Bee Magic Honey
Bee Magic Honey

THe Bee Journal Blog

Barb after shaking off the bee beard (12 stings)

This blog is about Barb's adventures and misadventures as a hobby beekeeper.   She started with two hives in 2009 and Dad, Lorne, joined to help in the hobby when Barb had a fateful fall and broke her arm two weeks before getting her first hives.


They've experienced both successful years and difficult ones working alongside the hardest working and most amazing insect in the world.  Every visit to the bee yard there's a new lesson to learn.

Bee Magic Chronicles for Kids
If anyone is interested in learning how to make mead (honey wine) here are some resources: What are the Basics? Mead is the oldest alcoholic drink known to man. When honey has water added, or if it hasn’t been fully cured, it will ferment. To make mead you basically add water to honey and yeast. Then you add an airlock, or a balloon, remember MASH when Hawkeye would use a surgeons glove? That prevents air coming into the container. The mead ferments for about a month and then your “rack” which is siphoning it into a clean container. The dross is the yeast or any fruit you may have added for flavouring and that gets thrown away. It gets racked a second time a few weeks later and then it’s ready for bottling. Facebook groups: They are very friendly and very helpful and many really know their stuff Meadmakers: Homemade Wine Making Fruit Wine & Mead Making Books: The Complete Mead Maker
Bee Magic Chronicles for Kids
How bees talk to each other about flowers. Fun Fact: A small percentage of older bees will act as scouts and search for new flowers. When she finds a good source of nectar or pollen she'll return to the hive and inform her hive mates where the source is by doing the Waggle Dance to recruit foragers to go and collect this food. At the hive there will always be a reserve of forager bees that are waiting for this call to duty. Some people have said their bees are lazy because they're sitting around doing nothing but that's not the case. They're waiting for the scouts to come back and dance. For food sources farther away, the scouts use the sun as a compass and they will do the Waggle Dance. The dance floor is actually chemically signposted by the bees. She stands on the comb and shakes her body side to side at a rate of about 15 times a second. Then she does a Waggle Run in a circle back to the point where she started waggling, She repeats the waggle phase and again runs a full circle, but this time in the opposite direction to the starting point. The two paths together approximate a figure eight lying on it's side. For feeding sites that are close by within 50 to 70 m the bees will perform a Round Dance. This dance reveals only some info--mostly about where to look and that it's close by. Source: The Buzz about Bees and Dr Tom Seeley UTube videos Note that the author Jurgen Tautz states that there are many more forms of communications that are unknown as yet. Originally the waggle dancing was discovered by an Austrian biologist Karl Von Frisch in the 1940s.  Here is a video where they have recreated his experiment to learn how the bees communicate through the dances.
Bee Magic Chronicles for Kids
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Fun Fact: Bees have pockets. Bees produce beeswax from their own bodies. On the underside of their abdomen are four pairs of wax glands. Under the wax glands are tiny pockets which hold the wax scales as they are being made. When a wax scale is ready for use, the bee takes it out of the pocket by spiking it on the strong hairs of her back legs, and then passes it to the jaws. There it is chewed, and other materials may be mixed with the wax. When it is soft, the worker puts it into place on the comb being built. Source: Life of the Honey-bee - A Ladybird Natural History Book

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