The Unbearable Lightness of Beeing

There seem to be quite a lot of bees, over 20,000 species worldwide. Bees are part of the insect genus Apis, which (surprise!) is Latin for bee. This post discusses the bees generally available in North America, which is one of the seven different species of honey bees generally recognized. Continue reading

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A Bee in the Bonnet

I thought I should record some notes on different types of beehives.  My grandfather was an avid beekeeper and used Langstroth hives, the box hives you typically see. These were designed in 1852 by Rev. Lorenzo Lorraine Langstroth after he realized that bees required a certain bee space between each frame. Bee space is the distance bees require to work between their combs, and is a critical measurement when designing a hive. Continue reading

Home is Where the Hive Is

Hive day!

Received an email from Aunt Bea’s earlier this week that they had a hive ready for me. A bit sooner than I was expecting, but took the day off to work on my future apiary, write a little, and pick up my new top bar hive. An apiary is just a fancy word for bee yard. Our yard is L-shaped, with our house at the base line.  My lovely wife agreed to a spot in the side yard where I once had a garden and is now a little overgrown, so I went out early to check it out.

Apiary View on Oct 17, 2014

Future apiary as seen from a nearby cherry tree (10/17/2014 9:00 am)

Early morning sun is recommended for beehive orientation, as is a water source, some protection from the wind and shielding from busy activity. Continue reading

The Secret Life of Bees

So just what are these social insects called honey bees?

Honey bee egg and larva in the comb

Honey bees, like all holometabolous insects, grow in four stages: egg, larva, pupa, and finally the bee.  The egg, larva, and pupa stages occur in the honeycomb, after which they become a buzzing bee. This you probably know.

You may also know there are three types of adult honey bees. Continue reading

A Bee Sees

Welcome to the Bees with eeb blog.  I keep thinking about bees, and this being October the chances of having a beehive in the immediate future is rather low.  So I figured an outlet for this obsession might be good, so I thought perhaps I should write about the experience.  Then I realized my parents had granted me the initials e-e-b, and I had a Julie & Julia moment, and here we are. Continue reading