How Bees Work

Making Honey

Bees are very organized, and they are highly efficient when making honey. Female bees do all of the work. First they forage for nectar in flowers, trees, and other plants.  They also look for pollen and a sticky tree sap called propolis.  They bring these things back to the hive.

When the nectar is in the hive, other bees store it in "cells," and then they fan it with their wings to get rid of the water in the nectar.  When the amount of water is perfect (just under 18%), it becomes honey!  The bees then cap the honey cells so they can enjoy their honey later.

Bees in Danger

Bees don't have it easy in today's world. Every day, they might face several dangers:

* farming chemicals (pesticides)

* loss of food sources (forage)

* climate change

* disease

* parasites (the Varrora mite)

Varrora mites in particular can be extremely harmful to a bee colony.  One of the most important things you'll learn as a beekeeper is how to manage Varrora mites and keep your hives safe.

Wasps Are Not Bees

Beware of wasps.  They behave very differently than bees.  While honey bees won't sting you unless you directly threaten them, wasps are naturally more aggressive.  If a honey bee stings you, she dies.  But a wasp can sting many times, so watch out!