Spring Bee Checkup: Hotline Sting

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Sarah: My two bee colonies made it through winter and are in fine shape.  To increase my farm buzz, I just invested in another 4 colonies.  It’s clearly time for a Spring Bee Checkup.

Sarah’s spring bee checkup clinic for newbees, check it out here:

I was excited that my two hives survived the winter and even more excited to
get another four colonies from my cousin Andrew. Today was a beautiful day so I
decided to get outside and check on my girls. I was doing a quick check to see how
the queens were doing and if they were still laying eggs, they usually are but it is
always nice to make sure. It must be nice for them to have a beekeeper; its probably
like us knowing we have the security of a doctor in case anything goes wrong.

Spring Bee Checkup

The Queen

The queen is the mother of all the bees in a colony; she can be many different colours
and shading patterns. You can find her on the image below, she’s the big one with the large light coloured abdomen.  Her job is to lay eggs, causing the hive population to grow and hopefully to skyrocket.  She maintains order and security in the colony. Without a queen the colony will crash … the population of bees would immediately start to go down. Sometimes the worker bees start to lay unfertilized eggs which will only hatch into Drones. Drones do nothing but eat honey and fertilize other queens. Essentially the colony descends into chaos, the queen is a very important part of the hive.

Spring Bee Checkup

The Workers

The worker bee is the most common and the hardest working bee in the colony, all
workers are female. When a worker is first born she will start doing simple tasks
around the brood-nest such as feeding young eggs and larvae. As she gets older she
will start doing more complex tasks such as foraging, cleaning out cells for the queen
to lay eggs in and removing debris from the hive. There are many more tasks for a
worker that I haven’t mentioned yet. There is scouting, water collecting, taking out
dead brood and bees, and attending the queen.

Spring Bee Checkup

The Drones

The drones are the only male members of the hive. They don’t contribute to their
own hive in any way; they eat honey and pollen and go mate with foreign queens.
Drones are essential for bee populations in an area but only to other colonies; its all
for the greater good of the bee world.

Everything looked great today, the queens have been active laying eggs, the workers are bringing in a fair bit of pollen and even some nectar (which is very early this year).  They are even rearing drones which is a sign that the colony feels that plentiful feed is just around the corner.

Tell us what you thought of Spring Bee Checkup. Try out one of the fancy new “feelings”, or leave us a comment. Even better, subscribe, for weekly offgrid adventures, emailed right to your doorstep.

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