Working with Bees in 2016

In 2016, Mr. Mike and Mrs. Julie (my mentors) placed two hives on our property because they cannot have beehives on their property. We were able to work with Mike and Julie’s bees that they placed on our property. We learned a lot about honey bees from inspecting the hives with them.


Nathan, (our older brother), Mr. Mike, and Mrs. Julie inspecting a beehive. During an inspection, they look for either the queen or eggs, larvae in all stages, capped brood, and ample supplies of pollen and honey.




Another day, Mr. Mike, Mrs. Julie, and Bethany inspecting the hives. Watch as the hives get bigger and bigger.




Mrs. Julie showing us a frame. Notice the white comb which is where the honey is stored and the orange dots of capped brood.

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Mrs. Julie and our younger sister talking about what is going to happen during the hive inspection.

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Mr. Mike, our younger sister Olivia, Abigail, and Mrs. Julie beginning an inspection. Mr. Mike is smoking the hive entrance to calm the bees down and hide the bees pheromones. Mrs. Julie is showing Olivia and Abigail a frame and pointing out the honey and brood on it. Can you see all the bees flying around the hive?

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Mr. Mike and Mrs. Julie take turns pulling frames so that they can put them back in the right order. The frames should be put back in the same order so the brood nests stays together in the middle of the hive body and the resources are on the outside frames.




Placing the frames back in the hive carefully.



Mrs. Julie explaining what they saw in the inspection.



Drones (male bees) are incapable of stinging and are very gentle. Olivia is holding one in her hands.




Our younger sister tentatively holding a drone.




Our even younger brother courageously letting the done crawl on him as well.




Honey bees taking off from the robbing screen. A robbing screen helps the bees defend their hive by creating a certain amount of space for the bees to defend from intruders. The bee at the very top has pollen (the orange blobs on her legs) in her pollen sacs.

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A hornet, an enemy of the honey bee, is often confused with bees. Bees sting only for self-defense and protection of their hive. Bees die after they sting. Hornets, yellow jackets, and wasps are often aggressive and sting for no reason. Hornets, yellow jackets, and wasps can sting over and over again and do not die just because they stung something.




Olivia and Bethany taking pictures of the beehives.




Honey comb that was scraped from the hive because it was not in the proper location.  I will talk more about beeswax and its uses in another post in the future.




A bee sipping up honey from the telescoping lid of her hive.  She will take this honey back to her hive.

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Iowa Honey Producers Association  (IHPA) State Fair booth – 2016

The IHPA booth is on the second floor above the butter cow in the agriculture building. At the IHPA booth they showcase entries to the Iowa State Fair, beekeepers educate fair goers about honey bees and beekeeping, and there is a stand that sells locally produced honey and honey related products.


This is one part of the IHPA booth in which you can see beeswax candles and art, gift baskets, and bee related pictures which were entered in the Iowa State Fair.




Some of us standing in front of the honey frames at IHPA booth.




A honey bee hitched a ride on our stroller.  (Yes it came along with us inside the building.)




We assume she came from one of the observation hives that were on display at the IHPA booth.



A strawberry blossom, one of the bees’ sources of food.



Autumn joy, a fall plant the bees pollinate.
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One Reply to “Working with Bees in 2016”

  1. Very interesting and learned a lot. Did not know they didn’t sting and when they do they die. Keep up the good work.

    Grandma Kelly and Grandpa too.

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