiarist (official word for beekeeper) and am learning more and more about these amazing insects.
Apparently they prefer blondes over brunettes so, Audrianna, you have the advantage. Seriously, for some reason dark colors can aggravate honeybees so that is why bee keeper suits are white. One bee keeper told me he used black tape to cover some holes in his gloves and his bees went right for the dark tape, trying to sting it. When he replaced it with gray duct tape they were happy “girls” again.
Yes, all those bees flying around the hive are females. The “guys” (drones) basically do nothing and get fed by the female worker bees. Lest you think they have it made, it comes at a cost. Once they fulfill their sole purpose of mating with a virgin queen bee they die immediately afterwards. If they manage to survive until autumn when mating time is past, they are thrown out of their hive by those hard-working female bees, who are probably sick and tired of feeding them and they soon die. Brutal maybe, but bees are all about taking care of their home/hive and once you are no longer necessary you go to “bee heaven”. The drones also have no stingers, so the women truly run the show, including defending the hive from all threats, collecting the pollen, making the honeycomb and honey, feeding the queen and her brood and cleaning up the hive. They work so hard. Can any moms out their relate?
More posts on bees in the future as I am still learning about their amazing world. Would love to hear your “bee stories!”