Giving Bees a Chance

It's hard to miss our Honey Bee House when visiting the rescue. The bright colors on the side of the building always seem to catch visitor's eyes, but most of them have no idea that inside are millions of honey bees. 


Our climate and humidity controlled Honey Bee House is one of a kind. The 8x10 building has the capacity to house 16 individual hives. Each hive box utilizes a slide out design so that they can be accessed from outside. We have integrated a custom feeding system inside the building for use over the winter months and inspection windows so there is no need to disturb the bees. 


Why do we have a Honey Bee House at a parrot rescue? It's a question we are often asked and our response is always, "Why not?" 


It is widely known that the number of honey bees is on the decline and the majority of hive losses occur over the winter months. Our Honey Bee House was created to study the effects of climate on honey bees in a controlled environment, but we also saw a greater need due to other contributing factors of hive loss - Varroa mites, pesticide usage and commercial exploitation. 


Although they are not listed on the endangered list, it is generally believed that the honey bee will soon become extinct. Honey bees are vital for stable, healthy food supplies. To put it simply - we need bees and it is our duty to make sure that they thrive, not just survive. 


Our Honey Bee House is maintained by volunteer and beekeeper, DJ. 

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Honey Bee Facts

The Honey Bee

The Honey Bee

The Honey Bee

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  •  There are seven species of honey bees that are further divided in 44 subspecies.
  • The honey bee is the only insect that produces food eaten by man.
  • Ounce for ounce, honey bee venom is more deadly than cobra venom.
  • In a recent study published in the journal Science Advances, honey bees are capable of understanding complex arithmetic.
  • Honey bees communicate with one another by dancing.

The Hive

The Honey Bee

The Honey Bee

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  • A hive is a highly organized society composed of worker bees, drones and queen. 
  • Each hive has a unique odor for members' identification.
  • A colony of bees consists of 20,000-60,000 honeybees and one queen.
  • Hives produce 5 distinct substances: honey, beeswax, propolis, pollen, and royal jelly.
  • A single hive can produce anywhere from 60 to 100 pounds of honey every year.

The Queen

The Honey Bee

Worker Bees

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  • The queen bee can live up to 5 years and it's role is to fill the hive with eggs.
  • The queen can lay up to 2500 eggs per day.
  • The queen has control over whether she lays male or female eggs.
  • If the queen uses stored sperm to fertilize the egg, the larva that hatches is female. If the egg is left unfertilized, the larva that hatches is male.
  • Queens have a stinger, but they don't leave the hive to help defend it.

Worker Bees

Worker Bees

Worker Bees

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  • Worker bees are the most numerous members of the hive.
  • In winter, worker bees take short “cleansing flights” in order to defecate and remove debris from the hive.
  • A worker bee visits 50 to 100 flowers during a collection trip. 
  • The average worker bee produces only about 1/12th teaspoon of honey in her lifetime.
  • Only worker bees sting, but only if they feel threatened and die once they sting.

Drones

Worker Bees

Drones

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  • Drones are larger than worker bees, with bigger eyes and a thicker abdomen.
  • Drones are born from unfertilized eggs.
  • Drones have no stinger and do no work at all.
  • The sole purpose of the drone is to mate with the queen.
  • Drones die immediately after mating with the queen.
  • Before winter or when food becomes scarce, female honeybees will force drones out of the hive.

Honey

Worker Bees

Drones

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  • Honey is the only food that includes all the substances necessary to sustain life.
  • In order to make a pound of honey, a hive of bees must fly 55,000 miles.
  • The darker the honey, the greater amount of antioxidant properties it has.
  • For every pound of honey produced, a hive must collect 10 pounds of pollen.
  • In the United States, more than 300 different kinds of honey are produced every year.