Friday, April 27, 2012
The 23rd Annual Spring Garden Show presents Backyard Bees & The Art of Beekeeping at a seminar in the South Coast Plaza mall. Janet Andrews and Kelly Yrarrazaval have been rescuing bees and relocating them since 2007. In recent years, the honeybee population has been declining, alerting Janet and Kelly that something needs to be done in order to make a difference and save the honeybee population from extinction.They explain the life of bees, honeybee colonies, and the importance of their existence in society.
Bees don’t want to sting anyone because they die when they sting. They are very independent, feeding themselves and taking care of themselves as they laboriously work in the garden pollinating plants as well as making honey inside their beehive. The queen bee lays 300 eggs per day during the summertime. She doesn’t make the decisions in the hive. Rather, the working bees do all the work for the queen. She grows to the size of a wasp. The drones come out in the spring, seeking a beehive during mating season in order to mate with the queen. The drones don’t sting. The bees kill Japanese beetles, and they even handle mites in their beehive. There isn’t any need for pesticide to rid ants and mites problem around a beehive. Inside a beehive, there is “good bacteria,” which is used to ferment pollen. And, pollen tends to have high protein for the bees. The queen feeds her babies with this pollen.
Beehives last between six to seven years, at a spot. As the honeycomb gets dirty and old, it doesn’t work well anymore. If this honeycomb was built in a tree, then the honeybees will smell and detect the dirtiness, leave, clean it, and then return to continue working in the beehive. I found it interesting that bees tend to have their own rituals in the colony to mate and make honey. Feral bees are good to keep in your backyard. But Africanized Queen bees aren’t good to keep because they are more aggressive, often attacking and stinging people and pets, which sometimes require medical attention due to the severity of the swelling. Bees tend to thrive better in urban areas rather than farmlands.