Bees


Bees are flying insects closely related to wasps and ants, known for their role in pollination and, in the case of the best-known bee species, the European Honey Bee, for producing honey and beeswax. Bees are any of numerous hairy-bodied insects including social and solitary species. Bee Deaths.

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Bee Pollinator is an animal that moves pollen from the male anther of a flower to the female stigma of a flower. This helps to bring about fertilization of the ovules in the flower by the male gametes from the pollen grains. Insect pollinators include bees, (honey bees, solitary species, bumblebees); pollen wasps (Masarinae); ants; flies including bee flies and hoverflies; lepidopterans, both butterflies and moths; and flower beetles. Vertebrates, mainly bats and birds, but also some non-bat mammals (monkeys, lemurs, possums, rodents) and some lizards pollinate certain plants. Among the pollinating birds are hummingbirds, honeyeaters and sunbirds with long beaks; they pollinate a number of deep-throated flowers. Cycads, which are not flowering plants, are also pollinated by insects. A pollinator is different from a pollenizer, a plant that is a source of pollen for the pollination process.

Pollen is a fine to coarse powdery substance comprising pollen grains which are male microgametophytes of seed plants, which produce male gametes (sperm cells). Pollen grains have a hard coat made of sporopollenin that protects the gametophytes during the process of their movement from the stamens to the pistil of flowering plants or from the male cone to the female cone of coniferous plants. If pollen lands on a compatible pistil or female cone, it germinates, producing a pollen tube that transfers the sperm to the ovule containing the female gametophyte. Individual pollen grains are small enough to require magnification to see detail. The study of pollen is called palynology and is highly useful in paleoecology, paleontology, archaeology, and forensics. Pollen in plants is used for transferring haploid male genetic material from the anther of a single flower to the stigma of another in cross-pollination. In a case of self-pollination, this process takes place from the anther of a flower to the stigma of the same flower.

Pollination is the process by which pollen is transferred to the female reproductive organs of a plant, thereby enabling fertilization to take place. Like all living organisms, seed plants have a single major goal: to pass their genetic information on to the next generation. The reproductive unit is the seed, and pollination is an essential step in the production of Seeds in all spermatophytes (Seed Plants or Spermatophyte comprise those plants that produce seeds, hence the alternative name seed plants. They are a subset of the embryophytes or land plants. Plant Breeding - Pruning - Grafting - Propagation.

Cross-Pollination is pollination of a flower or plant with pollen from another flower or plant.

Open Pollination refers to a variety of concepts in the context of the sexual reproduction of plants. Generally speaking, the term refers to plants pollinated naturally by birds, insects, wind, or human. Open pollinated generally refers to seeds that will "breed true". When the plants of an open-pollinated variety self-pollinate, or are pollinated by another representative of the same variety, the resulting seeds will produce plants roughly identical to their parents.

Hand Pollination is a technique used when natural, or open pollination is insufficient or undesirable. The most common techniques are for crops such as cucurbits, which may exhibit poor pollination by fruit abortion, fruit deformity or poor maturation. Hand-pollination is an option only on a small scale, but is a common technique by home and small market gardeners, involving the transfer of pollen with an artist's brush or cotton swab from male to female flowers. Sometimes the corolla is removed from male flowers and the flower itself is brushed against the stigmas of female flowers. The principal reasons for hand pollination include a paucity of natural pollinators, avoiding cross-pollination between varieties grown together or, conversely, in the controlled production of hybrids.

Mini drones sporting horsehair coated in a sticky gel could one day take the pressure off beleaguered bee populations by transporting pollen from plant to plant, researchers said. Roughly three-quarters of the world's flowering plants and about 35 percent of the world's food crops depend on animals to pollinate them, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Some of nature's most prolific pollinators are bees, but bee populations are declining around the world, and last month, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service listed a native species as endangered for the first time.

Tiny Robots to move and think like insects (cornell)

List of Crop Plants Pollinated by Bees (wiki)

A new study finds pollinators help increase yields on smallholder farms by nearly a quarter who grow food on plots of five or so acres.

The annual value of global crops directly affected by pollinators" ranges from $235 billion to $577 billion.

Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES)

Pollinator - Honey

Bee Keeper Beekeeper is a person who keeps honey bees and practices beekeeping. Honey bees produce commodities such as honey, beeswax, pollen, propolis, and royal jelly, while some beekeepers also raise queens and bees to sell to other farmers and to satisfy scientific curiosity. Beekeepers also use honeybees to provide pollination services to fruit and vegetable growers. Many people keep bees as a hobby. Others do it for income either as a sideline to other work or as a commercial operator. These factors affect the number of colonies maintained by the beekeeper. Backyard Beekeepers.

