Northern Bees

Northern Bees

We know a lot about beekeeping products: honey, propolis, bee bread, and royal jelly. What do we know about bees that make these products?

We are proud to introduce to you: The Bee of the Perm Region population of the European breed of dark forest bees.

Personal Details:
First Name: Apis (Bee)
Middle Name: Mellifera (Honey)
Last Name: Mellifera (Honey)



The date of birth of all living worker bees is the year of 2008. Life expectancy of bees is 35-45 days in summer and a little longer in winter. Interestingly, there are no more bees on earth that were born in the twentieth century, not even among long-living queen bees that live up to 7 or 8 years. Thus all bees are newborns of the twenty-first century.

Pure breed European bees (and yes, bees are also divided by their breed) are dark in color. Tergites have almost no yellow stripes and are a little lighter than sternites that are usually brown in color. Our sternites are dark grey, almost black in color. That explains why our bees are called dark. They are also called forest bees due to the fact that bee colonies have long been nestling in tree hollows in the depths of the woods that Russia is famous for.

Our bees are hairy, almost like tiny mammoths. It is an important feature because they live in the north. The abdomen end is round and blunt, and the bee seating at rest is low and stocky. It looks as though our bees are ready to take off at the drop of a hat and head out for some nectar and pollen. Scout bees know where to find forage. This valuable information is transmitted via … a dance, which is amazingly beautiful. Scientists were able to decipher the bees’ dance: the moves show how far the forage location is, whereas the speed shows how much forage there is.



Marital Status of bees is quite confusing. Living in a beehive? In a bee nest? As a bee colony? Simply put, bees live in “families”, bee colonies. Bees have specific functions in a colony, and every bee has its own role that may change with time or depending on certain circumstances. There are scout bees, comb builders, nectar and water gatherers, as well as bees that make honey and bee bread. There are bees that make propolis and sanitize beehives; nurse bees, drones and, of course, a queen bee. Although worker bees have different functions, they are all female, except for drones, but unable to reproduce.

The queen bee is born as a larva, like any other bee. It then grows double the size of a worker bee thanks to specific nutrition. Bees feed all newborns with royal jelly during the first three days, while the queen bee is fed on royal jelly during her entire life. It is not her royal right, rather a necessity. Queens of northern bees lay up to three thousand eggs per day, the amount that exceeds their own body weight. This number translates into almost a million new lives per year, or seven million lives per lifetime.



Drones have a special role in the colony, although it has nothing to do with any activities in the hive. Their important function is to mate with the queen; hence they are well-fed on the best honey and bee bread. One drone can help produce up to a few million bees. Fertilization is their only objective, and they die as soon as they have fulfilled their task. The Drone Milk based on drone brood extract is a valuable product that outmatches royal jelly in some properties.

Outstanding Achievements: Double Honeybee! Dark forest bees produce a lot of honey. The further to the north they nestle, the more honey they make. In the north of the Perm Region, for example, bees can carry up to 85 mgs of nectar in their mouth during one flight, bringing up to 21 kilograms of it to their beehive in a day. This nectar has yet to be evaporated to turn into honey, while its volume will decrease a few dozen times.

If northern bees are so hard-working, why are honey volumes in the north yet smaller than those in the south? The reason is that honey is only yielded during four to five months in the north, this span being decreased to a mere fortnight when the weather is bad. On the contrary, honey yield can take up seven or eight months in the south, sometimes extending throughout the entire year.    
However, honey collected in the north is enough to sustain bees and even enough for us, humans. Northern bees are also known to fly out to collect linden pollen at night during midnight sun. Therefore, northern honey can be collected during the day, at night or even all-day-round.



Another Achievement: High digestibility of honey. Northern bees make honey that is fully digested. It means that honey consumed yesterday leaves no waste today. This is an exceptional feature for overwintering. Our bees have to spend seven months under the snow. Just imagine what a torture it would have been to overwinter for such a long time not being able to remove undigested waste.

Nonetheless, our bees survive winters well and start flying out in late April. Looking at their spring vitality, it is hard to contemplate that they have been kept inside since last October. The key to their well-being is honey that supplies them with abundant energy.

Disadvantages: Furious defense of bee nests and plenty of bee venom. But is it a disadvantage indeed? To defend the best honey till the last drop of venom is the noblest cause. Apitherapists are pleased, since one bee sting has sufficient venom to supply up to ten biologically active points.



Professional Holidays.
There are a few beekeeping festivities: The Beekeeper’s Day, the Savior of the Honey Feast Day. Bees now have their own celebration: 14 September, the International Bees’ Protection Day.

What can we do on this day?

The choice of the date was not random. This day marks the end or the beginning of the beekeeping season in various corners of the world. Russia enjoys the Indian summer, a change of seasons; children are back to school; college students are back to their studies. Summer holidays are over; people are willing to resume work. It is high time to think about bees and make this day memorable in every city and town.
 
It is important to educate people about bees on this day. Bees need people. Beekeepers are their friends and care-takers. Who else would look after them, warm up their hives for overwintering, or clean them in spring?

People also need bees. Beekeeping means health and well-being, clean environment and healthy nutrition. It is an occupation that needs to be developed in any form to increase the output of beehive products. Everyone will have a chance to learn about the nature of the beekeeping occupation, where to obtain basic beekeeping skills and get higher beekeeping education.



Bees can get sick too. They have enough enemies, including people who like to eat beekeeping products but do not look after bees as they should.

However, it has never been more urgent to take care of bees than now, otherwise they might disappear. How will the humankind do without honey or bee pollen? Luckily, the Russians have more time to act than people in the West. Regretfully, Europe and the USA already lost three-quarters of their bee population in 2007.

On the other hand, dark forest bees have grown in number over the last ten to fifteen years despite the harsh climate. It has been publicly known that Apimondia places hopes in dark forest bees. There are programs on expansion of northern bee population to many countries where beekeeping industry needs assistance. The protection and increase of bees’ population is a global concern.



Every one will have a better life if we look after bees, avoid using herbicides and pesticides during blossom and nectar-gathering time, grow melliferous plants and enjoy being stung by bees that has always been a sign of good luck.
 
Bees can help treat a range of diseases. Apitherapy, an area of medicine, applies unique properties of bee venom and other beehive products, with honey being the most favorite and popular one.

Our dream is to bring beekeeping products into every house, for every family. It will make people healthy and happy. We need bees to make this honey all-natural, delicious and good for health.

We can help bees and they will help us in return. All we need to do is to spread the word about bees.





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Комментарии

18.02.2009 Woydak (Hamm/Westfalen)

I am very pleased with the efforts of the russian beekeepers in the urals the domestic dark north Biene to maintain and protect. In Germany, where the Environmental Protection, Conservation groß written, is it is somewhat surprising that the old black Bee almost completely eradicated.


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