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Types of Bees:
The Honey Bee is a Gardener's Favorite


Bee Hives and Apiary Supplies

There are many types of bees. The honey bee is a gardener's favorite; it pollinates gardens and produces honey. Do you want to know where you can find apiary supplies or how do bees make honey? Do you know that there is a global problem with the health of bees? And do you understand why missing bees are related to environmental issues; and the impact that bees have on crops world wide?


There are about 20,000 species or types of bees in the world. The most favorite type is the honey bee because not only does it pollinate gardens and crops, it also produces delicious, and nutritious, honey.




Types of Bees: How Do Bees Make Honey?

The worker honey bees collect pollen, water and nectar to feed their bee colony and, in particular, to feed their queen bee.

Through this process of collecting pollen, they pollinate plants as they move from plant to plant before returning to their bee hives.

The nectar that is stored in their stomachs is passed from one worker bee to the next, and the water in the nectar is reduced, leaving honey as the final product. The worker honey bees store nectar in the cells of the honeycomb for use when necessary.




Types of Bees: What do Honey Bees Eat?

The Honey bees' main diet is honey and pollen. However, if necessary, they will collect and store honey dew liquids from other insects and collect and store plant spores.

Honey bees need vitamins (such as vitamin B complex and vitamin C), minerals, proteins, carbohydrates and lipids for proper nutrition (much like humans), growth and development. The bees need these nutrients for the health and survival of the colony.

There are proteins in plant pollen and worker bees bring the pollen and the honey back to the bee hives to provide food for the rest of the colony.

The queen bee and the larvae receive their protein from the royal jelly that is produced by the worker bees.

The young worker bees are the most productive. As they grow older, their need for protein decreases and they use carbohydrates or lipids for their diet; the honey and nectar are sources of carbohydrates and sugars.

The diet changes to produce energy which is then converted to fat and stored for the winter weather.

Honey bees obtain necessary vitamins from royal jelly, pollen and various microorganisms within the hive. If worker bees collect and store significant amounts of pollen, a colony has no need to seek out alternate protein sources.




Honey is a great source of nutrition for humans as well.

Honey contains:

  • Natural sugar (primarily fructose and glucose) - it is a slower digesting sugar (better Glycemic Index ranking than other sweeteners).
  • Vitamins and minerals, such as vitamin B 6, niacin, pantothenic acid, riboflavin, calcium, copper, iron, manganese, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc and more. It is fat free, cholesterol free, and has recently been identified as being a good antioxidant. Honey contains flavonoids and phenolic acids that act as antioxidants; darker honey typically has a higher antioxidant component than lighter honey.

Natural organic honey has a stronger taste and flavor and is often much darker in color. We buy our organic honey from farmers markets. The honey tastes delicious and can often be relatively easily substituted for sugar in many recipes. Both my daughters used to drink their organic tea with sugar, now if we don't have organic honey in the house they won't drink tea!

Bees and pollination are important for our food supply. But intensive farming, industrial farming techniques (use of pesticides), commercialization of bees and urbanization of our lands, is resulting in missing bees and colony collapse disease.

Encourage bees to your garden by using organic gardening techniques and planting lots of flowering shrubs and trees.

If you're lucky enough to live close to a honey bee colony, make sure you use the appropriate apiary supplies before you get too close to the hive, such as protective clothing.

Note:Bee pollen is also now available in supplement form. The nutrients that bees eat are also good for humans. Read more about bee pollen benefits to find out what a good dosage is and why it's good for you.




The Importance of Missing Bees

If you're not a gardener or a farmer you may not have noticed or realized that the bee population seems to be thinning. This is a critical issue for our food supply. We need bees to help us pollinate our crops. So why are bees going missing?

For more on missing bees, bees and pollination, and what we can do to stop all types of bees from disappearing, please visit Disappearing Bees and Missing Bees.




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Natural Soil Aeration

Soil with a good population of worms in it is a healthy soil. If your existing soil has plenty of worms then you just need to keep them happy while your vegetables grow.

Worms in your soil keep it aerated and maintain a functioning drainage system. Worms are, in effect, tilling your soil.

Worms do not destroy the soil structure or pollute the environment with petrol fumes and residues (as heavy machinery do).

By creating space with their burrowing, worms allow air to circulate, water to drain, and roots to grow.

More on Worms: What do Worms Eat?


Disclaimer: The content of this page is an opinion and is not meant to be medical advice. We do not make any therapeutic claims for herbal supplements. This site is designed for educational purposes only and is not engaged in providing medical advice or professional services. Please consult with your doctor, health care practioner or professional service provider for specific problems or advice. Many recipes have been tested however some are submissions: no guarantee is given that the ingredients or directions provided are correct and complete.

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