International Pollinators Initiative

Bee Culture - The ABC Xyz Bee Culture (amazon)

Mason Bee - Bee Source

Bee Removal Service

Bee Sting is a wound caused by the stinger from a female bee (honey bee, bumblebee, sweat bee, etc.) being injected into one's flesh. The stings of most of these species can be quite painful, and are therefore keenly avoided by most people. Bee stings differ from insect bites, and the venom or toxin of stinging insects is quite different. Therefore, the body's reaction to a bee sting may differ significantly from one species to another. In particular, bee stings are acidic, whereas wasp stings are alkaline, so the body's reaction to a bee sting may be very different from its reaction to a wasp sting. The most aggressive stinging insects are vespid wasps (including bald-faced hornets and other yellowjackets) and hornets (especially the Asian giant hornet). All of these insects aggressively defend their nests. Although for most people a bee sting is painful but otherwise relatively harmless, in people with insect sting allergy, stings may trigger a dangerous anaphylactic reaction that is potentially deadly. Additionally, honey bee stings release pheromones that prompt other nearby bees to attack.


Bee Keeper Tools


Apidictor is an instrument which measures and records the sound in a beehive. The instrument records the aggregate sound made by the buzzing of the bees' wings. They were thought[by whom?] to be useful for predicting when a colony is preparing to swarm.

Bee Smoker is a device used in beekeeping to calm honey bees. It is designed to generate smoke from the smouldering of various fuels, hence the name.

Cloake Board is a special piece of equipment used in beekeeping to facilitate raising queen bees. Invented by Harry Cloake, the cloake board, or floor without a floor, consists of a queen excluder mounted to a wooden frame. The wooden frame contains a slot which allows a "temporary" floor (solid divider) to be inserted.

Hive Frame is a structural element in a beehive that holds the honeycomb or brood comb within the hive enclosure or box. The hive frame is a key part of the modern movable-comb hive. It can be removed in order to inspect the bees for disease or to extract the excess honey.

Honey Extractor is a mechanical device used in the extraction of honey from honeycombs. A honey extractor extracts the honey from the honey comb without destroying the comb. Extractors work by centrifugal force. A drum or container holds a frame basket which spins, flinging the honey out. With this method the wax comb stays intact within the frame and can be reused by the bees. Bees cover the filled in cells with wax cap that must be removed (cut by knife, etc.) before centrifugation.

Honey Super is a part of a commercial or other managed (such as by a hobbyist) beehive that is used to collect honey. The most common variety is the "Illinois" or "medium" super with a depth of 6​5⁄8 inches, in the length and width dimensions of a Langstroth hive.

Jenter kit is a piece of equipment used by beekeepers to raise large numbers of queen honeybees. Rival techniques for rearing queen bees generally require grafting the honeybee larvae by hand. As such, the development of this kit by Karl Jenter is a significantly useful tool to assist in beekeeping.

Queen Excluder is a selective barrier inside the beehive that allows worker bees but not the larger queens and drones to traverse the barrier. Queen excluders are also used with some queen breeding methods. Some beekeepers[who?] believe that excluders lead to less efficient hives.

Refractometer measures the extent of light refraction (as part of a refractive index) of transparent substances in either a liquid or solid state; this is then used in order to identify a liquid sample, analyse the sample's purity and determine the amount or concentration of dissolved substances within the sample. As light passes through the liquid from the air it will slow down and create a ‘bending’ illusion, the severity of the ‘bend’ will depend on the amount of substance dissolved in the liquid. For example, the amount of sugar in a glass of water. A laboratory or field device for the measurement of an index of refraction or refractometry.

Texas Bee Works is beekeeping company based in Austin, Texas with a mission to preserve, protect, and increase honeybee populations across the Lone Star State by helping bees and beekeepers thrive. Founded by Erika Thompson on the principle of putting hives before honey, Texas Beeworks supports the health and wellness of honeybees by offering beekeeping classes, private lessons, beekeeping services for ag exemption purposes, mentorships, and more.


