In our last post, we talked about honeybees and swarming and provided an amazing image of a swarm inside a waste bin. The same Nottingham Pest Control Technician (Daniel Swift) has taken another amazing photograph. This time the image shows a close-up of a honeybee.
Honeybees live in hives (or colonies) and there are three types of bee to the hive. Firstly, the Queen, in fact the one queen runs the whole of the hive. The Queen’s role is to lay the eggs that will produce the hive’s next generation. In addition, the queen produces a chemical that in turn guides the behaviour of the other bee
Secondly, the workers and these are all female bees. The worker bees have the task of foraging for food, the food being pollen and nectar from flowers. They also build and protect the hive, and clean and circulate the air by beating their wings. Worker bees are the ones mainly seen when spotting a bee outside of the hive.
Thirdly, drones, and these are the male bees (as the one in the photograph) and their purpose is as mentioned to mate with the new queen. Within the hive several hundred drones will live. However, when the winter comes and the hive goes into survival mode, unfortunately the drones will be kicked out.
As the bees produce more honey than they actually need during the winter months’ for their food store. In fact, they produce in excess of double what they actually require and therefore humans get to enjoy the honey.
Should the queen die then the worker bees will automatically create a new queen. The workers do this by selecting a young larva, which is the newly hatched baby insect. They then feed it something known as “royal jelly” which is a special food and this enables it to develop into a fertile queen.
The sight of a honeybee swarm can be quite alarming when witnessed for the first time. However, the swarm is generally not dangerous and the main aim of the swarm is trying to find a new home. Most swarming will take place from April through to May and bees do not tend to swarm during rain.
The advice would always be to leave the bees alone, remember as a rule “If you leave the bees alone, they will leave you alone.”
For assistance, regarding bees or any other insects please do not hesitate to contact Nottingham Pest Control:-
Nottinghamshire 0115 9872968
Derbyshire 0845 0754866
Leicestershire 0116 2867210
National 0115 9872968