Saturday, June 16, 2012
Bees R Us in Winter Garden, FL
My brother Joshua, sister Andrea, mom, and I all went on an educational experience to a bee farm. Bees R Us is in Winter Garden, FL and participate in the Winter Garden Farmers Market. They have about 75 hives and have hives in four other places. As part of our experience, we walked through an orange grove with hundreds of trees to reach the hives.
The three of us dressed in white bee gear, mask and all. The outfits remind me of the clothing worn during fencing. They were hot in the heat of Florida as you can imagine, but we all felt so professional and protected. The mask was a key part of the bee apparel we wore. The mask makes it difficult for a bee to enter, but if this does occur, step away from the hives and wait for someone to assist you.
Before checking out our insect friends, the smoker had to be lit. Bees communicate by pheromones, so the smoker works by covering their scents and thus confusing the bees. Bees can get moody and this is a good thing to keep in mind especially if you wear perfume (or wear anything with a strong scent), you decide to wear black which irritate bees, or you happen to be near hives on a rainy day. Bees are insects, but they still can have attitudes!
Bees stay busy. With plenty of honey to collect and babies to feed. Just one bee frame can hold 2,000 cells.
The queen is the one who keeps the hive in business. She is the largest bee in the hive and can lay up to 2,000 eggs in a single day (enough to fill a bee frame).
I may appear brave with a bee on my finger, but this bee is a drone and does not have a stinger.The drones also play a role in the production of eggs. Their duty is to mate with the queen and keep the hive active with baby larvae. They do little else, except ventilating the hive in summer.
Elizabeth’s Tips: Bees are aren’t picky when it comes to a home-sweet-home. They’ll make homes in boxes, trees, giant pots, and even on the side of homes. Bees R Us can help with bee removal if that becomes an issue. You can contact Paul Allison at 407-982-0774 or e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org