Monday, December 3, 2012

Animal of the Week: Honeybee

Honeybees are wonderful animals. They pollinate many of our food crops and I've heard a few different estimates, but one out of every three or four bites of food you eat was pollinated by bees. I can't believe that I've never had honeybees as my Animal of the Week.

I am a beekeeper and I have Honeybees. Honeybees are one of about 20,000 different species of bee. Some you are probably familiar with like the bumble bee and the carpenter bee. Other bees you will probably hear about in the New England area are Mason bees and Red bees.

Honeybees make honey by drinking the nectar of flowers, putting that in a special honey stomach and then back at the hive, they put the nectar in a cell and evaporate out nearly all of the water. Yum!

One of the most common questions I hear this time of year is what do they do in the winter.  Bees cuddle for the winter!  They use their body heat to keep their mom, the Queen warm and they keep the temperature in the hive just over 60'F. Beekeepers call it a cluster.

When ever the temperature is 50'F or over the bees fly around. They are really enjoying flying today gathering any last remaining pollen and cleaning up the honey I left out for them.

Go bees!!

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