FOOD

    HONEYBEES  ARE  VEGETARIANS  !
    do NOT eat animals  !
    FOODS
    ROYAL JELLY
    EATEN BY ..
    babies
    queen
    workers
    drones

    POLLEN
    EATEN BY ..
    babies

    BEE BREAD
    EATEN BY ..
    babies
    workers
    drones       

    NECTAR
    EATEN BY
    workers

    EATEN BY
    queen
    workers
    drones
    babies

    WATER  
    USED BY
    all
 

    ROYAL JELLY
    bee milk or royal jelly is produced by a gland in the head of nurse honeybees
    royal jelly is full of -  protein -  vitamins -  sugar -  rich in nitrogen ..

    POLLEN
    pollen are very very tiny grains produced in male parts of plant flowers or cones ..
    pollen grain ..
    15 micrometers to 200 micrometers across
    25,000 micrometers = 1 inch

    different flower species have different color pollen ..
    yellow
    red
    brown
    green
    grey
    blue
    orange
    white
    pink
    black
    tan
    beige

    workers bring pollen to hive directed by species and color
    pollen is stored in the hive by species and color                    ( all done inside hive with very little light .. how ? )
    ###########################################################################################
    IT IS BELIEVED THAT POLLEN IS FURTHER SORTED .. BY NUTRITIONAL CONTENT
    ###########################################################################################
    POLLEN IS SUPER NUTRITIOUS FOOD FOR HONEYBEES  !
    1 pound of pollen has ..
    100 grams of protein   
    1000 mg calcium
    159 miligrams vitamin C
    also has ..
    vitamin A
    riboflavin
    niacin

    BEEBREAD
    pollen is food for baby honeybees
    pollen plus a tiny dab of nectar and digestive enzymes becomes .. pollen loaf or beebread

    NECTAR
    flowers have glands called NECTARIES  ..
    workers collect nectar with very long tongues
    keep in honey stomach until return to hive
    glands in head produce chemicals that are added to nectar
    enzymes are added to nectar in honey stomach  
    the enzyme for honey production is called invertase
    honey stomach fills with very small amount .. just a few drops of nectar
    sugar in nectar breaks down in honey stomach into glucose and fructose
    at hive worker pulls nectar back out of honey stomach through mouth
    - gives to another worker
    or..
    - puts directly into empty cell

    early early spring nectar producers provide early early nectar .. SUPER IMPORTANT !!!
    SUPER SUPER TERRIFIC nectar producers ..
    skunk cabbage
    tulips
    wildflowers
    maples
    dandelions
    locust
    tulip poplar

    NORTH AMERICA
    massive nectar production .. lots and lots and lots of plants of all types are BLOOMING !
    1st week of MAY through end of JUNE
    called the time of the " HONEY FLOW "

    flower constancy occurs :
    - one type / species collected at a time
    - locate by color .. but .. mostly by scent

    HONEY   
    thick fluid produced by HONEYBEES from flower nectar for use as food

    there are 2 types of honey
    multifloral    -   nectar collected from many blooms of more than one flower species      
    monofloral   -   nectar collected from many blooms of one flower species  

    MAKING HONEY
    once nectar is deposited into honeycomb cells ..
    workers fan nectar with wings ..
    evaporate water from nectar  ..
    honey is actually distilled from nectar ..
    workers cap nectar  ( soon to be honey )  storage cell with wax cap ..
    store for use as food later

    nectar converted to honey within a few days

    nectar converted into honey ..
    is predigested because of the addition of the digestive enzymes from the honeybee workers ..
    and ..
    therefore an easily digestable form of food

    HONEY
    17%  water
    so low in water
    so high in sugar that NO organisms or microorganisms can live in ..
    so ..
    honey never spoils

    colony hive with queen workers drones and unborn brood needs
    400 - 500 pounds of honey for just 1 year  !!!

    to create just 1 pound of honey ..
    1 colony hive of worker honeybees has to make 20,000 nectar gathering trips
    and
    visit  2,000,000 flowers and collect their nectar     ! ! ! ! !


    honeybees always create surplus surplus  ..
    will store 100 - 150 pounds for winter use   ! ! ! ! !


    HONEYBEES  PLAN  AHEAD    ! ! ! ! !

    WATER
    water is used to thin honey that has become too thick during storage period
 
 
 

    SOCIAL  ORGANIZATION
    HONEYBEES  ARE  EXTREMELY  EXTREMELY  SOCIAL  ANIMALS   ! ! ! ! !  
    live in colony group
    50,000 - 80,000 individuals
    consisting of ..
    1 female QUEEN
    300 - 500 male drones
    remainder of group female workers

    QUEEN is only fertile female

    only enough males in each colony for mating purposes

    at any time during the busy season  ( SPRING through SUMMER )  will find in hive ...

