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The Roles of the Honey Bees

A honey bee colony consists of three different types of bees. All three types of bees have their own unique jobs to fulfill to ensure that the colony survives and ensures a future for the colony. The three different types of bees are the worker, the drone, and the queen. 

All three types of bees help to keep the colony running smoothly and without any one type of bee, the whole colony would not survive.

 For this reason, bees are sometimes considered to be a super-organism. This term is used to describe bees, ants, and termites. The colony is considered to be a super-organism because all of the individual bees are working for the common good of the colony making the colony a single organism.

So what does each type of bee do? The worker bee is the smallest of the three types, and is also the most numerous. In the beginning of their adult life, the worker bee cares for the cells where the eggs are laid and also cares for the queen. Later in their life, normally about mid-summer, they begin foraging for pollen and nectar.

Drone bees are the largest bee and are all males. There are normally a couple hundred drones in the hive. They are only allowed in the hive during the spring and summer. Their main function in the hive is to fertilize the queen bee. In the fall and early winter, all drones are forced out of the hive and left out there to starve because they have no purpose in the hive during those months. More drones are born during the spring and then the process of fertilizing the queen starts over.

 Lastly there is the queen bee. 

Most people know about the queen bee, whose main function is producing eggs for the hive so that there are plenty of bees in the colony. 

Each colony only has one queen bee. During peak production, a queen bee can lay close to 1500 eggs each day. The queen typically lays her eggs in the spring and early summer at the latest. A queen can lay over one million eggs in her lifetime! At Beehive Bow Ties, we donate money to help save the endangered bees that are so quickly disappearing from our planet.

Click here to learn more about the amazing honey bee!

The Queen Bee

The queen bee is the most important bee in the entire hive. She is solely responsible for the longevity of the hive. She is treated like royalty in the hive, hence her name as the queen bee. 

Queen bees lay eggs during the spring and early summer months. She can lay about 1500 eggs per day and lay the same amount of eggs in weight as her own body weight. Attendant worker bees are constantly feeding and grooming the queen bee to make sure that she can do her job of laying eggs as well as she can. 

A hive can have about 40,000 to 60,000 bees in the hive during the summer. The queen bee is responsible for creating all of those bees. The queen bee lives for about three to four years. The queen is capable of mating with 17 different drone bees, which are the males in the hive, each day.

 Bees keep the hive at a constant temperature of 92- 93 degrees, and it does not matter if the outside temperature is 105 degrees or the temperature is 30 degrees outside. The queen bees are very particular with the environment that they are in for laying their eggs and the worker bees will do whatever it takes to help the queen bee stay comfortable. 

Although all worker bees are female, the queen bee is the only bee that can reproduce. This is because the queen bee eats what is known as royal jelly. Royal jelly is a protein that is secreted from the top of worker bees. This jelly allows the queen bee to be the only female adult to be able to reproduce.

When the old queen is ready to die, she lays multiple new queen bee eggs. Once the first queen bee hatches, her first goal is to destroy her competition. She goes and slashes the cells of the other queen bee eggs. If other queen bees have hatched they must have a battle to the death to figure out the new queen. 

At Beehive Bow Ties, we are committed to helping save the bee population. Bees are in serious danger of going extinct and they need all the help that they can get. From cell phone towers emitting radio waves that mess with worker bees internal navigational systems to pesticides that are killing bees by paralyzing their central nervous system. The bees need our help and they need it quickly. Projections show that if nothing is changed, bees will go extinct by the year 2035. Beehive Bow Tie donates a portion of the profit from every bow tie to organizations that are dedicated to helping save the bee population.

This Food May Be Better For You Than Antibiotics

Most people hear the word honey and immediately think of the sweet, amber colored food that they put in their tea, but did you know that honey actually has been studied extensively for its medicinal properties? 

First let’s learn how honey is made. We all know that flowers need a little bit of help to reproduce, so the way that they solve this problem is they have petals that attract bees to come to them. The flower produces a nectar that bees love, while the bees are on the flower drinking the nectar, they get covered in the flowers pollen. Then when the bee flies back to the hive after visiting between 50 to 100 flowers, that nectar that the bee kept is concentrated and then turned into honey! So the symbiotic relation between the flower and the honey bee is the reason that we have the secret superfood, most commonly known as honey.

As of recent years, superbugs have been causing problems in the medical world because these bugs are not responding to the medicines that have been used for years. They have mutated and become resistant to antibiotics. We have caused a natural selection of bacteria. The superbugs have survived and the normal bacteria have died off, causing all of these new bacteria to be resistant to antibiotics. The World Health Organization has recently been worried about the rise of the superbug. They warned that if nothing was done about the superbugs, we would enter a post-antibiotic era, in which diseases that used to be contained and managed with modern medicine would now be resistant and more deadly than they used to be. One of the major components of honey is glucose oxidase, which is an enzyme that produces hydrogen peroxide. Many different researchers have concluded that this enzyme is one of the main reasons why honey has a powerful antibacterial capability. 

