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Kindergarden Video Lesson – Honeybee Hive Inspection

My youngest daughter’s kindergarten teacher came out to do a video lesson for her class on a honeybee hive.  In this video, you will see how a hive inspection takes place.  We were able to locate the queen, find some larvae, eggs, capped brood, pollen, honey and lots of worker bees.

If you wanted to share this video with your class here are some notes to help you understand what you are seeing.

Queen BeeQueen – in this video, she has a green dot on her indicating she was born in 2019.  The queen is the most important bee in the hive as she produces a scent (pheromone) which helps control the behaviour and actions within the hive.  She can lay up to 1500 eggs a day and her main job is to reproduce as many “daughters” as possible.  She will also produce “Drones” which are male bees from an unfertilized egg.

Worker bees – they do all the work in the hive from looking after the queen, storing nectar and pollen.  Guarding the hive, looking after the young and the queen… and of course, foraging.  When first born, they are classified as nurse bees.  10 to 15 days they will remain as nurse bees and look after the young.  Nurse bees are typically gentle, do not sting and do not fly or forage.  When the nurse bee gets older, her role in the hive changes to becoming a guard bee or “undertaker” removing the dead from the hive and keeping it clean.  After that, they then spend the rest of their life up to 60 days old, as a forager where they will fly for miles and miles in search of pollen and nectar to build up their resources.  After 60 days, the worker bees will eventually die off as they run through their summer life cycle.

Capped Brood - LarvaEggs / Larvae / Capped Brood – When a queen lays an egg it looks like a small piece of rice standing straight up.  After three days, the egg will hatch and become a larva.  The nurse bees will provide a diet of royal jelly to the larva.  Shortly after, the larva will then become a pupa which the nurse bees will provide more food and “cap” the cell with wax as the pupa creates it’s cocoon and morphs into an adult bee.  This is what we call “capped brood”.  The only job for the nurse bee once the brood is capped is to keep it warm.  You will see in the video there is a small baby bee that looks beige and fuzzy as it was newly hatched from it’s brood cell.

Drones – they are the males in the hive, typically larger than worker bees and are the only ones in the hive that cannot sting you as they are born without stingers.  Drones only purpose is to mate with a virgin queen, which unfortunately after mating will result in their death.

Pollen – you can see pollen stored in the honey comb in a variety of colours.  They mix the pollen with some honey to form what is called “Bee Bread”.  They feed this bee bread to the young in the form of royal jelly that nurse bees produce.

Nectar / Honey – the fresh nectar is taken from flowers such as dandelions and other wild flowers.  Dandelions are the first abundant food source for the bees in the spring and are very important to them.  Honey can last for a very very long time.  Bees will produce special enzymes and that will help preserve the honey for when they need it most.  All natural honey from flowers will eventually crystallize – most people think their honey has become expired or bad, however that is the opposite where it just indicates you have really good honey!

Hope you enjoyed the video!

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