    9,000 - 10,000 eggs

    18,000  larvae       ( newborn baby honeybee just hatched from egg .. before becoming pupa )

    36,000 nymphs     ( pupa stage of honeybee development )

    IF NEW QUEEN IS NEEDED .. 7 - 8 royal princesses ( soon to be queens ) will be in nursery cells
 

    COMMUNICATION

    HONEYBEES have super complex system of communication  ! ! !

    MUST COMMUNICATE ABOUT ALL SORTS OF THINGS ..
    queen .. eggs .. intruders .. temperature .. food .. nectar locations .. types of nectar available ..
    swarming .. location of water .. location of propolis .. babies ..

    MESSAGES AND INFORMATION COMMUNICATED TO EACH OTHER IN SEVERAL WAYS ..
    CHEMICAL   (most this way)
    queen releases pheromones that identify her hive and all the honeybees that are part of her hive colony  
    when worker stings .. releases a scent that communicates danger ..  ( smells like bananas )   !  !  !

    TACTILE
    touch

    AUDITORY  
    hear
    make different songs and chants for different situations

    VISUAL
    see

    PHYSICAL
    dance
    language of physical movement     ( the way humans have sign language )
    to communicate location of  .. flowers .. propolis .. water

    worker does dance upon return to hive to tell other workers where flowers are located ..
    - flowers close to hive .. worker dances in circles ..
    - flowers further away .. worker dances in figure 8 pattern ..
    in direction of flowers in relationship to location of sun

    HONEYBEES  MEANS  OF  COMMUNICATION  NOT  UNDERSTOOD  BY  HUMANS

    news spreads extremely extremely fast in hive   ! ! !

    sounds are different for each type of communication ..
    loss of queen
    intruder
    information about flowers
 

    SPECIES  PERPETUATION

    new unmated queen is called a gyne

    HONEYBEES and phenomena of SYNCHRONY
    condition in nature within a species ..
    all colonies in a geographic area produce breeding female gynes and males at same time
    so ..
    all mature reproductives have necessary chance to find mates from non-related colonies

    each hive colony has distinct odor scent
    the different odor - scent - smell  of the gyne queens and male drones confirms
    that their choices are NOT related to each other

    SPRINGTIME IS MATING TIME
    during nuptial mating flight period ..
    gyne queens and male drones from 20 - 30 neighboring hives will all leave their hives at same time
    about 12:00 noon - 3:00 pm
    must be sunny
    nuptial flight period lasts for several days ..
    gyne queen exits hive platform backwards .. comes right back .. exits again .. several times .. back and forth ..
    then .. exits hive ..
    flies up to high high high height ..
    area of mating is above realm of birds ..
    as she flies up .. she releases mating location scent ..
    ALL males NOT related to her in geographic area .. notice .. and .. follow her ..
    about 1,000 males ..
    frail .. weak .. aged .. malnourished .. CANNOT follow ..
    ONLY most healthy follow ..
    only 10 - 15 of 1,000 males actually get close to her ..

    male honeybees need to mate in high altitude  ..
    need to breathe very deeply ..
    increased air in body pushes reproductive organs down out of body cavity so they can be used

    1 in 1,000 drones mates with the gyne queen .. 1 time ..
    to make sure that she gets diverse genetic material ..
    she may separately mate with more than 1 male during her nuptial flight period ..
    she may mate with up to 10 males ..

    actual mating duration is only 1 second ..
    mating procedure MUST be extremely fast .. because many variables could lead to death of gyne queen ..
    - weather - water - cold - birds -

    after mating male reproductive organs tear out of body and remain within body of gyne queen
    she returns to hive platform .. goes inside to threshhold ..
    workers inspect her and remove male reproductive organs that act as copulatory plug ..

    queen has extra organ in body .. under ovaries .. at oviduct .. called spermatheca ..
    to hold male's reproductive material .. spermatozoa

    1 mating provides enough spermatozoa for her entire life  - 25 million kept alive in spermatheca gland

    before mating
    female queen has genetic material within her body that will allow her to produce babies
    but .. they will be ONLY male babies

    male drone has genetic material within his body that will allow the female queen to produce female babies

    after mating
    female queen can produce BOTH male and female babies !


    after mating the gyne queen rests for 2 days
    then .. she begins to lay eggs

    during a 5 year lifespan  ..
    she will lay about 2,000 eggs a day ..
    200,000 eggs in each busy season ..
    1,000,000 eggs in her lifetime   ! ! !

