TUTO [HOW TO FIND THE QUEEN BEE ] – THE MARVEL OF THE BEES


Hello everybody Welcome to this new serie of videos that will present you different topics as explained earlier in the introductory video The actual serie will consist in several videos in relation with the life of the bees These will represent a practical approach as we are going to meet some passionates from different locations who are keen to transfer their knowledge With them, we will try to answer specific questions like “how do the bees organize themselves in their colony being able to choose a superior being that will ensure their sustainability?” also a practical information on “how to do be breeding” , “how to harvest honey”, “how to make sure that the bees will not vanish” and so on … In part number one, we will meet someone from a small country located in the heart of Europe namely Belgium and who knows the bees very well as he has been a beekeeper for decades This is an immense privilege that we have been given by José as this represents a unique legacy that we will need to preserve for the years to come and for the new générations. As you likely were informed already by reading some newspapers or by the usual information channels, the different populations of insects including the bees have been decreasing drastically since several years already It is therefore in our interest to maintain a close relationship with nature in order to better understand its needs and to detect any alerting signal that may arise from it. And now let’s enjoy what Jose will be sharing with us in this episode and in the next episodes to come soon A “beehive” is an enclosed structure man-made in which some honeybees species live and raise their young Though the word “beehive” is commonly used to describe the nest of any bee colony, Scientific and professional literature distinguishes nest from hive. Nest is used to discuss colonies which house themselves in natural or artificial cavities or are hanging and exposed. Hive is used to describe an artificial man-made structure to house a honeybee nest The key innovation of this type of hive was the use of vertically hanging frames on which bees build their comb. The modern Langstroth hive consists of : a bottom board This has an entrance for the bees. Also several boxes containing frames for brood and honey. And the lowest box for the Queen to lay eggs and boxes above where honey is stored. Finally an inner cover and top cap providing weather protection. Named for their inventor Rev. Lorenzo Langstroth, Langstroth hives are probably the most commonly used. Langstroth patented his design in the United States on October 5th 1852 originally for comb honey production today has become the standard style hide for many of the world’s beekeepers both professional and amateurs. The bees use the cells to store food honey and pollen and to house the brood (eggs, larvae and pupae) Beehives serve several purposes : production of honey, pollination of nearby crops, housing supply base for apitherapy treatment and to try to mitigate the effects of colony collapse disorder. In their first days workers tend to the Queen bee. For the remainder of their short lives workers keep busy. There are many roles to fill such as preserving honey, feeding drones, building honeycomb, storing pollen, removing the dead, foraging for food and nectar Carrying in water, fanning the hive to maintain the proper temperature and guarding the hive against invaders like wasps Worker bees also make the decision to relocate the colony in a swarm and then rebuild the new nest Maintaining a proper temperature for the hive is crucial for the survival of the eggs and larvae The brood chamber for the bees ‘ young must remain at a steady temperature to incubate the eggs If it is too hot the workers collect water and deposit it around the hive then fan the air with their wings causing cooling by evaporation If it is too cold the worker bees cluster to generate body heat An ageing Queen – more than a year old – is something that you can deal with by replacing her after checking her egg laying before you have a problem the queen bee is the dominant adult female bee that is the mother of most if not all the bees in the hive. A future queen bee’s larvae is selected by worker bees to be nourished with a protein-rich secretion known as royal jelly so that it can sexually mature A newly hatched Queen begins her life and a duel to the death with any other Queens present in the colony and must destroy potential rivals that have not yet hatched Once she accomplishes this she takes her virgin mating flight Throughout her life, she lays eggs and secretes a pheromone that keeps all other females in the colony sterile Worker bees are female. They accomplish every chore unrelated to reproduction, which is left up to the queen bee The gentle queen bee has a stinger but it is rare for a beekeeper to be stung by a queen bee in general queen bees use their stingers only to kill rival Queens that may emerge or be introduced in the hive The Queen can live for two or more years, but replacing your queen after a couple of seasons ensures maximum productivity some beekeepers routinely replace their Queens every autumn That practice ensures that your hive has a new energetic young queen each spring You may wonder why you should replace the Queen if she’s still alive That’s an easy one as the Queen ages her egg-laying capability slows down which results in less and less brood each season Less brood means a smaller colony and a smaller colony means a lackluster honey harvest for you as a beekeeper. Your job is to anticipate problems before they happen The Queen’s two primary purposes are to produce chemical scents that help regulate the unity of the colony and to lay lots of eggs she is in fact an egg-laying machine capable of producing more than 1,500 eggs a day at 30-second intervals That many eggs are more than her body weight The other bees pay close attention to the queen tending to her every need Like a regal celebrity, she is always surrounded by a flock of attendants as she moves about the hive These royal attendants are vital because the queen is totally incapable of tending to her own basic needs She can neither feed nor groom herself She can’t even leave the behive to relieve herself and so her doting attendants – the Queen’s court – take care of her basic needs while she tirelessly goes from cell to cell doing what she does best e.g. laying eggs Whether you’re a hobbyist with two hives or a commercial bee farmer with 100 hives, being a beekeeper working with bees has the ability to be extremely calming almost magical It can feel rather meditative melting away any day-to-day stresses that you might have in your life This connection with nature is the best part about beekeeping. In fact more and more studies are revealing the benefits of the natural world on our mental health There’s also the sense of achievement you get from nurturing a small colony into a strong productive hive. You have to learn to work in tandem with the seasons and the bees becoming attuned to both their cycles The main beekeeping season occurs during the fair weather months of April September leading time to reflect rest and plan for the season ahead during autumn and winter Last but not least there’s the satisfaction of producing your own, honey

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