Bee Deaths - Bee Decline


U.S Beekeepers lost 44 percent of their total colonies from April 2015 to March 2016. Insects pollinate 75 percent of the fruits managed honey bee colonies has plummeted from 5 million in the 1940s to about 2.66 million today. Honey bee colonies down by 16 percent in the winter of 2017-18 across 38 countries. The survey of 25,363 beekeepers in 36 countries found that, out of 544,879 colonies being managed at the start of winter, 89124 were lost, through a combination of circumstances including various effects of weather conditions, unsolvable problems with a colony's queen, and natural disaster.

Pesticides and Bees - Common Pesticide Damages Honey Bee’s Ability to Fly

Marla Spivak: Bees Disappearing (video)

Neonicotinoid are a class of neuro-active insecticides chemically similar to nicotine. The neonicotinoid family includes acetamiprid, clothianidin, imidacloprid, nitenpyram, nithiazine, thiacloprid and thiamethoxam. Imidacloprid is the most widely used insecticide in the world. Compared to organophosphate and carbamate insecticides, neonicotinoids cause less toxicity in birds and mammals than insects. Some breakdown products are also toxic to insects. Neonicotinoid use has been linked in a range of studies to adverse ecological effects, including Honey-bee colony collapse disorder (CCD) and loss of birds due to a reduction in insect populations. Some scientific findings regarding the harm caused to bees by neonics have been conflicting and controversial. This is partly because bees exposed to normal levels of neonicotinoids do not immediately die. Some sources have proposed that neonictinoids reduce a bee colony's ability to survive the winter. Most academic and governmental bodies agree that neonicotinoids have had a negative influence on bee populations. In 2013, the European Union and a few neighbouring countries restricted the use of certain neonicotinoids; in 2018, the EU banned the three main neonicotinoids (clothianidin, imidacloprid and thiamethoxam) for all outdoor uses. Several states in the United States have also restricted usage of neonicotinoids out of concern for pollinators and bees. The 6th Extinction.

An assessment of acute insecticide toxicity loading (AITL) of chemical pesticides used on agricultural land in the United States.

Vanishing Bees - Pesticides (body burden)

Varroa destructor is an external parasitic mite that attacks the honey bees Apis cerana and Apis mellifera. The disease caused by the mites is called varroosis.

National Map of Bee Populations

Stealing Bees - Bee Informed - Bee Informed Partnership

Thomas D. Seeley Biologist

Bee declines driven by combined stress from parasites, pesticides, and lack of flowers

High Number of Pesticides Within Colonies Linked to Honey Bee Deaths, Some compounds commonly regarded as “bee-safe” could be a major contributor to honey bee colony losses in North America.

For about a decade, Bees been dying off at an unprecedented rate—up to 30 percent per year, with a total loss of domesticated honeybee hives in the United States worth an estimated $2 billion. Climate change killing bumblebees.

What's killing bees New clue emerges, winter die off (youtube)

Serratia Marcescens is a species of rod-shaped Gram negative bacterium in the family Enterobacteriaceae. A human pathogen, S. marcescens is involved in hospital-acquired infections (HAIs), particularly catheter-associated bacteremia, urinary tract infections and wound infections, and is responsible for 1.4% of HAI cases in the United States.

Winter Cluster - Winter Die Off

Do a bumblebee's hairs talk to the flowers?

It turns out that one of the key functions played by the blanket of hairs on a bumblebee's body could be to detect electric signals emitted by flowers.

Interesting Bee Facts. Bees have a positive charge and flowering plants have a negative charge. Bees wings flap 230 times a second which creates air vortices that creates lift. Bees navigate using magnetism. Bees can travel several miles from their hives to get food, or nectar. Bees keep the hive a constant temperature using their body heat. One gallon of honey gives a bee enough energy to fly 2 million miles. Some bees can fly as fast as 45 mph.

This Vibrating Bumblebee Unlocks a Flower's Hidden Treasure | Deep Look (youtube)

Nectar is a sugar-rich liquid produced by plants in glands called nectaries, either within the flowers with which it attracts pollinating animals, or by extrafloral nectaries, which provide a nutrient source to animal mutualists, which in turn provide antiherbivore protection. Common nectar-consuming pollinators include mosquitoes, hoverflies, wasps, bees, butterflies and moths, hummingbirds, and bats. Nectar plays an important role in the foraging economics and overall evolution of nectar-eating species; for example, nectar and its properties are responsible for the differential evolution of the African honey bee, A. m. scutellata and the western honey bee. Nectar is an ecologically important item, the sugar source for honey. It is also useful in agriculture and horticulture because the adult stages of some predatory insects feed on nectar. For example, the social wasp species Apoica flavissima relies on nectar as a primary food source. In turn, these wasps then hunt agricultural pest insects as food for their young. For example, thread-waisted wasps (genus Ammophila) are known for hunting caterpillars that are destructive to crops. Caterpillars however, do eventually become butterflies and moths, which are very important pollinators. Nectar secretion increases as the flower is visited by pollinators. After pollination, the nectar is frequently reabsorbed into the plant.


