10 Buzzing Facts about Honey, Part 2

queen cell - bee removal IrvineIn our last article, we pointed out a few facts about honey. The taste of this amber elixir has inspired many people throughout history and instigated cooks to come up with some delicious recipes. Honey is a true delight to the palate. Even in case you’re not a fan, you have to pay respects to the hard-working bees. Thanks to these amazingly industrious little creatures, we can enjoy the benefits of honey. Read on to find out more interesting facts our bee removal Irvine experts have prepared.

It was highly appreciated throughout history

In ancient Egypt, honey was an expensive commodity. It was a luxury item, sold at prices only the wealthiest could afford. Egyptians offered honey to the gods to show their devotion and worship. The pharaohs used honey in their wedding celebrations. Like Egyptians and the ancient Greeks, the Romans also loved the taste of honey in their food and used it as a gift to their gods.

In ancient Ireland, honey was an important commodity and in the 11th century, it was so highly valued in Germany that feudal lords required their peasants to make them payments of honey and beeswax.

Drink of the gods: mead

Honey has also been used for the preparation of an alcoholic drink known as ‘mead’. Ancient Greeks, Chinese and Africans all drank mead as far back as 3000 BCE. Almost every country that produced honey has a history of mead production. Honey wine is still frequently consumed in Eastern Europe and Russia.

Honey wine is made by fermenting honey with water. This beverage was widely enjoyed from the early Middle Ages until the 17th century. The aforementioned Egyptian custom of using honey during the wedding was passed on to Greco-Roman culture. Newlyweds drank honey wine for a month after the wedding ceremony to ensure good luck and happiness. This is how the word honeymoon originated.

Mead holds an important place in Norse mythology as a beverage with magical powers. Also, it’s possible that ambrosia and nectar, mentioned in the ancient Greek myths as the food and drink of gods, were actually kinds of honey.

Not all bees make honey

There are around 20,000 species of bees on Earth but only a few of them make honey, and they are called honey bees. The European honey bee (Apis mellifera) or the western honey bee is the most common among seven honey bee species of the world. It is used for commercial beekeeping in the U.S.

Some honey bees are wild, other species are managed by beekeepers for honey production. Apis mellifera and Apis cerana are the species commonly reared for commercial purposes. Apis melifera in Europe and America and Apis cerana across South and Southeastern Asia up to Russia in the north.

Bees have made it for millions of years

Bees have been producing honey in the same way for at least 150 million years. Researchers have even found a fossilized honeycomb dating from approximately 3 million years ago. Man has been harvesting honey for thousands of years. An ancient cave painting discovered in Valencia, Spain, portrays a human figure collecting honey from a hive, possibly dating from 15.000 years ago.

There are different flavors and colors of honey

Honey’s color and flavor depend on the nectar source (the blossoms) visited by honey bees. There are more than 300 types of honey in the U.S., each originating from a different floral source. Ranging from almost colorless to dark brown, honey can have a delicate, spicy or even a subtle menthol flavor.

Bees in the southeastern U.S. have even been known to produce honey that’s deep purple in color, though scientists can’t agree why. Avocado honey, primarily produced in California, is a well-rounded, dark-colored honey with a rich caramelized flavor.

Another type of honey primarily produced in California is sage honey, which is light in color, with a delicate, sweet flavor and a floral aftertaste. It stands out among other types of honey because it is very slow to crystallize due to a high ratio of fructose to glucose sugars.

Safe bee removal Irvine

If you need a bee removal in Irvine or another city in Orange County, call Bee Keepers. We have over three decades of experience in removing honey bees, yellow jackets, bumble bees, carpenter bees, and wasps. We also perform a live removal, rescuing and relocating any bees or bee hives that may be causing you disturbance. Call us whenever, we are at your service night and day!

10 Buzzing Facts about Honey, Part 1

beekeeping bee removal garden groveIt’s common knowledge that bees make honey. These miraculous creatures work tirelessly to create one of the most delicious and amazing substances known to man. Not only is honey great as a natural sweetener but it also has incredible characteristics worth buzzing about. Your trusted bee removal Garden Grove experts have prepared several intriguing facts you may not have known.

Making it is hard work

During her modest six-week-long life during the colony’s active season, a worker bee works hard, day in and day out. Among other duties, she ventures out in search of nectar. During one visit, a honey bee usually visits from 50 to 100 flowers.

This diligent creature works her entire life for a 1/12 tablespoon of honey. Honey bees have to ransack over 55.000 miles and visit 2 million flowers to produce a single pound of honey. It’s a lifetime work for around 800 bees. A typical beehive can produce anywhere from 30 to 100 pounds of honey a year.

Bees survive on it in the winter

Honey bees need two different kinds of food: nectar and pollen. They convert nectar into honey for the majority of honey bee larvae to eat during the winter. These little marvelous flying machines work industriously all summer to ensure they have enough food to sustain the hive during the colder months. Honey is a source of carbohydrate energy, while pollen is a source of protein.

