10 bee questions answered

bumblebee gathering pollen

1. How long does a honeybee live? How long does a queen live? A worker bee typically lives six weeks during the summer, and during that time it has a variety of different jobs — nurse, undertaker, architect, cleaner, attendant, guard, forager. (Read more about worker bee jobs here.) However, worker bees that live in Read More »

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The amazing blue orchard mason bee

blue orchard mason bee

Do you love fruit? Then you love the blue orchard mason bee. Blue orchard mason bees (Osmia lignaria) are part of a family of bees that are solitary — meaning they live and breed individually instead of socially in a hive, like honeybees — and use clay to make partitions to their nests and to Read More »

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Bees see in UV

bee eye

Bees see the world much differently than humans. It’s not just because they are small but because they see different colors. On the color scale, humans can see the colors of the rainbow — red, orange, yellow, green, blue and violet. On one end, there is infrared, which humans can’t see, and on the other Read More »

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What’s happening in the hive? Varroa mites

bees with varroa mites

Bees have so many issues to deal with. There’s a lack of nectar and pollen sources as wildflower populations diminish. Pesticides like neonictinoids are harming their nervous systems (read about that here). There’s unexplained colony collapse disorder. And then there are varroa mites. So many invasive species have caused catastrophic effects on different parts of Read More »

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Foods we wouldn’t have without pollinators

Graphic that says cardamom, cashews, cherries, chocolate, coconuts, coffee, coriander, cranberries

What if you couldn’t have any almonds or cashews in that nut mix you love to snack on? What if you couldn’t eat sesame chicken because sesame didn’t exist anymore? What if bananas, blueberries and tomatoes weren’t on the shelves anymore? One in three bites of food that we take is due to pollinators, and Read More »

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Native bees: These bees plastic-wrap their brood cells

colletes validus

Do you love blueberries? Then you should love the genus Colletes of native bees! These are one of several types of native bees that collect pollen from both highbush and lowbush blueberry flowers. Colletes validus has an elongated, narrow head that helps it fit into the tight flower opening where it eats nectar and collects pollen that will be transferred Read More »

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Native bees: Mason bees are fantastic pollinators

blue mason bee

Mason bee (Osmia lignaria) Mason bees might be the best pollinators of all bees. Instead of wetting pollen and putting it in pollen sacs like honeybees, mason bees are covered in hair that collects pollen as they move around, searching for nectar. They can certainly carry a lot of pollen and significant pollinators for apple, cherry Read More »

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How honeybees survive the winter

bee box

The numbers of bees in the indoor beehive have gone down. But that’s pretty normal this time of year. It just means that our bees have entered winter mode and are getting ready to survive cold weather. Baby, it’s cold outside. As the weather cools down, a honeybee hive starts to change. One of the Read More »

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