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Jul 11, 2011 6:50 AM CST
|Margaret, I most enjoyed your article. I've just gotten around to reading it. I liked your listing specific plants which benefit the bees.|
Plants and Plumerias and others.
Jul 11, 2011 7:57 AM CST
|Thank you Lee. I do these articles once a month on the plants. Be sure to scroll through the articles to find the ones on pollen and honey. As well as January through June plant articles.|
Jul 16, 2011 5:19 AM CST
|Enjoyed your article. I have Mason bees that come to my garden. I'm hoping to have some "winter over" by providing housing for them this year.|
Jul 16, 2011 5:22 AM CST
|Thank you. I've read a little about mason bees and they are interesting.|
Jul 20, 2012 12:10 PM CST
|Mindy I just took this photo a few days ago. This little guy has been very busy as you can see by his tattered wings. It made me a little sad and makes me remember that life is fleeting. |
What a grand little worker he is. The are really working the Kniphofia and Sempervivum blooms right now.
Jul 20, 2012 1:12 PM CST
|Lovely picture Thanks for sharing it. |
The tattered wings indicate she's old and has worked really hard. It makes me a bit sad too but in her life span terms she's lived a long life.
Not sure what our bees are into other than the sunflowers as I'm not getting out much right now. Soon they will be hatching out the winter bees.
Jul 20, 2012 1:19 PM CST
|Margaret, how do I know a she bee from a he bee? |
Many years ago I used to know the answer, it seems to evade me now.
Jul 20, 2012 5:07 PM CST
|For starters only workers (she bees) forage on flowers. Drones (male bees) are larger than worker bees. Drones also have a larger head than a worker bee with bigger eyes to better spot a young queen during mating flights |
So all the bees you see on your flowers are female.
Jul 20, 2012 8:06 PM CST
|Got it. Do the male bees stay at the hive, guarding and doing other household chores?|
Jul 21, 2012 5:33 AM CST
|No they don't the wokers do all of the work inside and outside the hive. Drones only exist to mate with a young queen. They get kicked out of the hive when they are getting ready for winter so as not to have to feed them.|
Jul 21, 2012 8:48 AM CST
|How long does a drone live, and does it have any other duties in the hive?|
Jul 21, 2012 12:02 PM CST
|Drones live 40 to 50 days if they aren't ate by a bird or otherwise killed. If they mate with a young queen they die immediately afterwards because their sexual organ is left in the queen after mating. |
They do not have any duties in the hive at all. They do not have a stinger so do not do guard duty. They don't help take care of the brood, build comb or help with honey storage. They won't even feed themselves if they can get a nurse bee to feed them instead.
Here's a picture of a drone DH brought to show me back in the spring.
Jul 21, 2012 1:29 PM CST
|Wow...the fate of a drone is kind of depressing! The honeybees have been all over my Cenizo bushes since it has been blooming!|
I would feel more optimistic about a bright future for man if he spent less time proving that he can outwit Nature and more time tasting her sweetness and respecting her seniority. E. B.White
Integrity can never be taken. It can only be given, and I wasn't going to give it up to these people. Gary Mowad
Jul 21, 2012 1:55 PM CST
|I am loving all this information Margaret. How many drones are usually present in a hive at any given time. I did read that they are banned from the hive in winter. What about population during the growing seasons.|
Jul 21, 2012 3:19 PM CST
|At the beginning of spring before mating season there might be around 100 drones in a hive during the mating season there may be as many as a 1000 of them present. If there are an excessive number of drones present it usually means the queen isn't present and the workers are laying the eggs which is not good. Workers can only lay infertile eggs which are what the drones are hatched from and they only do it when the queen isn't in the hive. Honey bee queens have the ability to lay either fertile or infertile eggs depending on the needs of the colony. |
Yes poor drones they only exist to make sure the colony's genetics are passed on. But hey, the ones who survive their whole life span without getting killed or mating a queen are pampered bees...no work, hang out with the guys waiting for a young queen and get to eat for free without having to earn the food.
Jul 21, 2012 3:28 PM CST
|This has been like having a wonderful story told. Thank you so much Margaret. |
Gives me a whole new perspective on bees.
Jul 21, 2012 3:35 PM CST
|You are most welcome Lynn.|