Honey Bees are Our Friends
A honey bee hive consists of one queen and approximately 20,000 to 60,000 worker bees, depending on the the time of the year. The queen spends her day laying eggs in the honeycomb. The worker bees feed the babies as they hatch. After 21 days a fully grown bee emerges from the honeycomb cell and immediately goes to work. Working themselves to death after around six week. Bees work at different jobs during their lifetime including working in the nursery caring for baby bees, guarding the hive, and collecting pollen and nectar from flowers. The bees put the nectar into the honeycomb cells, then fan it to dry it, and eventually cap it with bees wax. The average bee will gather less than 1 teaspoon of honey in her lifetime. At the height of the season, an average hive will contain 50,000 to 80,000 honey bees. During the winter the queen stops laying eggs, and she and a small cluster of bees huddle together to stay warm and eat the honey they stored. In the spring, the queen resumes laying eggs and the hive grows again ready to repeat the cycle during the blooming season.
Bees, and other pollinators are essential to our food supply. It is essential we encourage their survival. Today there are many risks to honey bees, including pesticides and disease. Anything we can do to help them, including keeping them local, not moving them around, and encouraging locally hardy genetics, is good for the environment, the food growers, the food eaters, and the bees!
Local Sustainable Apiculture
Hometown Hives is dedicated to encouraging local beekeepers to keep local, sustainable bees which are adapted to the local climates. In particular honey bees colonies which are winter hardy for the harsh Wisconsin winters.
Honey bees are different from other members of the bee family. They look different. Their hives are built with wax. Wasps build their nests with paper or mud. And their life’s work is different. Bees gather nectar and pollen. The honey bee is less likely to sting you because in order for it to sting it must sacrifice its own life.