(HOI) — Since the 1990s, beekeepers around the world have seen a decline in the honey bee population.
There are clubs around the heart of Illinois who are trying their best to help them repopulate.
At Pheasant Ridge Farms, we learned about beekeeping 101.
The bees we handled are honey bees. The worker bees are all female and live for roughly six weeks and do all of the work inside the hive. Male bees, also known as drones, have no stinger and have only one job — mating.
So, how is honey produced?
“That is a great question,” said Tom. “So, what’s going on is, these workers, or foragers, which are the older bees — at the end of their life cycle, their job is to forage and protect the hive. They will go out and collect the nectar from the flowers and put it back into the comb. The other workers will come here and wave their wings at it to evaporate the moisture, so when the moisture content is more than 18 percent, they will make was on the back of their abdomen and cap this over.”
- Step one, we are gong to make sure that these worker bees are feeding the queen. You can see that they are because their little red tongues are sticking out and they are dipping down in there where the queen is.
- Step two, we have to make sure that we can scrape these bees off. The reason for doing that is to know they will not kill her when we let her out.
- Step three, we are going to release the hatch and the queen will walk into her new hive.
The queen bee can live up to five years and is the only bee that lays eggs.
Beekeeping is very important, because when you consume your food, one out of every three bites that you take are produced by a honey bee.