A new home for honey bees

A busy bee colony has found a home in the green area behind the Lamy Galleria since March. In the shade of a tree stands a bright yellow beehive that is regularly looked after by a professional regional beekeeper. With this special project, Lamy would like to make a small contribution to the important protection of endangered honey bees. Stay tuned, we will report about our bees on our website.

Did you know?

  • A colony of honey bees comprises up to 50,000 bees in a beehive during the peak season in early summer. 
  • For one kilo of honey, a colony of bees has to fly to three to five million blossoms, covering a total distance of about 100,000 kilometres. 
  • In Germany, the honey bee is considered the third most important farm animal - after pigs and cattle. 
  • Bees prefer to fly to blue and yellow flowers. They cannot recognise the colour red. 
  • A worker bee produces two teaspoons of honey in its four to five weeks long life. 

The beehive

For our honey bees we have a dwelling, a so-called “prey”, provided by our beekeeper. Our prey consists of three wooden boxes (frames) stacked one on top of the other, into which mobile wooden frames are inserted as a basis for the construction of the honeycomb. In the bottom is the flight hole, the lid is removable. 

The workers independently build honeycombs from the body's own beeswax into the wooden frames from top to bottom by sweating out small wax flakes. For 100 grams of beeswax 125,000 wax flakes are needed. From this, about 8,000 cells can be built for the storage of pollen and honey and for rising the new generation.

The Lamy Bee Year

April, May, June:
Weekly swarm checks

May / June: 
Cupping + offshoot formation

Mid-May + early July: 
Honey harvest and spin

June-December:  
Regular Varroa controls

 

 

Mid-July: 
Varroa treatment part 1

July-September: 
feed with sugar water

September: 
Varroa treatment part 2

December: 
Varroa treatment part 3

April: The first control

Our colony has doubled to 20,000 bees since delivery in March. 

May: cupping + offshoot formation

It gets crowded in the beehive, the colony wants to swarm and we have spotted new princesses - queen cells.

The beekeeper has to act: Two honeycombs with bees are removed from the bee colony and unfortunately the queen cells have to be removed too.

The queen

Each colony has only one queen at a time. She lives up to 5 years, in this time she is the only one who takes care of the colony and controls her fellow inhabitants in the beehive, furthermore she is responsible for the "harmony”.  Queens initially develop like worker bees, but unlike other bee larvae, they are fed with a food juice produced by the nurse bees, the nutritious royal jelly. 

“A queen lays up to 2,500 eggs a day!” 

Queens are larger than worker bees, but in our case you can easily recognise the queen – she is marked with a green dot on their back. 

The worker bees

The sterile workers make up the majority of the bee colony. They have many tasks in different areas, from brood care to collecting nectar. The worker bees have a poison sting that they only use to defend the colony - they are not aggressive.

The tasks of worker bees change with age:

1-2 days old – "young bee" 
brushing cells for 1-2 days

3-8 days old – "nurse bee"
feeding larvae

9-12 days old
first orientation flights in front of the flight hole

13-18 days old – "construction bee"
'sweating' of the wax plates and honeycomb construction

15-18 days old
take over the nectar, process into honey

19-21 days old – "guardian bee"  
flight hole guard and defense against wasps, predating bees, humans and other intruders

from 22 days – "flying bee"
collecting flights (nectar, pollen, putty resin, water) and odd jobs (building, heat tremors, fan cooling)

The drones

A drone is a male honey bee. Unlike the female worker bee, drones do not have stingers and gather neither nectar nor pollen. A drone's primary role is to mate with an unfertilized queen. When they have completed this task, their life ends tragically.

Bee products

... more about the Lamy bees in the next weeks.

Südwest Mietbienen

Jörg Staffel
suedwest-mietbienen.de