The queen was in the parlor, eating bread and honey

I attended our Virginia State Beekeepers Association Fall 2019 meeting at the Blue Ridge Community College in Weyers Cave, Virginia, held the first Saturday in November. The theme this year was all about queens, as we had two wonderful speakers discuss their research: Heather Matilla and Alison McAfee. Posting this at the end of November seems to bookmark the month rather nicely.

Title slide for one of the talks at the VSBA 2019 Fall Meeting

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Drones are from Mars, Queen is for Venus

Venus and and the other hives on June 5 amongst the weeds in the bee yard.

Venus and and the other hives on June 5 amongst the bee-friendly weeds in the bee yard.

I have been away from this blog and out of the hives for a couple weeks. A little too much travel and jet lag and other distractions. Trying to catch up this weekend, starting with the status of the new queen for Venus. My prior post on Venus described how Venus appeared to be without a queen, and how a new Russian queen from nearby breeder Chris Hewitt was caged and ready to be released in the hive. Continue reading

The Secret Life of Bees

So just what are these social insects called honey bees?

Honey bee egg and larva in the comb

Honey bees, like all holometabolous insects, grow in four stages: egg, larva, pupa, and finally the bee.  The egg, larva, and pupa stages occur in the honeycomb, after which they become a buzzing bee. This you probably know.

You may also know there are three types of adult honey bees. Continue reading