The A, B, C’s of Bees: Over-wintering

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Most bee colonies deal with cold winters the same way:  they die.  The female worker bees and male drones die off while the queen burrows away to hibernate during the winter.  In the spring she will start a new colony that will again live only for the length of the summer.

Honeybees are different though.  Although they reduce their numbers for the winter, worker bees continue to live throughout the winter with the queen and the entire hive is supported and maintained.  That’s fortunate for us because it’s their need to store food for the winter that results in the production of honey.

There are several adaptations that honeybees have made to allow them to survive for the winter.

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The A, B, C’s of Bees: Nectar

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You can’t go a whole month talking about honeybees without talking about nectar.  Nectar is the liquid substance honeybees collect from plants to make honey. But it is much more than just a bridge to liquid gold.

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The A, B, C’s of Bees: The Mating Flight

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When a new queen emerges from her cell, she only has one thing on her mind.  Within a few weeks of being born, the queen will leave the hive on a warm sunny day.  She will fly out a virgin, but return mated.

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The A, B, C’s of Bees: Langstroth Hive

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The Reverend Lorenzo L. Langstroth is credited with inventing the modern-day beehive, the Langstroth hive.  But what makes it so special?

2 key ideas:  movable frames and bee space

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The A, B, C’s of Bees: Killer Bees

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What do you get when you breed a European honeybee, such as the Italian honeybee, to one that is native to Africa (Apis mellifera scutellata)?  Some people accidentally found out in Brazil in 1957.

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