“Bees are fascinating creatures,” said naturalist Ashley Hansen. “When people visit our beehive, I think they’re blown away that they can create what they create.”
Honeybees are complex creatures, and Hansen will talk about the inner-workings of a honeybee hive during the final program in the Pollinator Spring Lecture Series 5:30 p.m. Thursday, March 28, at the Dickinson County Nature Center in Okoboji.
“When we talk about pollinators, one of the first things we think of is bees. It’s fascinating to learn how they work in their hives,” Hansen said. “Their populations are dwindling. We could help their populations increase if we better understand how they function as a species.”
The 45-minute adult program will discuss the three different bees inside a honeybee hive. Learn how a queen bee develops, what sets her apart from the worker bees and her role in the hive. Hansen will also talk about drones, what job these male bees have and why there are only a couple of hundred drones in a hive compared to more than 50,000 worker bees.
Finally, Hansen will teach people about worker bees and the six different jobs they have in their short, six-week lifespan. You might see a worker bee carrying what appears to be a dead bee, and that is an undertaker bee cleaning out the hive to help prevent any spread of disease. You might see a link of bees hanging head to rump as they measure out space or make blueprints for future honeycomb — those are architect bees.
“Everything they do has a purpose,” Hansen said.
A worker bee’s final job is foraging for pollen and nectar, and most die while foraging because their wings give out.
“Most don’t die in the hive,” Hansen said.
Visitors to the Dickinson County Nature Center have many questions about how honeybee hives work, and Hansen will be able to answer many of those and will make time for questions following the presentation as well.
For more information on pollinators, explore a variety of blog posts about honeybees, native bees, butterflies and more. You can also find the full 2019 programming schedule here, or keep up on the latest happenings on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.