    she prefers to lay her eggs in small cells - which become female workers
    but will lay eggs in larger cells - which become male drones

    QUEEN MAKES THE DECISION REGARDING SEX OF EACH EGG  !!!!!
    whether
    to release spermatozoa from spermatheca with egg from oviduct
    or
    just egg from oviduct


    MATING  PROCEDURE  IS  EXTREMELY  TIME  SENSITIVE    ! ! !
    before she is 20 days old .. queen MUST mate
    or
    she will NOT be able to  !!!

    unmated queen will not be sterile but can only produce male drone babies

    the condition of unmated queen NOT being sterile is called PARTHENGENESIS
    common in some insects
    unmated queen can produce thousand of healthy drones
    each with millions of spermatozoa
    but ..
    she will NOT mate with own male babies

    so ..
    if queen does not mate ..
    her colony will ALL die within 6-7 weeks ..
    after the last worker dies ..

    but ..
    her baby male drones COULD be viable mates for other new unmated gyne queens
    from other colonies .. so..
    planet EARTH ultimately can benefit .. even though the colony would die ..
    THE SPECIES WOULD CONTINUE  !!!!!!


    QUEEN
    must mate and then lay the eggs for the colony and species to continue

    WORKER
    honeybee workers care for the babies

    DRONE
    can only mate in air .. prolonged flight expands the 2 tracheal sacs .. pushes on abdomen ..
    forces the exertion of reproductive organs out of body so they can be used

    only purpose of drone is to mate with an unrelated queen ..
    NOT from their own hive ..
    NOT mother ..
    NOT sister  ..



    SWARM
    swarming is also a way for honeybees to perpetuate their species

    strong highly populated colony can become overcrowded
    queen will stop laying eggs

    workers will then modify 7 - 8 existing brood baby cells into huge queen cells ..
    to accommodate the large size of the queens ..

    after 4 days ..
    workers will cover cell openings with wax caps

    3 days later ..
    some workers stay in old hive to care for larvae and new queen ..
    while old queen and most of the workers .. leave hive .. to create NEW hive colony as a SWARM

    the flight to new hive colony is called swarming ..

    the swarm cluster flies to a nearby tree branch and cluster on branch and on each other ..
    then a few scouts leave the swarm mass of honeybees to find a new location for hive colony ..

    queen is HEAVY with eggs ..

    queen has not been outside in light since her nuptial mating flight .. she has been in darkness of hive ..

    when swarming .. honeybees do NOT sting ..

    after a few suggestions are made .. the swarm decides which is best ..
    and
    they all go fly to the new spot .. and build their new nest  ! ! !

    the swarm leaves all provisions behind ..
    propolis - pollen - and up to 120 pounds of honey ..

    at the new hive .. the honeybees ..
    rest - clean - sweep ..
    remove twigs - sand - soil ..
    fill cracks with propolis ..
    interior surface varnished ..
    guards appointed for entrance ..
    wax making procedure begins  ..
    then comb built ..
    care given to ventilation specifications ..
    workers sent to fields for first pollen and nectar for new hive ..

    when swarm to new place with nothing ..
    need 2 - 3 months to create hive .. same as one left behind ..

    2/3 of hive leave with old queen

    old hive still has thousands of bees already hatched ..
    with still thousands more in their cells .. 60,000 - 80,000

    adult baby honeybees emerge from cells ..
    nurses clean .. and give honey as first food ..
    immediately begin her duties  .. caring for cells .. babies .. etc ..

    after 1 week .. first cleansing flight ..
    after 1 more week .. 1st flight to flowers !!!

    there can be a second swarm ..
    2nd swarm just as enthusiastic as 1st ..
    because this queen .. young unmated .. is strong ..
    will fly greather distance from hive .. to establish new colony

    1st swarm queen .. older ..
    fly less distance for new colony ..

    the particulars of the swarm are not random .. regarding .. who goes .. who stays ..
    the act of swarming is constant ..
    both old workers and young workers go ..


    HOW ALL OF THIS IS SO PRECISELY DETERMINED IS NOT UNDERSTOOD BY HUMANS  ..
    the collective of the bees listen to GOD    ! ! !

    2nd swarm rarely happens ..
    some hives swarm once .. others .. never ..

    mostly .. only one swarm is allowed  ..
    so 2nd queen will destroy all other newly hatching queens ..

    hive is depopulated .. need food .. so young workers get to work right away ..
    build up food supplies for the continuation of precious LIFE through winter and beyond ! ! !
 
