Manuka honey is created in the same way all honey is, but what do you know about how a bee colony functions?
To start, beehives can hold up to 50,000 bees in one colony and this colony contains a combination of worker bees, drone bees and of course the queen. Worker bees, which are female, all have different roles. These include scout bees, guard bees, honey makers and protectors of the queen.
The drone bee is the male bee in the hive and their sole job is to mate with the queen. The drone bees have no stingers and forage for their own food but unfortunately die immediately after mating.
“Long live the queen” takes on a literal meaning for bees as the queen can live up to 5 years. However, the queen’s court or those bees that keep the hive “buzzing” live for only 6 months.
To make honey the bees can fly up to 2 miles or 3km to forage for pollen. They find their way by using cognitive map navigation and the position of the sun. Professor Randolf Menzel, from Freie University Berlin, found in a study done in New Zealand, that bees are capable of retrieving information on their own location and the location of the goal through the recognition of landmarks. This discovery was made using a new technology known as a harmonic radar.
So, not only are there lots of jobs to do within the hive there are also lots of interesting facts about bees. Stay tuned for a list of individual jobs both inside and outside the hive.