Honey


Honey Cones Honey is a sugary food substance produced and stored by certain social hymenopteran insects. It is produced from the sugary secretions of plants or insects, such as floral nectar or aphid honeydew, through regurgitation, enzymatic activity, and water evaporation. The variety of honey produced by honey bees (the genus Apis) is the most well-known, due to its worldwide commercial production and human consumption. Honey gets its sweetness from the monosaccharides fructose and glucose, and has about the same relative sweetness as granulated sugar. It has attractive chemical properties for baking and a distinctive flavor that leads some people to prefer it to sugar and other sweeteners. Most microorganisms do not grow in honey, so sealed honey does not spoil, even after thousands of years. However, honey sometimes contains dormant endospores of the bacterium Clostridium botulinum, which can be dangerous to babies, as it may result in botulism. People who have a weakened immune system should not eat honey because of the risk of bacterial or fungal infection. Although some evidence indicates honey may be effective in treating diseases and other medical conditions, such as wounds and burns, the overall evidence for its use in therapy is not conclusive. Providing 64 calories in a typical serving of one tablespoon (15 ml) equivalent to 1272 kj per 100 g, honey has no significant nutritional value. Honey is generally safe, but may have various, potential adverse effects or interactions with excessive consumption, existing disease conditions, or drugs. Honey use and production have a long and varied history as an ancient activity, depicted in Valencia, Spain by a cave painting of humans foraging for honey at least 8,000 years ago.

Honey Bee is any bee member of the genus Apis, primarily distinguished by the production and storage of honey and the construction of perennial, colonial nests from wax. Currently, only seven species of honey bee are recognized, with a total of 44 subspecies, though historically, from six to eleven species have been recognized. The best known honey bee is the Western honey bee which has been domesticated for honey production and crop pollination. Honey bees represent only a small fraction of the roughly 20,000 known species of bees. Some other types of related bees produce and store honey, including the stingless honey bees, but only members of the genus Apis are true honey bees. The study of bees including honey bees is known as melittology. Western Honey Bee (wiki).

Blue Honey Honeycomb is a mass of hexagonal prismatic wax cells built by honey bees in their nests to contain their larvae and stores of honey and pollen. Beekeepers may remove the entire honeycomb to harvest honey. Honey bees consume about 8.4 lb (3.8 kg) of honey to secrete 1 lb (454 g) of wax, so it makes economic sense to return the wax to the hive after harvesting the honey. The structure of the comb may be left basically intact when honey is extracted from it by uncapping and spinning in a centrifugal machine—the honey extractor. If the honeycomb is too worn out, the wax can be reused in a number of ways, including making sheets of comb foundation with hexagonal pattern. Such foundation sheets allow the bees to build the comb with less effort, and the hexagonal pattern of worker-sized cell bases discourages the bees from building the larger drone cells. Fresh, new comb is sometimes sold and used intact as comb honey, especially if the honey is being spread on bread rather than used in cooking or as a sweetener. Broodcomb becomes dark over time, because of cocoons and shed larval skins embedded in the cells, and the tracking of many feet, called travel stain by beekeepers when seen on frames of comb honey. Honeycomb in the "supers" that are not used for brood (e.g. by the placement of a queen excluder) stays light-colored. Numerous wasps, especially Polistinae and Vespinae, construct hexagonal prism-packed combs made of paper instead of wax; in some species (such as Brachygastra mellifica), honey is stored in the nest, thus technically forming a paper honeycomb. However, the term "honeycomb" is not often used for such structures. Photo on right is from Bees producing blue honey when collecting sugars from the dumpster of an M&M factory.

Beeswax is a natural wax produced by honey bees of the genus Apis. The wax is formed into "scales" by eight wax-producing glands in the abdominal segments of worker bees, who discard it in or at the hive. The hive workers collect and use it to form cells for honey-storage and larval and pupal protection within the beehive. Chemically, beeswax consists mainly of esters of fatty acids and various long-chain alcohols.

