What’s the buzz?
Spring, my friends, has finally taken hold. Warmer sunny days are bringing forth wondrous rebirth and we are enjoying the fresh breezes of spring. Flowers are blooming, trees are budding, and bees are buzzing.
Honeybees depend on those blooming spring flowers. They’ve been dormant inside their hives since last autumn’s leaves fell. Spring is when the colonies multiply and take advantage of the abundance our growing season provides. To do that, they need food, and the nectar and pollen from flowers are what they eat. Honey is classified by the main source of nectar, such as alfalfa, buckwheat, clover, or lavender. If there are several varieties of flower nectar in the honey then it’s usually light in colour with a mild, sweet taste. Farmers need bees to pollenate many different crops, such as fruit and nut trees, berries, vegetables, and even some kinds of coffee!
When you notice bees in your spring garden, be happy! They’re just out for a quick bite to eat. Do you like almonds? Thank a honeybee. Do you like apples, cherries, or blueberries? Honeybees are essential for these sweet treats. How about broccoli, cauliflower, squash, peppers, or cucumber? Thank a honeybee! They’re responsible for one out of every three bites you eat!
Honeybee Fun Facts:
1. Only female bees gather nectar for the colony.
2. It takes one colony of bees (30,000 bees) to pollinate an acre of fruit trees.
3. One worker bee gathers enough nectar in her whole life to make 0.8g of honey.
4. It takes 567 bees to make a pound (454g) of honey.
5. Altogether, those bees fly once around the world to make that pound of honey.
6. They must visit over 2 million flowers to collect the nectar for that honey.
7. During a collection trip a bee will visit 50 – 100 flowers before returning to the hive.
8. A bee will collect pollen from only one type of flower at a time.
9. Honeybees fly about 24 km/hr.
Nancy Melcher is The Nature Nut. Send details of your sightings or questions about the natural world to: firstname.lastname@example.org