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Honey Bee Presentations

Would you like to learn more about honeybees, beekeeping, pollination, Africanized honey bees, and colony collapse disorder? Schedule an appointment with me, Caleb Schalk, for a fun and educational slide presentation with my beekeeping equipment!

Caleb Schalk, Beekeeper

I’ve been keeping honey bees since 2011 and I have experience with building and maintaining bee hives, harvesting honey and beeswax, honey bee removals, and using honey bees for the pollination of crops.

Each 1 hour presentation covers the topics below and includes time for question and answers:

  • The Importance of Honey Bees – Learn why honey bees are important to everyone who wants to eat.
  • About 1/3 of the food we eat is pollinated by insects, mostly honey bees. So why are honey bees doing most of the agricultural pollination? What about the other pollinators?

Find out the many uses for honey, pollen, royal jelly, beeswax, propolis, and bee venom. Discover why so much of our food supply is dependent on honey bees and not other pollinators, the truth about colony collapse disorder, and more!

Schedule your appointment now! Call Caleb Schalk at (956) 230-6903.

How Honey Bees Live – See how a honey bee colony works together and functions.

Honey bees are fascinating animals and there’s a lot that we can learn by studying how they live. Each individual bee in a colony has a job to do that helps the enter colony to thrive.

Learn the truth about Africanized honey bees, how honey bees communicate with each other, and the difference between a worker, queen, and drone bee. Further, uncover how they build the wax comb that they store honey in, how they reproduce and more!

Beekeeping Basics – How to get started beekeeping.

Do you want to learn how to keep honey bees and get your own raw honey fresh from a bee hive? Whether you want one or two hives in your backyard or enough to use as a side or full time business, I will show you how to get started.

Understand basic honey bee biology, what equipment you need to get and how to use it, how to get the honey bees into a hive, and more!

Working with Feral Honey Bees – How to deal with honey bees when they are not in a man-made bee hive and you don’t know their temperament.

Once people know you’re a beekeeper, you might get calls to remove a swarm of bees from a tree or even from the wall of someone’s house. Or maybe you don’t want to spend money buying honey bees, but would rather catch a wild colony yourself.

I will show you how to remove an established hive of honey bees and install them into a hive, the many ways of catching swarms of bees, how to work with aggressive honey bees and make them docile, and more!

Schedule your appointment now! Call Caleb Schalk at (956) 230-6903. The cost is $100, which includes local transportation in the Rio Grande Valle and equipment instruction, setup and use.

Why would someone want to play with stinging insects?

In other words, why keep honey bees? Well, there are many reasons actually. Some beekeepers keep honey bees for the honey. After all, there’s nothing like raw honey fresh from a bee hive! Others keep honey bees because they want to help save them or improve how beekeeping is done. Still others keep honey bees for the other products we get from them, like pollen, royal jelly, beeswax, propolis, and bee venom.

Most large scale beekeepers rent their bee hives to farmers to pollinate fields and orchards, while others keep honey bees just to pollinate their backyard garden. Some people raise queen honey bees and honey bee colonies to sell to other beekeepers or those that want to become beekeepers. Some beekeepers relocate honey bees from places where they’re not wanted, like the wall or soffit of a house, a compost bin, or bird house. Others sell the equipment needed for beekeeping like the wooden beehives, bee suites, and bee smokers.  And still others teach the art, science, and business of beekeeping.

Most beekeepers do some combination of the above listed, but one of the most important reasons for keeping honey bees is the enjoyment of it. Yes, you will get stung, and it hurts, but working with insects that are so hard working, organized and selfless is very enjoyable. It’s a lot of fun building your own wooden bee hives, putting honey bees inside their new home, studying the bees, and watching what the bees do in different situations. Beekeeping is not for everyone, but for those who enjoy working with honey bees, beekeeping is its own reward!

Is honey actually bee spit?

How do honey bees make that wonderful golden honey? It all starts with a flower. Flowers produce nectar to attract pollinators, like honey bees. Nectar is basically sugar water. When a honey bee goes to a flower, she will draw the nectar into a pouch called the honey sack. The nectar never actually goes into the bee’s stomach, it only goes into the bee’s honey sack.

The honey bee then flies back to the hive and gives the nectar to another honey bee who drinks the nectar into her honey sack. The bee that took the nectar gives it other bee, and that bee gives it to other bee, and so on. This process mixes enzymes from the bee’s honey sack into the nectar which in turn breaks down the complex sugars in the nectar into simple sugars. Once the sugars are broken down, the bees store the nectar in a cell of the honey comb.

Next the honey bees need to thicken the nectar. They do this by leaving the top of the cell open and fanning their wings over it. Once much of the water has evaporated from the nectar, it has finally become honey. The bees then put a wax capping over the top of the cell to seal up the honey and preserve it for later when they need it.

So why do honey bees make honey? There are other pollinators that eat nectar directly, like butterflies and other types of bees, so why bother making it into honey? The answer is in how they live. Butterflies live by themselves, they are solitary insects. Honey bees live together in a colony, they are social insects. Because honey bees live together, they need a way to store food. Nectar can’t be stored because it will ferment, but once it’s turned into honey it can be stored without ever fermenting or spoiling in any way. When winter comes, most butterflies and other solitary pollinators die, however, a colony of honey bees will survive though the winter because they turn nectar into honey and store it away.

The honeybee is a fascinating creature. We currently have 15 hives in various stages of development from 1 deep box to 2 deep boxes with supers (a super is the top box where the bees put extra honey). Some of the bees were purchased in 3-pound packages which were received in the mail or picked up in Austin. Others were relocated to GHR from removals that we’ve done here in the Rio Grande Valley.

Bee facts:

    • Honey is made from flower nectar combined with an enzyme inside the bee’s mouth.
    • Bees can fly up to 3 miles to look for nectar.
    • The worker bees do a “bee dance” back at the hive which shows the other workers the direction and distance of the flowers they’ve found.
    • The three types of honeybees are the queens, the drones, and the workers.
    • There is only 1 queen per hive. Her job is to mate with the drones of neighboring hives and lay up to 2000 eggs per day. She lives 3 – 5 years.
    • The drones are all male. They do no work and have no stinger. Their only purpose is to mate with the queens of neighboring hives. They die after breeding.

Placing Bees in Hive

  • The workers are all female. They collect nectar and pollen; build, clean, and maintain the comb; care for the queen and brood; defend the hive; and of course, make honey. They live about 6 weeks in the summer.
  • The queen lays fertile eggs that develop into the worker bees.
  • The queen lays unfertile eggs that develop into the drones (which are basically a clone of her).
  • Bees pollinate approximately 75% of the fruits, nuts, and vegetables grown in the U.S.

If you need Bee removal service, please call us for prices and date availability.

 

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