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Life is too short to eat bad food! Sharing great recipes, farm life, stories and photography from our Northern California dairy farm.

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March 20, 2017

Airbnb for Bees!

We had the pleasure of hosting guests all winter long here on the dairy farm this season.  Approximately 10 million Honey Bees vacationed here for the winter season.  Yep, 10 million!

Two hundred bee boxes (hives) were placed at two separate locations on the ranch.  Each box contained 50,000 bees and one queen bee.  They are taken away from their area of work to rest and take care of the queen bees through the winter months.

Bees have one priority in the take care of the queen bee.  What this means is they need to keep her warm and safe.

In order to keep warm, the bees form a cluster or huddle in the hive.  They flutter their wings and "shiver" in order to create heat.   The continuous motion and use of energy is how the bees keep the inside of the hive warm.  The bees are free to fly outside of the hive, if desired as well.

To create enough body heat and to stay alive, the bees need enough honey to keep them going, which the bee keeper provides.

Fun Facts:

  • To make one pound of honey, bees must visit 2 million flowers.
  • Honey does not spoil
  • Honey Bees are the only insect that produces food that humans consume.
  • Worker Honey Bees are female. (Duh)
  • A worker bee lives about 6 weeks and a queen bee can live up to five years
It was a fun experience to have the bees on the farm.  Everyone seemed to cohabitate nicely.  They didn't bother the cows or my horse, Joey.  They are now located back in the Central Valley of California to work the many acres of almond and walnut orchards.

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