- Nectar- a high sugar liquid that plants produce. If you touch the center of a flower and get wet or sticky you probably found the nectar.
- Pollen- This is what makes me sneeze in the summertime. Pollen is usually a yellow color, but sometimes it can be almost green or grey. Pollen is the powdery substance in the center surrounded by petals.
- Water- On hot days beekeepers may set out water for their bees especially if they are not near a water source like a stream or pond.
- Honey- Honey is dehydrated nectar. After bees have collected enough nectar to fill a cell, they dry it out. They can flap their wings to fan the nectar and get rid of any moisture. This helps them preserve their food for the winter or whenever they need it.
- Sugar water- If the bees have consumed all their honey and flowers have not started blooming beekeepers give their bees sugar water. It is not the best food and doesn't have everything a bee needs to be healthy, but it will keep them alive until they can get nectar.
Here are some things Honey Bees like to eat or drink:
This beekeeper just added his bees to the hive. Since they have no honey they will start with sugar water in the jars. The beekeeper will have to come back and check on his jars to make sure his bees have enough to eat.
Today my package of bees arrived and it was time to put them in the hive. The queen bee arrived in a small box. A few attendants took care of her while she traveled to the hive location. Talk about high maintenance, wherever she goes her attendants follow. They help take care of her and they even feed her. The queen is the largest bee in the box.
The Worker Bees and Drones will go wherever their queen leads them. So when you want your bees to make a hive a home you need the queen to stay put. See the small box it has some white candy inside. The candy blocks the Queen and her attendants from flying out of the box until they eat their way out. This gives the Queen time to get used to her new home and the other bees will start preparing the combs.
February was coming to an end and I was off to a new adventure. My Husband and I headed to the County Extension Office to pick up the wood, frames, and wax to build the hive. When we arrived we saw lines of hives waiting to be picked up by my classmates. Students crowded into a small room to learn how to put the frames together. The frames hold a wax sheet that the bees will use as a foundation for building cells. We needed to insert the wax into the frames and nail down a strip of wood so the wax stays put in the frame. We also learned that we needed to weatherproof our wooden hive by sealing it with paint. This will protect the inside of the hive from moisture. We loaded the car and drove off with the scent of beeswax in the air.
A few weeks later, I finished up with painting.
God is big and I am small, yet He created me to do big things. He also made honey bees and gave them a great purpose. Join me as I learn about a big thing called beekeeping from some tiny creatures.