1. Do you ever get stung?

Yes, we get stung! But you can reduce stings by wearing protective clothing and by working your bees calmly and moving slowly and deliberately. Even non-beekeepers can reduce bee stings by not swatting and flailing arms and hands at the bees. Bees are curious -- they may be investigating you or your surrounding area. Just be calm and still and they will typically move along. 

What everyone needs to know about bee stings. 

2. How long do honeybees live?

A worker honeybee typically lives for up to 6 weeks. However, depending on their job in the hive (forager, nurse, etc.) and the season of the year, they can have a much shorter lifespan. Foragers in the summertime months can live much shorter lives (around 21 days) due to their heavy workloads. In the wintertime, winterbees can live as long as 6 months due to a change in the amounts of protein they store, higher body fat and vitellogenin. 

3. What flowers are bees attracted to? How can I help bees in my own backyard?

There are many plants and flowers that bees are attracted to. Primarily, they are bright, fragrant and easily accessible to bees. Honeybees have a relatively short proboscis (tongue) and flowers that are very open and have accessible pollen are the easiest for them to forage. Deep-throated flowers cannot be easily accessed by honeybees but you may see other types of bees (bumblebees) foraging those flowers. One of the ways that you can help bees in your yard is to, not only provide them with flowers for foraging, but you can provide them with accessible water. A shallow dish or birdbath filled with rocks or other material that allows them to land and drink but not drown is ideal. Open sources of water can be a deathtrap for honeybees if they don't have a place to land and drink -- they easily drown if they land or fall in the water.

How do I tell if it's a honeybee or some other type of bee?

Many people automatically think that every bee is a honeybee. However, there are over 4000 different species of bees in the United States. The following article can be very helpful to identify the bees in your backyard.

Easy Bee Identification: A Visual Guide to 16 Types of Bees In Your Backyard 

Do honeybees die when they sting?

Female worker bees have a stinger very similar to a sawblade and it only goes one way. When they sting you, they (unfortunately) die. Honeybees are usually very docile and do not usually sting unless threatened or unless defending their hive. If you are calm and move slowly, they will usually leave you alone. 

How long does the queen bee live and how many eggs does she lay?

Queen bees typically live for about 2-3 years. After she is mated she will lay up to 2000 eggs per day -- 800,000 in her lifetime!

How do bees communicate? 

They dance! Bees don't use verbal language to communicate -- they do it via a dance called the "waggle dance". Check out this fun article about all the different dances that bees do!

How Do Bees Communicate?

How many bees are there in a beehive? 

Although numbers can vary greatly (for many reasons), an established hive can have 20,000-60,000 bees!