Manuka honey has been studied for its medicinal properties extensively. The largest supplier of manuka honey in New Zealand is Comvita, and its CEO has stated that manuka honey has a concentration of phenols. The reason that it is considered manuka honey is because of the concentration of the phenols. Phenols are antioxidants that are naturally found in honey. These antioxidants inhibit the growth of bacteria. (These antioxidants are one of the reasons why honey never goes bad!) The antioxidants that are in honey are better than synthetic antibiotics because the superbugs (so far) are still not resistant to the antioxidants, which stops the spread of the superbugs. 

Honey has been shown to help relieve the symptoms and heal skin conditions from  dermatitis to MRSA. Honey has also been proven to be more effective in healing burns than medicated bandages. There was a study done on 108 patients who had first and second degree burns on less than 50 percent of their bodies. 51 of the patients with burns used honey to treat the burn and the other 57 patients used medicated bandages to heal the burn. The group that used the honey to treat the burns had their wounds heal in an average of 18.16 days, whereas the group with the medicated bandages had their wounds heal in an average of 32.68 days. Another thing that was discovered during this study was that the patients that had the honey dressings saw their wounds sterile after just 7 days, whereas the medicated bandage group saw their wounds sterile after 21 days.

Antioxidants are extremely important for keeping humans healthy. Healthy blood contains high levels of antioxidants in it. The quality of our blood is vital to the health and well- being of humans. Healthy blood helps support the immune system and the immune system in turn helps prevent infections and diseases. The role of antioxidants in the blood is to help prevent oxidation in the blood. Low amounts of antioxidants in blood result in what is called oxidative stress. Health conditions such as diabetes, cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, hypertension, and heart disease have all been linked to high oxidative stress. Antioxidants help prevent or slow cell damage. It was written in a report that was published in the medical journal, Molecules, in 2012, that honey has many medicinal effects that include antibacterial, hypoglycemic, anti-hypertensive, and antioxidant effects. The best kind of honey to ingest to help keep your antioxidant levels high is darker honey. 

At Beehive Bow Ties, we are committed to helping save the bee population. Bees are in serious danger of going extinct and they need all the help that they can get. From cell phone towers emitting radio waves that mess with worker bees internal navigational systems to pesticides that are killing bees by paralyzing their central nervous system. The bees need our help and they need it quickly. Projections show that if nothing is changed, bees will go extinct by the year 2035. Beehive Bow Tie donates a portion of the profit from every bow tie to organizations that are dedicated to helping save the bee population. Click here to visit our site and look at our collection of bow ties that are going to help save the bees.

Pesticides are Killing the Bees (And Possibly You)

Neonicotinoid. 

This is the name of the terrible insecticide that is one of the main reasons why the bees are in grave danger of going extinct. 

Neonicotinoids (neonics) were first introduced in the 1990’s and are one of the most used classes of insecticide in the United States and the world. Neonics were first designed to kill off harmful insects that get on the crops and ruin them, but like all insecticides, they cannot differentiate between helpful insects, like bees, and harmful insects. 

The way that the neonics work, is that farmers treat the soil, or seeds themselves. The plants as they grow absorb the chemicals into the plant. So now the entire plant is basically an insecticide. This means that even the pollen is contaminated with the insecticide. 

The chemicals are 5,000 to 10,000 times more harmful to bees than DDT, which has since been banned because of how harmful it was to the environment. Recently, the Task Force on Systemic Pesticides, consisting of 29 scientists, whose job was to review whether neonics were harmful, assembled. The final assessment was that neonics were contaminating land, soil, and water. 

Thus it was affecting bees, and other small animals like earthworms, butterflies, birds, and snails. But it is also poisoning you. Since it is a systemic pesticide, the fruits and vegetables that are produced from these plants are also infected with the toxin. This then means that you are being infected with these toxins, as well. Of course we are much larger than bees so we are not affected visibly, but there is no long term research done showing whether or not these toxins are harmful to humans.  

Laboratory studies of bees have shown that neonics impair the bees immune systems, their ability to forage, and their internal GPS system, which causes bees to not be able to make it back to the hive. The symptoms that bees exhibit when they are exposed to neonics are the same symptoms that are related to Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease in humans. Due to the many studies done on neonics, in 2013, Great Britain banned three of the most common neonics that were on the market, imidacloprid, clothianidin, and thiamethoxam. 

At Beehive Bow Ties, we have well made bow ties that will last for generations. We have a large selection of hand sewn bow ties whose colors are fun, but each bow tie is important because with each bow tie sold, Beehive Bow Ties will donate a portion of the profits to charity to help save the diminishing population of bees worldwide. Click here to take a look at our amazing collection of bow ties, all woven in England and sewn in the United States.