Amino Acids

  Amino Acids are building blocks of proteins. All amino acids are comprised of 4 groups. The first three are common in all amino acids. They are: Alpha Carbon (C-H) Amine Group (N-H-H) Carboxyl Group (O-C-OH) The last is the R Group. The R Groups are what defines the individual amino acids. Some are polar … More Amino Acids

Honey Bee Genetics

In my previous blog, I spoke about the Kinship theory. This theory states that the more relatedness there is between a group of individuals, the more likely to exhibit altruistic behavior the individuals are to be. Honeybee sisters share 75% of the same genetic material. This genetic similarity is what drives the honeybees to take … More Honey Bee Genetics

Eusocial Insects

Honey bees (Apis mellifera) are all part of what is termed a superorganism. Superorganisms are defined as a social unit of Eusocial animals, specialized labor is divided up, and the individuals can not exist outside of the group on their own for any extended period of time.

Hive Inspection Logs

Hive inspection is not only fun, but necessary! Once you reach a certain number of hives, it is almost impossible to remember what hive was in what shape. I have seen people use colored tags on hives to indicate the need to add supers or to feed. I have seen people scribble in notepads. I … More Hive Inspection Logs

Colony Swarms

“The Swarm” was a 1978 movie with an all-star cast about a swarm of killer bees out to destroy humanity. This classic B-movie is the epitome of most peoples understanding of honey bee behavior and swarming. I have heard countless tales of people scared silly over a swarm of bees, when actually a swarm is … More Colony Swarms

Lesson 5 – The Honey Bee Caste System

Honey bees are in the  order Hymenoptera. This is the third largest group of insects comprising over 150,000 species. This group consists of ants, bees, wasps, and sawflies. One distinguishing characteristic about this group is they are Eusocial. Eusociality is defined by the division of labor in the superorganism divided by groups such as reproductive and non-reproductive … More Lesson 5 – The Honey Bee Caste System

Types of Queen cells

It’s bee season again! As your going through your hives, you may notice they are putting on queen cells. There are three types of cells you will see: Swarm Cells, Superscedure Cells, or Emergency Cells. The swarm cell is typically the one you will see. This type cell is an indicator that your hive is … More Types of Queen cells

Usurpation -What is it and why it is important to understand

It is January here in Texas and today the temperature is 65(F). As I walked through the apiary, I noticed something unusual. There was a group of bees down on concrete block I use to hold up my hive stand, and there was a group of bees fighting on the landing board of the hive … More Usurpation -What is it and why it is important to understand