Flow Hive: Honey on tap directly from your Beehive

We got a Beehive Honey tap at work. It's super cool (youtube)

Propolis is a resinous mixture that honey bees produce by mixing saliva and beeswax with exudate gathered from tree buds, sap flows, or other botanical sources. It is used as a sealant for unwanted open spaces in the hive. Propolis is used for small gaps (approximately 6 millimeters (0.24 in) or less), while larger spaces are usually filled with beeswax. Its color varies depending on its botanical source, the most common being dark brown. Propolis is sticky at and above room temperature, 20 °C (68 °F). At lower temperatures, it becomes hard and very brittle.

Hallucinogen Honey Nepal Mad Honey (youtube)

Monofloral Honey is a type of honey which has a distinctive flavor or other attribute due to its being predominantly from the nectar of one plant species. It is stored and labeled separately so as to command a premium price. While there may never be an absolute monofloral type, some honeys are relatively pure due to the prodigious nectar production of a particular species, such as citrus (Orange blossom honey), or there may be little else in bloom at the time. Beekeepers learn the predominant nectar sources of their region, and often plan harvests to keep especially fine ones separate. For example, in the southern Appalachians, sourwood honey, from a small tree that blooms late in the season, is highly regarded. Beekeepers try to remove the previously produced dark and strong flavored tulip poplar honey, just before the sourwood bloom, so it doesn't mix with the lighter sourwood. During sourwood bloom, there is little else for the bees to forage.

Mānuka Honey is a monofloral honey produced in Australia and New Zealand from the nectar of the mānuka tree. The honey is commonly sold as an alternative medicine. The Higher K-Factor relates to a higher percentage of Manuka pollen grains.

Leptospermum scoparium or mānuka, is a species of flowering plant in the myrtle family Myrtaceae, native to Australia and New Zealand. Grows into a moderately sized tree, up to 15 m (49 ft) or so in height. It is evergreen, with dense branching and small leaves 7–20 mm long and 2–6 mm broad, with a short spine tip. The flowers are white, occasionally pink, 8–15 mm (rarely up to 25 mm) in diameter, with five petals. The wood was often used for tool handles. Mānuka sawdust imparts a delicious flavour when used for smoking meats and fish.


Honey Fights Bacteria


Honey: its Medicinal property and Antibacterial Activity. Indeed, medicinal importance of honey has been documented in the world's oldest medical literatures, and since the ancient times, it has been known to possess antimicrobial property as well as wound-healing activity. The healing property of honey is due to the fact that it offers antibacterial activity, maintains a moist wound condition, and its high viscosity helps to provide a protective barrier to prevent infection. Its immunomodulatory property is relevant to wound repair too. The antimicrobial activity in most honeys is due to the enzymatic production of hydrogen peroxide. However, another kind of honey, called non-peroxide honey (viz., manuka honey), displays significant antibacterial effects even when the hydrogen peroxide activity is blocked. Its mechanism may be related to the low pH level of honey and its high sugar content (high osmolarity) that is enough to hinder the growth of microbes. The medical grade honeys have potent in vitro bactericidal activity against antibiotic-resistant bacteria causing several life-threatening infections to humans. But, there is a large variation in the antimicrobial activity of some natural honeys, which is due to spatial and temporal variation in sources of nectar. Thus, identification and characterization of the active principle(s) may provide valuable information on the quality and possible therapeutic potential of honeys (against several health disorders of humans), and hence we discussed the medicinal property of honeys with emphasis on their antibacterial activities. Honey is also only 17% water, which sucks the water out of bacteria and kills it. Bees also have a antibiotic chemical that is transmitted to the honey.

Bacteria from Bees possible alternative to Antibiotics. Thirteen lactic acid bacteria found in the honey stomach of bees have shown promising results in a series of studies. The group of bacteria counteracted antibiotic-resistant MRSA in lab experiments. The bacteria, mixed into honey, has healed horses with persistent wounds. The formula has previously been shown to protect against bee colony collapse.




A Taste of Honey is Worse than none at All, I don't think so. I would rather have a taste of honey than always wondering what honey would have tasted like. Saying that once you have a taste of honey you would always want more, and that desire would
torment you
, but only if you let it. Missing something doesn't have to be bad. Just because you don't have something anymore, this doesn't mean that you should cry about it the rest of your life. I will always remember honey and I would like to have some more honey someday again, but there's so many other things in life to enjoy, so I would rather enjoy all the other things and not worry about the things that I don't have anymore. And if honey did come back, I would definitely not mind having another taste of sweet sweet honey. But only as long as I can still control myself and not let the honey turn into an obsession, because that would be a waste of good honey.

I Second That Emotion - Smokey Robinson (youtube)



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