Fun facts:

  • What has four wings, five eyes and six legs? The honey bee
  • A healthy queen will live three to five years
  • A worker bee will live for about forty days
  • A worker bee will develop from an egg to a full grown bee in 21 days
  • The honey bee is the only insect that produces food consumed by man
  • Honey bees are responsible for about 80% of all fruit, vegetable and seed crops in the U.S.
  • Each bee colony has a unique odor so the honey bees always finds it's home
  • Honey bees are the only bees that die after they sting
  • During the winter, the honey bees feed on the honey they collected over the summer, they form a tight cluster in their hive to keep themselves and the queen warm
  • The internal temperature of the hive is kept at around 95 F in summer and winter
  • The male bees (drones) are larger than the worker bees and have no stinger
  • A honey bee will visit 50 to 100 flowers during a nectar collection trip
  • A colony of bees will have anywhere from 30,000 to 50,000 bees and only 1 queen
  • The average worker bee collects about 1 1/2 teaspoon of honey during a life as a forager
  • When properly stored, honey will last forever. Some was found in King Tut's tomb
  • The honey bee's wings stroke very fast, about 200 beats per second, making their distinctive buzz
  • A honey bee can fly up to 6 miles and as fast as 15mph

Please scroll down for fun facts.

Frequently asked questions:

  • Why should I keep honey bees?: A visit to this site is proof of your awareness of the honey bee loss. They are one of the measuring factors that our environment has changed and has become highly polluted. Bees are necessary for pollination, not only of the flora, but for the agriculture that would not exist without bees and other pollinators. Without agriculture where would we be and what would we become? We have to realize that honey bees pollinate crops not only for direct human consumption, but many crops to feed cattle and other farm animals.                                                                                                                             
  • Here is an example of a valley without bees: In the southern Sichuan province of China, farmers cultivate pear orchards and other crops, to get rid of the birds eating some of the crops, they poisoned them, without any predators, insects became overwhelming so they were treated with pesticides. Honey bees disappeared and new colonies will not survive in this wasteland so farmers resort to gathering bee pollen and using sticks with chicken feather tied to the end to hand pollinate the pear trees!!!
  • Are  bees safe for me and my family?: Yes they are.  They go about their business of gathering nectar and pollen. They will become defensive if they feel threatened; this could be from a  pet constantly scratching the hive or someone banging on it. Proper location of the hive is key as well as proper protection if there is a lot of activity in the yard; a small fence would allow full access when needed and protect the colony.                  One of my and many beekeepers favorite pass times is to place a comfortable lawn chair a few feet away from the hive and observe the bees tirelessly coming and going.                                                                                      Most bee stings happen later in the year and are from much more aggressive yellow jackets (which many people confuse for honey bees) and/or other wasps. Yellow jackets are protein hungry; they eat plenty of insects including honey bees and are the type to chase you around the yard. Honey bees are out and about from early spring till September (in this climate) and very few stings are reported in spring and early summer when yellow jackets are not  yet mature enough to sting.
  • What will you do at every visit and when will you visit the hive?  The hive visits will usually be during 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. on sunny days. The hive will be opened and inspected to make sure the queen is laying eggs, checking on brood pattern and the presence of pests such as varroa, beetles, etc... check on honey stores and add another story to the hive if needed. 
  • Am I required to help?  No, but your participation is encouraged. The inner working of the bee hive is a wonderful world. You do not have to buy any special equipment, we always have in the "honey wagon" a few spare screened veils, bee jackets and gloves. You will very quickly become addicted and want to share your experience with friends and family.
  • What preparations are needed?  Once we meet and determine the feasibility of placing a hive at your location, we will find the best spot for the bees and you to observe or go about your daily business.                                 Making anyone working in your yard or landscape aware of the bee hive would be recommended so care can be taken when mowing around the hive and in the application of pesticides and herbicides on your property. Morning application is worst since bees will be out to collect dew on grass blades and plants.                            Many lawn care companies claim their treatments are safe, yet after application they place little flags with a skull and crossbones???? One would wonder!
  • Is urban beekeeping legal? It is in most locales, but we will check your city's ordinances and apply for any permit that might be required (Permit cost included in HBS annual fee).
  • How much honey will the hive produces and how much will I receive? The production of honey is affected by many factors such as colony strength, just like some workers are more productive than others. Weather conditions such as too much rain or drought will effect blooming periods in flowers and therefore honey bees collecting nectar. The distance bees have to travel is also a factor, so for all these reasons there are no guarantees on the amount of honey that could be gathered for your consumption. Our natural approach of not feeding bees sugar water, but their own honey only allows us to harvest a minimal amount of honey that should be on average anywhere from 30 to 50 pounds.                                                                                             If the bees were to not survive the winter (sadly this will happen more often than we wish for), then the honey stores they did not use over the winter can be harvested in the spring and would be returned to you, our customer.
  • What if I wanted to buy instead of renting a hive? You have many options available, our main concern is to place many bee hives in urban areas, we offer the rental service as an easy one step option but you could also buy a hive from us or any other supplier and have us help you with the set up. We could also guide you to a local beekeeper that offers classes and would be of great help to you. It really doesn't matter how you get there, our goal is the increase of honey bee colonies and you sharing your experience with other to increase awareness.