A Honey Bee hard at work in Pat's garden
Honey bees are interesting creatures who are vital link in our Eco-system, without them we wouldn’t enjoy many of the products we enjoy today such as honey, bee pollen, propolis and of course our favourite: beeswax! For the next couple weeks, I'd like to focus on honey bees and what we've learned through researching them. They are busy little creatures and they deserve some attention. This week I'd like to introduce you to the three types of honey bees. There are over 20,000 species of bees, Honey bees make up a very small fraction with about 44 species.
The honey bees main purpose in life is to produce honey. They use the honey to feed their larvae and live on it during the winter months. Beeswax is a byproduct of honey production, the honey bees create honeycomb in order to store the honey. When the honey is extracted from the honeycomb what's left is a wax substance, called beeswax. It is then melted down and filtered. (Since we are by no means honey experts please click for more information on honey.)
Within a hive there are up to 40,000 busy honey bees. There are three types of honey bees: The Worker Bee, Drone and Queen. Each has their own distinct job Queen: There is typically only one queen per hive. Every bee in the hive is her offspring. She can lay up to 2000 eggs/day and can live 2-5 years. Drone: The drone’s only job is to mate with the queen. Their life span is 8 weeks or less. Worker Bees: Workers bees have various tasks including: feeding the larvae, work with honey, pollen, propolis and wax within the hive and forage for pollen and nectar outside the hive. Their life span is around 40 days in the summer. The domestic honey bee looks different than other types of bees such as bumble bees. It's body is more round and smaller than other bee species and it's color is lighter and quite unique (see photos). Next time you see a honey bee pollinating one of your flower beds, be glad! It is collecting the very substance that's in your candles!
There are so many great resources for honey bee information: