BEE-AWARE: The next Coffs Coast bee keeping workshop will be held in September.
BEE-AWARE: The next Coffs Coast bee keeping workshop will be held in September. Contributed

No gender equality in the hive except for the queen

BEES have been proven to be one of the most important insects in nature yet countless studies have in recent years identified the risk to hive number across the country.

The Coffs Coast is a key area for hives and honey production and you can find out more about the beekeeping in upcoming workshops.

In today's Rural Weekly, local apiarist Allan Thomas gives us an interesting look at the workings of a hive.

 

Did you know that those busy honey bees visiting flowers, collecting and spreading pollen while drawing up nectar, are called workers and that they are all female?

Drones, the males, are very few in number and do not work.

Their prime purpose is to chase and mate with new queens.

Drones are waited on hand and foot in the hive.

If food supplies deteriorate, worker bees wrestle them to the front door, push them over the edge and don't let them back in.

The queen, of which there is usually only one per hive, is the mother of the colony.

By replacing the queen, the nature of the hive can be changed in one generation.

In this manner, for example, an aggressive or poorly performing hive can be improved.

 

Female bees are out pollinating the crops while the male bees or drones live to mate.
Female bees are out pollinating the crops while the male bees or drones live to mate. Contributed

Beekeeping is not for everyone, however can be a rewarding hobby, or in time, a business. Gardens and crops benefit from the pollination activities and surplus honey can be harvested.

Anyone can procure a hive of bees and commence beekeeping. However, without sufficient knowledge, skills and confidence, there is a high risk of failure. Additionally, there are a number of regulations to which one must adhere.

It is wise to do a quality Beginner's Beekeeping Course and attend a local Amateur Beekeeping Group for continued support; such as The Mid North Coast ABA, which meets monthly.

The next Beekeeping Basics Course will be held on the first weekend in September.

For enquiries, contact Allan Thomas, email: beekeepingworkshops@gmail.com



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