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Nurse Bees on Duty

Nurse bees are usually about a week old (age after they emerge from their cells). Their job during this stage of their life is to feed larvae. For the first three days of a bee’s larvae stage, it is fed with royal jelly by nurse bees. Once a larvae is three days old, the nurse bees will feed it with a mixture of royal jelly, nectar, and pollen, until the cell is capped. In the pictures below, we can clearly see the difference in size of the worker and drone cells. We can see that when the nurse bee is attending a worker larva, she barely fits inside the cell. But when she is feeding a drone larva, she is almost completely inside the cell, since drone cells are much bigger and wider than worker cells.

nurse bees feeding worker larvaenurse bees feeding drone larvae

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The Queen Cage

This is the Queen cage.


The queen goes in a Queen Cage either when you buy a bee package or when you buy a queen to requeen your hive.

The queen goes in it and is safe from any outside dangers.

If it were in a bee package, the bees would want to kill her because that queen isn’t from their hive.

There will be some attendant bees with the queen to help her while shipping.


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Package Day

It’s the time of year again, when you check your hives after winter and you realize that you may be need some new packages for your bee yard or……. if you are a new beekeeper you will need a bee package to start your first beehive.

If the latter is your case, maybe you are wondering what a “package day” is all about.

Well, we can help you here showing a few pictures of our experience in this matter. By clicking in each image, it will enlarge.

We hope that they illustrate well and give you an idea of how to start.


Package day is always a fun day full of excitement since you finally get your own bees
And this is the way the bees arrive. There are about 10,000 bees in a package plus a can full of syrup and the queen cage. This will be the “starter kit” for your hive.
To open the package what you need to do is remove the syrup can. Keep it aside since you will use it later.


Since the queen that comes in the package is not the mother of the bees that come with her, she needs to be protected from them. This is why the queen comes in what is called “queen cage” and you will need to keep her inside that cage until the bees accept her in the hive.
The queen cage comes with a little piece of cork, which is keeping an opening on the queen cage closed, you will need to remove it very carefully so the queen doesn’t escape from the cage, and switch it with a little piece of marshmallow. The bees will start removing the marshmallow, this will take a couple of days and by the time they finish and the cage is open; they already accept the queen as “their own queen”.
Set aside the queen cage for a few minutes and then drop the whole package inside the deep. Since the bees were inside the box for several days, they will be very happy to be free and they will be all over the place, so even if they are nice at this time since they don’t recognize the new hive as their home yet, always is a good idea to wear your beekeeping suit.
Once the bees are in their new hive, you can add some more frames in the deep but not all of them, because you will need space to place the queen cage on place.
Now is time to introduce the queen in the hive. You will notice in the queen cage a metal part that will help you to hang the cage in one of the frames.


Once the queen cage is on place, you can finish loading the deep with the frames
The bees will need some syrup to start building comb in the empty frames, and now is the time when you add to the hive the syrup can that come with the package. For this, you can add for a few days an extra empty box on top of the hive so the syrup can stay inside the hive. After a couple of days the bees will finished the syrup and you can remove the can definitely.
To finish the whole process, close the hive with the inner cover and the top cover and since some bees will stay in the package box for a while, is a good idea to leave it near the entrance of the hive for a few days, so all the bees that came in the package go inside the new hive




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The Importance of Honeybees

The sign in the picture below says:…..” Please do not disturb the honeybees. Their pollinating work ensures your food supply”. 

That’s truth. Honeybees are a inestimable value as agents of cross-pollination, and so many plants are dependent of honeybees for their reproduction.

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, workers honeybees pollinate 80 percent of our flowering crops which constitute 1/3 of everything we eat. Losing them will affect the  production of strawberries, almonds, apples and many other plants like alfalfa, which will develop in threaten our beef and dairy industries.

Did you know that……?

  • There are three types of bees in each colony: the queen bee, the worker bee and the drone.
  • There is only one queen per hive?
  • The queen and the worker bees are all female.
  • The drones are all male.
  • The practice of beekeeping dates back to the stone-age. There are several cave paintings that shows this activity.
  • A queen bee can live for 3 to 5 years.