About Honey Bees
Honey bees are one of science's greatest mysteries because they have remained unchanged
for 20 million years.  Bees and flowers evolved in the age of dinosaurs.  Pilgrims brought the
first honey bees to North America in the 1600s.  By the 1850s, honey bees were found all the
way across the continent in California.

More than 25,000 species of bees have been identified around the world.  In the continental
United States, scientists believe there are approximately 3,500 species of bees.  The species of
honey bee commonly found today in the Americas is
Apis mellifera, which means honey carrier.

The Honey Bee is our most beneficial insect.  Honey Bees are important because they
pollinate
approximately 130 agricultural crops in the US including fruit, fiber, nut, and vegetable crops.
They provide 80% if the country's pollination service.  Approximately one half of the human diet
is derived directly or indirectly from crops pollinated by bees.



The annual contribution of Honey Bees to food production in the United States is estimated to
be $ 15 billion.   Today's Honey Bees are an essential part of a healthy agriculture economy.  
Honey bees are often transported by beekeepers to farms to help pollinate  crops,   
Beekeepers charge for their pollination services and have revised the historical role of the self-
employed beekeeper.




Honey Bees will defend themselves or their colony if threatened. All honey bees live in colonies
where the worker bees will sting intruders as a form of defense, and alarmed bees will release a
pheromone that stimulates the attack response in other bees.  Honey bees communicate with
each other by dancing.  After a honey bee has found food, she tells the other bees when she
returns to the hive.  The bee will dance on the honeycomb, while the other bees feel the
dancing bee and learn where the food is.



Avoid disturbing a bee colony.  If you encounter bees that are flying and appear to be out of
control, simply walk away slowly
without swatting at the bees.  Swatting at them could anger
them and make them feel threatened into stinging. A bee sting will cause intense local pain,
redden and swelling. This is a normal reaction and does not, in itself, indicate a serious allergic
response.  When a bee stings, the stinger and poison sack remain in the skin of the victim.
Always scrape the stinger and poison sack out of the skin with your fingernail; never pull it out
because this squeezes the remaining venom into the skin.








Did you know......

  • Bees have 5 eyes
  • Bees fly about 15 mph
  • Bees are insects, so they have 6 legs
  • Losing its stinger will cause a bee to die
  • Bees have been here around 30 million years
  • Bees carry pollen on their hind legs called a pollen basket
  • An average beehive can hold around 50,000  Bees
  • Foragers must collect nectar from about 2 million flowers to make 1  pound of honey.  A
    Honey Bee visits about 50-100 flowers each trip.
  • On average, each person consumes about 1.3 pounds of honey
  • The average forager makes about 1/12th teaspoon of honey in her lifetime
  • Bees have 2 pairs of wings
  • The Bee's buss is the sound made by their wings, which bear 11,400 times per minute.
  • Bees communicate though scent (pheromones) and "dancing"
Moving spring bees from South Carolina to
Maine for blueberry pollination
THREATS TO HONEY BEES

Mites
The greatest threat to beekeeping are two varieties of mites (Varroa and Tracheal). And although these mites . These
mites are greatly reducing the overall honeybee population in the USA. The mites are of no concern to humans, except
for the effect they can have on honey production.

Disease
Beekeepers are on the watch for various diseases unique to honeybees, and harmless to humans. "Foul Brood" and
"Nosema" are two such diseases. These problems can easily be addressed by good management and proper
medication.

Urbanization
With more and more urban development and the growth of cities, there is less and less foraging available to bees.
However, areas like Fairfield County contain a rich assortment of nectar and pollen for honeybees, thanks to
homeowners' gardens and the lush, wooded countryside.

A
fricanized Bees
The arrival of so-called "killer bees" in a few southern states has received sensationalized treatment in the media. In
some areas of the country, this negative publicity has stimulated local restrictions and ordinances on the hobbyist
beekeeper.