Bees and Beekeeping

Beekeeping is the science of managing honey bees and promoting healthy hive conditions. Honey production involves extracting honey from honey comb and packaging the honey for human use.

4,996 Questions
Bees and Beekeeping

What happens when a beehive gets too full?

When there are too many bees to fit in an established hive, they split into two groups. One stays in the hive with a new queen, and the other ventures off into the wilderness with the old queen, in search of a new home. Those scout bees even have special dances to alert the others when they've found a suitable replacement (and show them how to find it), and they essentially choose a new home democratically, with other bees copying the dance to indicate their agreement.

Maybe we should take some cues from the bees—can you imagine if you got to your polling place and the two candidates were locked in an epic dance battle, and you had to copy their moves to cast your vote for the winner? Sounds like fun to me.

Garden Insects
Animal Behavior
Bees and Beekeeping

How does a honey bee find a plant?

Honey bees find plants by smell.

Bees and Beekeeping

Why honey comb is in hexagonal prism?

honeycomb is a mass of hexagonal 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 pounds of honey to secrete one pound of wax,[1] so it makes economic sense to return the wax to the hive after harvesting the honey, commonly called "pulling honey" or "robbing the bees" by beekeepers. 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. 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 to sweeten tea.

Broodcomb becomes dark over time, because of the cocoons 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 allowed to be used for brood (e.g. by the placement of a queen excluder) stays light coloured.

Numerous wasps, especially polistinae and vespinae, construct hexagonal prism packed combs made of paper instead of wax; and in some species (like 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.

Honeycomb geometryThe bees begin to build the comb from the top of each section. When filled with honey, the bees seal the cells with wax.

Close up of an abandoned Apis florea nest, Thailand. The hexagonal grid of wax cells on either side of the nest are slightly offset from each other. This increases the strength of the comb and reduces the amount of wax required to produce a robust structure.

The axes of honeycomb cells are always quasi-horizontal, and the non-angled rows of honeycomb cells are always horizontally (not vertically) aligned. Thus, each cell has two vertical walls, with "floors" and "ceilings" composed of two angled walls. The cells slope slightly upwards, between 9 and 14 degrees, towards the open ends.

There are two possible explanations for the reason that honeycomb is composed of hexagons, rather than any other shape. One, given by Jan Brożek, is that the hexagon tiles the plane with minimal surface area. Thus a hexagonal structure uses the least material to create a lattice of cells within a given volume. Another, given by D'Arcy Wentworth Thompson, is that the shape simply results from the process of individual bees putting cells together: somewhat analogous to the boundary shapes created in a field of soap bubbles. In support of this he notes that queen cells, which are constructed singly, are irregular and lumpy with no apparent attempt at efficiency.[2]

The closed ends of the honeycomb cells are also an example of geometric efficiency, albeit three-dimensional and little-noticed. The ends are trihedral (i.e., composed of three planes) sections of rhombic dodecahedra, with the dihedral angles of all adjacent surfaces measuring 120°, the angle that minimizes surface area for a given volume. (The angle formed by the edges at the pyramidal apex is approximately 109° 28' 16" (= 180° - arccos(1/3)).)

The three-dimensional geometry of a honeycomb cell.

The shape of the cells is such that two opposing honeycomb layers nest into each other, with each facet of the closed ends being shared by opposing cells.

Opposing layers of honeycomb cells fit together.

Honeycomb of the Giant honey bee Apis dorsata in a colony aggregation in Srirangapatnna near Bangalore

Individual cells do not, of course, show this geometric perfection: in a regular comb, there are deviations of a few percent from the "perfect" hexagonal shape. In transition zones between the larger cells of drone comb and the smaller cells of worker comb, or when the bees encounter obstacles, the shapes are often distorted.

In 1965, László Fejes Tóth discovered that the trihedral pyramidal shape (which is composed of three rhombi) used by the honeybee is not the theoretically optimal three-dimensional geometry. A cell end composed of two hexagons and two smaller rhombuses would actually be .035% (or approximately 1 part per 2850) more efficient. This difference is too minute to measure on an actual honeycomb, and irrelevant to the hive economy in terms of efficient use of wax, considering that wild comb varies considerably from any mathematical notion of "ideal" geometry

Hobbies & Collectibles
Bees and Beekeeping

When is the best time to start bee keeping?

