Lorsch. After the Corona break, the Fruit and Horticultural Association Lorch The usual garden tables continued this summer. Garden experts give advice on caring for flowers, perennials, shrubs and trees. Interested members of the public are invited to the grounds of the club “Im Schnabelseck” every second Tuesday of the month at 6:30 pm. Finally, there was a special theme on the program, the annual cycle of bees. President Klaus Eberl won amateur beekeeper Sabine Schmidt as the evening’s speaker.
It is a member of the Odenwald Apple Association, which is particularly interested in Hessian apple varieties. Among the attentive listeners of Lorsch was district chief Wolfgang Heep. The beekeeper raises honey bees at the association’s headquarters. Its annual cycle does not depend on the calendar year, but on nature, the position of the sun, depending on the food supply and the climate. A distinction is made between summer and winter bees and between workers and drones.
The drones, which develop from unfertilized eggs, mate with the queen. 50,000 workers in a beehive pollinate flowers, collect pollen and nectar, and produce honey in the hive. The expert explained that she does not introduce her listeners to the beehives, “because the bees get excited in the fall because they are afraid for their food,” explaining the fact that she brought a beehive under the pergola to explain her function.
She showed that these are usually glued with wax and soaked in honey. Beginning in August, bees prepare for the cold season, stopping wax production, and closing small gaps and crevices to secure the hive and repel intruders. The audience was taught that if a mouse entered, the bees would kill it and embalm it in the hive.
The bee, unlike the wasp, dies once. Since there is less food in the winter months and the drones have done their duty, winter bees have driven them out of the hive. The actual Year of the Bee begins on the 21st of September. Then there are very few bees in the hive. About 2,000 to 3,000 workers make up a block, the queen sitting in the middle, in the warmest part. The queen can live up to five years. A new queen is created by feeding bees that have previously selected a sample themselves.
Bees provide their own warmth
To prevent the temperature inside the beehive from getting too low, the bees use trembling movements of their wings to make a 30-degree nest. At the end of September, the queen stopped laying eggs. From October onwards, things are slowly calming down as it gets too cold for the bees. During hibernation, the queen stops reproducing. Sabine Schmidt explained that beekeepers are fed thick sugar water in winter to ensure their survival.
In the spring, when outside temperatures reach 13 degrees, bees begin cleaning trips to empty the droppings. The beekeeper says that bees are “smashed into the house”, they only defecate outside the hive so that diseases do not spread.
As temperatures rise, brood activity increases and winter bees produce the next generation of summer bees. From April, bees began to search for food sources more often. Pollen and nectar are now abundant (cherry, apple, linden, locust and flower). It serves as food for the queen, as she needs the energy to lay eggs. The beekeeper stops feeding in the winter. Due to the large supply of flowers in the summer, the bee colony develops rapidly. The reason for this is the high performance of the queen bee.
If the bee colony is strong and large enough, it creates a new queen bee for reproduction. During her journey to get married she is fertilized by drones. The old queen leaves the hive with part of the bee colony (swarm flight) and looks for a new location. After July, the year of the bee ends. Then the old honey is removed from the hive and space is made for a new one.
One should not forget, according to Sabine Schmidt, that a bee must fly around the Earth about once, about 40 thousand kilometers, to produce one kilogram of honey. Ml