Sunday, February 6, 2011

Bee Keeping Part Two

Bees are a society within themselves, there are are the workers, drones, and the queen.

The workers are actually sterile females, they do exactly as their name implies, which is work. They work from the moment they hatch out of their hive cell and until the day they die. The worker bee has three jobs to carry out during their life. Their first job is hive maintenance, along with receiving nectar and pollen from incoming bees. This consists of repairing wax cells, and feeding larvae. The second job they are assigned is temperature regulation within the hive. They accomplish this by going outside the hive and gathering water to cool the hive during the summer months. In winter months they beat their wings to create heat to warm the hive. Their final job is to leave the hive to gather pollen and nectar from surrounding vegetation. The worker bees live for around two months, throughout their entire lives they do not rest or sleep, they literally work themselves to death.

The drones are the males, they ironically do nothing to contribute to the hive other than breed with the queen, that is their sole purpose. They do not even feed themselves, the workers feed them. Each hive has a 'drone spot' it is simply a corner of the hive where the drones gather together. The drones live for one season until autumn, when the workers cast them out of the hive to starve or freeze to death.

The queen plays a vital role in the hive, not only does she keep the population at a healthy level, but she also governs and runs the hive. She decides when to start more brood (baby bees) and when to leave a hive and start another. She is constantly guarded by an entourage of worker bees making sure when she lays eggs they are cared for and that she is given food at all times. Queens can live for about three years


No comments:

Post a Comment