 

    BABY BYTES

    from egg to larva to pupa - a baby honeybee gains 1,000 times its weight   !!!!

    babies are called brood

    brood needs constant temperature of 95 degrees Fahrenheit for proper development


    EGG
    newly laid egg is bluish in color
    newly laid egg is as big as the dot over a typed letter .. i ..


    LARVA
    in most insects .. the worm-like 2nd stage in development .. after hatching from its period within its egg

    after 3 days tiny wormy honeybee larva hatches and comes out of egg
    first 3 days as larva .. all babies fed only royal jelly


    QUEEN
    day 1  
    egg is laid inside cell .. 3 days as embryonic egg

    day 4
    after 3 days as egg ..
    queen to be hatches from egg inside her nursery cell .. emerges from egg as larva .. stays inside cell
    worker nurse honeybees feed only royal jelly during time that queen larva develop

    day 9
    5 days after hatching from egg .. still inside cell ..
    larval queen to be spins cocoon around self .. changes into pupa ..
    then the pupa develops into adult inside cell

    day 17
    young adult queen gnaws her way out of her nursery cell

    16 days after egg is laid .. a new queen emerges !  


    feed larva only royal jelly for entire period of pre-adult growth

    it is believed that something special must be added to the royal jelly fed to queens
    to make them grow super fast !                

    as soon as she hatches the new queen eats honey to gain strength

    WORKERS LISTEN TO GOD AND MAKE DETERMINATION WHEN COLONY NEEDS NEW QUEEN  !!!

    NEED NEW QUEEN IF ..
    current queen is ..
    ill  
    weak
    very old

    NEED NEW QUEEN IF ..
    there is a period of abundant flowers ..
    which causes current queen to lay lots of eggs and increase hive population
    because a swarm will take place

    NEED NEW QUEEN IF ..
    current queen leaves or dies suddenly


    NO MATTER WHY OR WHEN A NEW QUEEN IS NEEDED ..
    A NEW QUEEN CAN ALWAYS BE DEVELOPED FROM AN EGG THAT HAS ALREADY BEEN LAID ..
    AS LONG AS THE EGG IS YOUNGER THAN 3 DAYS OLD

    IF QUEEN IS STILL IN HIVE - but is ill or very old ..
    workers will build 7 or 8 large cells for queen to lay eggs in ..

    IF QUEEN IS NOT IN HIVE - gone or has died ..
    workers enlarge existing cells that already have very young larva inside ..
    - these larva must be younger than 3 days old
    workers enlarge cells on back ..
    queen cells are large bulbous structures on one of the comb edges ..
    3 - 4 times size of worker cell .. look like 1/2 peanut shell hanging from comb ..
    all are right next to each other ..
    hermetically sealed ..
    guard honeybee stays near them ..
    this area is called the queen chambers ..


    WORKER
    always a fertilized egg
    hatching from egg between 17 - 22 days ..

    day 1          
    queen lays egg

    day 1 - 4
    3 days as embryo honeybee in egg

    day 4          
    hatch as larva

    day  4 - 7
    much growth .. feed royal jelly .. for 3 days

    day 7          
    start feeding beebread ..

    day  7 - 8
    great growth .. continue to feed beebread  .. larva grows

    day 9         
    workers put wax cap on cell

    day 9 - 22    
    larva spins cocoon around self ..  changes into pupa ..  pupa continues to develop into adult

    day 22       
    new adult worker gnaws way out of cell

    21 days after egg is laid  -  new adult worker emerges from cell     
    goes to work IMMEDIATELY   !
    baby worker is ALWAYS female ..


    females are DIPLOID  .. 2 sets of chromosomes ..
    1 set from mother
    1 set from father ..

    every baby born in spring .. needs 1 cell of stored honey to reach maturity ..
    during 8 - 9 days of larva stages .. workers eat 10,000 meals ..

    average # of  worker babies born ..
    March              8,000
    April               28,000
    May                47,000
    June               37,000
    July                30,000
    August           23,000
    September    22,000
    October         14,000
    November          700


    DRONE
    always male
    unfertilized egg
    males are HAPLOID   .. 1 set of chromosomes ..
    1 set only from only mother

    24 days after egg is laid .. on day 25 .. drone gnaws way out of cell ..
    pupa has become adult new adult drone !
 

