The A, B, C’s of Bees: Gee Bee Y Sportster

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The end of the alphabet is proving tricky for my bee theme.  This one is a stretch, but it’s the best I can do for the letter Y!

The Gee Bee Y Sportster was a monoplane built by the Granville (Gee) Brothers (Bee) Aircraft in Springfield, MA (right next door to me!) in 1931.  And actually, they built two.  Originally, the brothers designed the Y model as a company plane to support their R racer models.

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The A, B, C’s of Bees: Xenophon

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Xenophon was a Greek soldier and mercenary who recorded his expeditions and thus also became a writer and historian.  His most famous work, Anabasis, describes Cyrus’ attack on the Persians (of which he took part).

But what is Xenophon’s connection with bees?

Toxic honey.

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The A, B, C’s of Bees: Wax

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Us humans really exploit bees.  Not only do we take their food (honey and royal jelly) and the mortar that fills the cracks in their hives (propolis), we also take their building material:  beeswax!

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The A, B, C’s of Bees: Varroa Mites

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What’s smaller than a honeybee, but just as devastating as a honey-seeking bear?

Since its first appearance in the US in 1986, the varroa mite has become one of the major killers of bee colonies.  Although it is only about the size of a large pinhead, the varroa mite is devastating.

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The A, B, C’s of Bees: Uniting Colonies

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Sometimes when you are preparing your bees for winter, you might notice that some of your colonies are not very strong and you might worry that they won’t survive.  It’s a valid concern, particularly if there is a rough winter.  However, you might be able to circumvent this problem by uniting the two hives.

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