The best time to start beekeeping is when the apple trees are in bloom in your locality. Don't buy bees late in the summer or fall unless you are prepared to give them special attention. Bee colonies started on new equipment have little chance of getting through winter if not started before June 15. The earlier the better. If a colony does not survive its first winter, try again. The second attempt frequently will be more successful.

Bees and Beekeeping

What is the group of bees called?

A swarm or a colony - a hive is the name of their home.

Wasps and Hornets
Rhetorical Questions
Bees and Beekeeping

Do bees have knees?

Bees have jointed legs, and they have femurs and tibias, but no patellas (knee caps) so can't really be said to have knees.

Slugs and Snails
Bees and Beekeeping

What is the fiercest animal on earth?

killer whale, leopard seal, but I would say the honey badger is the top fiercest animal around.

Bees and Beekeeping

How do bees pee?

the dont

Bees and Beekeeping

Why is honey bad for you?

Honey is not intrinsically bad for you.

It is a mixture of various sugars and other compounds; about 82% sugar.

It contains only trace amounts of vitamins, very little protein and no fat.

In moderation, it is not a bad thing.

It is only maligned because many people have too much sugar in their diet, already.

Bees and Beekeeping
Synonyms and Antonyms

What do you call a beekeeper?

By his name if you know it! Another word for a beekeeper is an apiarist.

Bees and Beekeeping

Is it legal to kill honey bees?

There is no laws that make it illegal to kill honey bees. However, the bees are getting endangered and they should not be killed.

Bees and Beekeeping

Does orange color attracts bees?

As long as the orange is bright!

Animal Life
Bees and Beekeeping

Do honeybees capture prey by distracting it?

Honeybees don't prey on other animals or insects - their sole diet is pollen and nectar obtained from flowers.

Bees and Beekeeping

Can a decaying bull produce bees?

No. A decaying or decomposing dead bovine can produce flies, not bees. However, a dead carcass will attract bees as well because bees need some form of protein in their diet. A carcass will produce flies like to lay eggs on decomposing carcasses so that their larvae, maggots, eat at the carcass, which help them grow into pupae which then transform into adult flies. A beehive, which is where the queen bee lives, produces bees, not a decaying dead animal.

Bees and Beekeeping

What is the feminine and masculine of bee?



Bees and Beekeeping

Where do bees make their nests?

The honey bees that we have in the UK would, in the absence of the hives humans provide, make their nests in hollow trees or buildings. In fact anywhere that they might hang some comb from would suit the bees.

Other bees burrow down into the ground, under rocks, in piles of grass or leaves - all sorts of places.

Bees and Beekeeping

Are female drone bees actually called Lez-bees?

Actually, the 'worker-bees' are 'Lez-Bees'.

Bees and Beekeeping

Do bees taste like honey?

Bees surprisingly do not taste like honey, i ate a bee one time (it was an accident) it was in ice cream, and it make the ice cream taste sweeter than it did before. but regardless, bees don't hold honey in them, so it wouldn't taste like honey

Human and Animal Interaction
Pest Control
Bees and Beekeeping

How do you rid grassy yards of honey bees?

Having a slightly smoky smell from cooking and grilling non-sweet food outdoors, mowing blades to the shortest height and relocating nectar- and pollen-rich plants to other sites not in conflict with honey bee homes and routes are ways to rid grassy yards of beneficial honey bees.

Bees and Beekeeping

What is a designated place for honeybee hives?

An apiary.

Bees and Beekeeping

Do bees have eyelashes?

no but they got eyes and antanas

Wasps and Hornets
Bees and Beekeeping

Can bumble bees sting you?

Yes, but only the females have stings. They are quite docile, though, and are not so aggressive as other bees and some wasps.

Bees and Beekeeping

Do bees have an exoskeleton or fur?

yes they have both. well kind of. they have a fuzzy fur on their front al backside and have an exoskeleton on their backside.

Garden Insects
Animal Behavior
Bees and Beekeeping

How many honeybees are in one hive?

This can vary between 10000 and 100000 depending on the time of year and size of hive.

Child Safety
Bees and Beekeeping

Is it serious if your baby has purple colored gums and why does this happen?

My first guess would be that it is normal for your child. But I personally would have it checked by a doctor or dentist anyway. Just to be safe.


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