Honey bees are tied to so many facts and historical events. Bees are some of the most studied creatures and written about animals. There is always something new to learn about honey bees and their impact on our society over the years. Here are some awesome facts to keep in mind as you learn more about honey bees.
1) The practice of beekeeping dates back at least 4,500 years
2) Approximately one third of the food we eat is the result of honey bee pollination
3) In their 6-8 week lifespan, a worker bee will fly the equivalent distance of 1 1/2 times the circumference of the Earth.
4) A productive queen can lay up to 2,500 eggs per day.
5) Mead, which is made from fermented honey, is the world's oldest fermented beverage.
6) A single bee will produce only about 1/12 of a teaspoon of honey in its liftime.
Nectar and Pollen Producing Plants of Alabama: A Guide for Beekeepers
(Courtesy of ACES.edu)
Honey bees and plants have a special relationship. Each benefits the other. Flowering plants provide food for honey bees; in turn, bees provide pollination for many plants, enabling them to reproduce. Honey bees visit flowers to collect pollen and nectar for food. Pollen is essential to bees because it is their only natural source of protein. Without it, colonies would be unable to produce new bees and would eventually die. Nectar is the carbohydrate portion of the honey bee’s food and is the raw material of honey. Bees convert nectar into honey by adding an enzyme which breaks down the complex sugars into simple sugars. This process also reduces the moisture content of the original nectar. About 18 percent of the water remains in what becomes honey. Chemically reducing sugars and lowering the moisture content of nectar are the two processes that convert nectar to honey. To produce honey successfully, you must have your honey bee colonies at peak strength when the major nectar producing plants in your area begin to bloom. To properly manage honey bee colonies so their populations will increase and peak at the correct time, you must have a working knowledge of the nectar and pollen producing plants in the vicinity of your apiaries. This knowledge will enable you to determine when to stimulate brood production, add supers, use swarm control measures, harvest honey, requeen, prepare colonies for winter, and locate the most profitable apiary sites. If left on their own, most honey bee colonies don’t begin increasing their populations rapidly until the major nectar flow starts. As a result, the nectar flow is usually over before the colonies are strong enough to produce a surplus of honey..... see full article at the link below.
The ABA's objective is to assist in checking the spread of honey bee diseases, to spread and exchange information on experiences, ideas and improved methods of production and sale of queens, package bees and honey, to inform the public of the importance and value of honey bees as pollinators of plants and of honey as food for man and to elevate the business of beekeeping to a place of eminence in the agricultural industry. But the ABA is much more than a mission statement. It is about old friends that share a commmon interest. It is about teaching younger generations the value that the honey bee brings to our planet. The ABA is for all generations and for all people that strive to make this world better by raising awarness of our beloved honey bee.