First Czechoslovak Garden Club of America

First Czechoslovak Garden Club of America

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May 2014 Speaker - Bee Keeping

Posted by First Czech Garden Club on July 20, 2014 at 4:45 PM

Charles and Karen Lorence gave a very interesting presentation on what it is like to raise bees. 

Bees are not native to North America.  They were present in Jamestown in 1610, however.  By 1640 there were several hives all over  the Northeast Coast.  These early hives were all in trees.  In 1851, Reverand Langstroth developed a portable bee hive.  His concepts are still the basis for the hives of today.  Reverand Langstroth created a hive that did not have to be destroyed to get the honey out. 

Chares and Karen should us some of the tools used in modern beekeeping.  One was a Queen Box.  When a person starts a new hive they are shipped the bees.  The Queen is kept separate from the workers in a special box.  She is usually not from the same hive so the bees would kill her.  It takes about 3 days for the worker bees to accept her.  They then chew out the wax at the end of the box and allow their new queen to come out.

Bees go through all of the stages of life that all insects do.  Once they are fully developed they live on average 6 weeks.  Three weeks are spen as House bees cleaning up the hive and caring for the queen.  Their last house chore is to protect and cool the hive.  They get to be at the enterance fanning their wings.  Bee hives are kept a constant temperature by their efforts.  The bees are then out in the field for 3 week.  They usually die because their wings get torn and they cannot make it back to the hive.

Honey is dehydrated nectar.    The water content is dried out until it is only 18%.  It takes the lifetime  of 11 bees to make 1 teaspoon of honey.

Bees are dying in very large amounts.  This is primarily due to the insecticides that are found in the plants on modern farms.

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