I love bees... I also love learning about bees and teaching others about bees.  Bees are one of the most important parts of our ecosystem.  Below are some of the questions I frequently get asked about our honey, our bees, and bees in general.

-Brandon Tai

Do you get stung a lot?

Yes.

What kind of bees make your Honey?

Apis mellifera is the main species of bees that produce honey.  It is also known as the Western Honey Bee or European Honey Bee.

Is honey good for you?

Yes, its loaded with micronutrients, probiotics, and vitamins and minerals.

Is honey better than sugar?

Definitely, honey contains antioxidants and plant compounds. Additionally, honey has a lower glycemic index than regular sugar.

Can honey help with my allergies?

Yes, honey micro-doses your immune system which helps your body become adjusted to pollen.

Can you really put honey on wounds?

Yes, It has really low PH and really high osmotic pressure, so yes you can put it on wounds. But we would recommend you consult your doctor for your specific wound.

What does "Raw Honey" mean?

It means it is unpasteurized and unfiltered. We don’t heat our honey, even during uncapping. take a look at this video to see how we get it out of the hives.

Is most honey in the grocery store from America?

About half the honey consumed in the US is imported.

Why would I not wanted imported honey?

Other countries don’t have the same agricultural and food safety standards as the United States, e.g. In other countries they use lead lined barrels, they use antibiotics, and they can adulterate the honey with rice syrup and malt syrup.

Why can I buy organic honey from other countries but not from the US?

Most organic honey is a marketing gimmick. Organic honey can be bought from country such as Brazil or Mexico where the standards for organic honey are not stringent as what the USDA would enact. There are no standards for USDA organic certified honey. The honey you get out of the US is typically going to be higher quality than what you will get from import honey.

How much honey does each bee make?

Each honey bee produces about 1/12 of a teaspoon of honey.

What do bees eat?

Bees eat nectar and pollen provided by flowers.

What are bees favorite flowers?

In Georgia they like tulip poplars, blackberries, maples, holly, black locust, dandelions, dutch clovers, and privet.

How do bees find flowers?

There are scout bees that find flowers based on ultraviolet patterns and electric fields coming off of the flowers. Subsequent recruits follow the scout bees' waggle dance to find the flowers the scout found.

How long to bees live?

On average about 40 days in spring, summer, fall, and upwards of 5 months in winter in Northern parts of US and Canada

How many bees are in a hive?

I would estimate on average about 60,000 bees live in a hive in spring and summer

How much honey does a hive produce?

In the Northern states they can produce over 200 pounds per hive, it is normally less as you go south.

Do the bees die when you take their honey?

No.

How long does it take to make honey

The bees in Atlanta start in February and we harvest honey in June.

Can you harvest honey more than once per year?

In Atlanta we are usually able to harvest only once per summer.

What do you do with the frames you take out the hive?

We uncap with a cold knife and put it in a centrifuge to spin all of the honey out.

Are there baby bees in the honeycomb?

No, we only pull frames from the honey part of the hive, the baby bees live in the brood-comb.

Do they all die in the winter time?

No, they enter torpor (kinda like hibernation) where they use their wing muscles to create heat.

How many queens are there in a hive?

Normally one, unless she is being superseded in which case there can be two.

Are bees aggressive?

Honey bees are only aggressive in defending the hive, they will almost never sting you away from the hive.

Are bees smart?

They have a small brain, but they are extremely good at what they are programmed to do.

Do other bees and wasps produce honey?

Some species of bumble bees collect honey in little pots.

Are killer bees honey bees?

Yes they produce honey,  they originated when western bees were bred with African bees to try and increase honey production.

Are bees native to America?

The bees in North America died 14 million years ago, but European honey bees were re-introduced over the last few hundred years.

Do bees die when they sting?

Yes, if they sting humans or thick skin animals; they can sometime sting other insects or thin-skinned animals (e.g. frog) and not die. queens can sting multiple times without.

What does the smoke in hives do?

It masks the alarm pheromone, and they think the hive is on fire, so they gorge on honey, when they are full of honey, they don’t sting.

Is it easy to have bees?

No, diseases have become more virulent and the varroa mite which vectors them has more prevalent. Also, small hive beetles will take over any weak hive, not giving them a chance to rebound.

What chemicals do you put on your bees?

Our hives are treated with formic acid, which prevents the bees from getting mites. This is a organic approved miticide.

Do yard bug sprays kill bees?

Yes, the poison kills the bees. We advise against spraying. We recommend using herbal bug spray apply directly to yourself or your children.

Do you Teach about Bees?

Yes, I have worked with a few local schools and organizations, like the WyldeCenter.org to help teach kids and adults about bees.   Contact me at info@honeynextdoor.com  if you have a specific questions.