Being a beekeeper people ask me a lot of questions about bees and I find it difficult to answer without the explanation leading to other bee factoids. There are so many interesting bits of information about bees! So, on my blog I’d like to demystify bees beginning with the dandelion bloom.
I began seeing the first yellow heads of dandelions pop up a couple of weeks ago, and that’s when you know it’s the official start of the nectar flow for bees. In case you didn’t know, nectar is the liquid that bees harvest and bring back to the hive to make and store honey. It also marks the season when beekeepers get really excited because the next couple of months will be the time when hives are at their busiest, by packing away pollen and making honey as food to carry the colony through the dormant months of winter.
Keeping all this in mind, here’s a smash of bee facts that will leave you wondering why honey isn’t worth its weight in gold:
To produce one pound of honey, a hive of bees must fly 55,000 miles and visit 2 million flowers. The average honey bee visits 50-100 flowers during each collection trip and can harvest nectar from serval thousand flowers in a day, making 12 or more trips in order to produce 1/12 of a teaspoon of honey in its six-week life span.
The lesson is: Bees NEED those dandelions. They’re there for a reason, not to annoy home owners but because they are a crucial part of a bee’s digestive health and kick off the first nectar flow in order for bees to make honey – the nectar we all love.
Isn’t a green lawn speckled with yellow flowers lovely? We sure think so.