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Karen Duquette went to the beehive and
learned about bees
August 27, 2017

Bees are flying insects closely related to wasps and ants, known for their role in pollination and, in the case of the best-known bee species, the European honey bee, for producing honey and beeswax. There are nearly 20,000 known species of bees in seven recognized biological families. They are found on every continent except Antarctica, in every habitat on the planet that contains insect-pollinated flowering plants.

Some species including honey bees, bumble bees, and stingless bees live socially in colonies. Bees are adapted for feeding on nectar and pollen, the former primarily as an energy source and the latter primarily for protein and other nutrients. Most pollen is used as food for larvae. Bee pollination is important both ecologically and commercially; the decline in wild bees has increased the value of pollination by commercially managed hives of honey bees.

Bees range in size from tiny stingless bee species whose workers are less than 0.08 inches long, to Megachile pluto, the largest species of leafcutter bee, whose females can attain a length of 1.54 inches. The most common bees in the Northern Hemisphere are the Halictidae, or sweat bees, but they are small and often mistaken for wasps or flies. Vertebrate predators of bees include birds such as bee-eaters; insect predators include beewolves and dragonflies.

Gabby helps Karen get into the bee suit.

Gabby helps Karen get into the bee suit.

Gabby helps Karen get into the bee suit.

Gabby helps Karen get into the bee suit.

Then Gabby lights the smoker. This will calm the bees so they don't get excited and attack.

Gabby lights the smoker.

Gabby lights the smoker.

Gabby and Karen finish securing their bee suits before approaching the bees.

Gabby and Karen tightening their bee suits

Gabby and Karen tightening their bee suits

Ready to Go!

Karen Duquete and Gabby ready to go

Below: the bee hives.

the bee hives

bee hive

Gabby teaches Karen how to open the bee hive.

Karen Duquette watches Gabby open the bee hive.

opeing the bee hive

Karen Duquette and Gabby witht he bees

Gabby pulls out a rack of bees

Gabby inspects the bees and looks for the queen. Unfortunately she was unable to see the queen on this date, but she knew everything was okay. Gabby explained how bees can actually make another queen by using a baby bee's lava.

Gabby inspects the bees

Gabby inspects the bees

Gabby and Karen inspect the bees

Gabby and Karen inspect the bees

Then it was Karen's turn to get a close look at the bees.

Karen Duquette handles the bees

Karen Duquette handles the bees

Gabby and Karen with the bees

Gabby and Karen with the bees

Gabby and Karen with the bees

Then Karen got a turn at taking a rack of bees out of the box, inspecting them and then returning the rack of bees to the box.

Karen Duquette opens the bees box

Karen Duquette opens the bees box

Karen Duquette handles the bees

Karen Duquette handles the bees

Karen Duquette handles the bees

Karen Duquette handles the bees

Gabby gently closes up the beehive. But first she makes sure none are on the lid.

Gabby inspects the lid for bees

Gabby closing the beehive

Gabby and Karen did their job

importantOne year later in 2018, the two RV Gypsies returned to this farm and they learned how to extract the honey from these bees. If you wish to view that page, click here. There will be a link at the bottom of that 2018 page back to this 2017 page so you can continue navigation in the order of occurrence.

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This is not a linear site, so there are three choices for continued navigation below:

go to the next adventure of the two RV Gypsies Continue navigation in the order of occurrence - Robins Nest Ranch and the horses

OR

return to a previous page see how honey from these bees were extracted in 2018

OR

return to a previous page Return to the Tennessee 2017 menu to continue navigation in the order of your choice.