    JOBS


    QUEEN
    only job to mate and lay eggs



    WORKER
    many many jobs of all sorts !!!
    clean
    tend brood
    make wax
    repair comb
    build comb
    nectar care
    ventilation
    pollen care
    field forage work
    nurse
    keep out intruders
    protect queen
    feed queen
    clean queen
    groom queen
    sort pollen
    build queen cells
    feed drones



    DRONE
    only job to mate with queens from other hives
 
 

    IT'S  A  FASCINATING  FACT !

    honeybees are sensitive to the magnetic fields of planet EARTH  
    have thousands of tiny bits magnetic loadstone in special cells in abdomen
    helpful in navigation

    honeybee workers will make a chain of honeybees to rescue a member of their colony that is stuck
    in honey or water

    most honeybees live in warm humid tropics
    also in temperate areas
    deserts
    mountains  ( even the Himalayas )
    Arctic tundra

    to create 1 pound of honey causes 1 honeybee to travel equivalent to twice around the planet EARTH  !

    over the course of 1 year ... all the honeybees that do not survive will weigh 32 pounds in total

    5,000 honeybees weigh 1 pound
    160,000 honeybees weigh 32 pounds
    250,000 honeybees weigh 50 pounds

    in one colony 250,000 babies may be born each year  !

    when the temperature drops to 57 degrees outside hive
    the honeybees start to cluster together in a bunch for warmth and survival
    the cluster eats honey reserves and keeps moving around ..
    the temperature inside is the SAME temperature as inside hive in summer  !
    produce heat through muscular exertion ...

    ALL honeybees in each different colony have one particular distinctive odor of just that colony ..
    entrance guard honeybees recognize different honeybees or other insects as intruders
    because of different odor ..
    entrance guards will kill strange queens or workers but NOT kill strange drones
    - strange drones are sources of unrelated genetic material for honeybee queens
    --so they are needed by the species as a whole

    fly 12 miles per hour

    fly 1 mile in 45 minutes


    HUMANS ARE NOT AT ALL SURE HOW HONEYBEES DO
    ALL THE AMAZING THINGS THEY DO !
    DO NOT KNOW EXACTLY HOW FAR THEY FLY  !
    DO NOT KNOW EXACTLY HOW THEY FIND FLOWERS  !
    DO NOT KNOW EXACTLY HOW THEY FIND THEIR WAY TO AND FROM THEIR HIVES  !

THE HONEYBEES DO ALL THAT THEY DO BECAUSE OF THE LOVE OF GOD ! ! !


    life inside their hive is conducted in darkness

    in winter .. slow down .. sort of hibernate


    egg to become queen
    egg to become worker
    are exactly same type of egg
    what makes difference ..
    egg to be queen .. 1 type of food - only royal jelly until grown
    egg to be worker .. royal jelly for 3 days .. then beebread until grown


    WORKER HONEYBEE
    one of the most complex creatures on earth  ! ! !

    loud buzzing at inside hive is sound of wings beating and flapping
    to help evaporate water in nectar mixture into honey ..
    to cool hive .. lower temperature  
 

    ENVIRONMENTAL  CONTRIBUTION

    POLLINATION
    3/4 OF ALL FLOWERING PLANTS ON EARTH DEPEND UPON HONEYBEE POLLINATION

    the foundation for all terrestrial food chains depend on honeybees and other animal pollinators ..
    yet ..
    very little is truly known about them ..


    HUGE CONTRIBUTOR TO BIODIVERSITY  !


    1 of every 3 bites of human food or drink depends directly on the pollination efforts of honeybees !

    at the very least 100 - 150 human crops critically dependant upon honeybee pollination !

    thousands and thousands of animals species depend on all sorts of plants pollinated by honeybees !  
 

    HUMAN  INTERACTION

    most studied animal after human

    PEOPLE HAVE MADE ART DEPICTING HONEYBEES FOR THOUSANDS OF YEARS !

    humans have studied honeybees for 2,000 years

    Egyptians were first humans to provide them with man-made dwellings

    Utah UNITED STATES called the BEEHIVE STATE

    official state insect
    SOUTH DAKOTA

    Honeybees appear on postage stamps all over the world  !!!

    ancient Greeks minted coins with honeybees on them   !!!  
 

    WORLD  STATUS

    worldwide .. honeybee numbers have dramatically declined in recent years !!!
    HONEYBEES ARE IN TROUBLE !!!!
 
WE MUST ALL PRAY AND THANK GOD FOR THIS AMAZING ANIMAL ! ! !
 




ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE WITH GOD
 
" Let everything that has breath
praise the LORD
"
Psalm 150:6
 


PREVIOUS  PAGE


NEXT  PAGE

CONTACT

HOME
Honeybee
 
" And the LORD commanded "
Jonah 2:10
 
  WOODCARVING  
PHOTOGRAPHS      
1 inch tall   
QUEEN