Certain larvae chosen to become future queens will, though, be fed with royal jelly, a nutritious white substance produced by young female worker bees.

It can never spoil

When sealed in containers, honey can remain stable for decades and even centuries! There are reports of edible honey found in Egyptian tombs, built several thousand years ago. How is that possible? The answer lies in the chemical makeup.

Raw honey has a fairly low water content, usually less than 18%, and a high acidic level, with the pH ranging between 3 and 4.5. In an environment like that, bacteria and microorganisms simply can’t survive. And if they cannot survive, then honey cannot spoil. However, stored honey is susceptible to physical and chemical changes. It tends to darken and lose its aroma or crystallize.

It’s prone to granulation

Unpasteurized honey will granulate over time, especially when stored in a cool place. Honey granulates at around 55 degrees F. Some varieties are more prone to granulation than others. It’s because they contain more glucose sugar. Sugar in the honey forms the crystals that lead to granulation. Interestingly enough, granulated honey can be returned to its liquid form by gentle heating below 115 degrees F.

It’s powerful natural medicine

This rich golden liquid is much more than a sweetener. Raw honey contains many antibacterial and antiseptic components. As one of the oldest medicines known to man, honey is useful in treating wounds, burns, eczema, skin ulcers, psoriasis, gastrointestinal diseases, respiratory diseases, and numerous health conditions. It also lowers cholesterol and regulates blood sugar.

As a powerful antioxidant, raw honey boosts your immunity and battles with bacteria, viruses, yeast, and fungi attacks. Its antioxidant ability can vary depending on the floral source and processing. In general, the darker the honey, the higher the level of antioxidants. Greeks and Romans referred to honey as a food fit for the gods. And no wonder there’s a saying ‘Sweet as honey’. This superfood has countless nutritional benefits and, the best of all, it tastes delicious.

Need bee removal Garden Grove?

Bees are wonderful and precious insects, valuable for the ecosystem and humankind. Protecting them should be our priority. If by any chance you spot a bee swarm or colony and need a bee removal in Garden Grove or another community in Orange County, call Bee Busters. We perform bee control and bee removal all over Orange County. We can rescue these bees and place them in a hive box somewhere safe.

Dancing with Bees: the Amazing Waggle Dance

Bee Swarm - Bee Removal Long BeachHoney bees are incredibly organized creatures. In one short season, the colony’s honey bee workers will visit up to 500.000.000 flowers and will make about 90 kilograms of honey. Bees don’t fly in groups, so each bee finds the nectar source individually. But have you ever wondered how these bees can suddenly know precisely where the blooming flowers are?

It’s because they have a remarkable method of telling one another where to find the most productive flowers. This is called the “. Their intriguingly intelligent behavior and the language they developed is quite useful when the food is difficult to find or the food sources differ in quality.

Our Bee Busters experts, that offer bee removal in Mission Viejo and other Orange County communities, present some facts about their astonishing way of communication.

How is the dance performed?

Diligent honey bees search vast expanses for the best flowers and when a bee finds a new rich source of nectar, she goes back to the hive to tell her fellow workers all about it.

To get their attention, the bee climbs on her sister’s backs and vibrates her abdomen. Then she begins a carefully choreographed dance to tell the others where her discovery lies. The dancing bee moves in a straight line called the waggle run and then circles back making a figure-eight shape by alternating between left and right return paths.

During the waggle dance, the bee vibrates her wings and wags her body from side to side approximately 13 to 15 times a second. The sound she emits by her wings and the physical contact between the dancer and her fellow bees enables transmission of information in complete darkness.

What does it mean?

The dance passes on information based on two elements: the distance and direction from a hive to a food source. Other information like quality and abundance of food might be encoded in the dance or in pheromones released by the bee.

The duration and length of the waggle run indicate the distance to the nectar source. The longer the distance, the farther the flower is from the hive. In general, one second equals one kilometer. When food is within a few meters of the hive, the central part of the waggle dance will turn into a circular dance.

The angle of the bee dance tells them the direction of the flower in relation to the sun. For example, if the bee dances directly upward, other bees know they should fly directly towards the sun when they leave the hive.

These instructions are amazingly accurate and can pinpoint the location of the nectar source over 6 kilometers. After the performance, some of the bees are going to departure immediately to find the location themselves.

Who discovered it and when?

Aristotle was one of the first people who noted it and an Austrian ethologist Karl von Frisch was the one who decoded it. He discovered the bee dance in the 1920s and developed an ingenious marking system of tracking individual honey bees. He then continued to conduct various experiments through the 1960s to explore the purpose and meaning of the bee dances, for which he was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1973. This way his work was ultimately recognized, after the initial skepticism he received for the theory he first described in his book “The Dancing Bees” in 1927.

This type of communication is highly unusual and unique to honey bees. It still remains a source of fascination. 

Bee removal Mission Viejo, the best service in Orange County

If you’ve noticed bees or a beehive on your property, don’t attempt to remove them yourself. It’s best to look for a bee removal Mission Viejo company to deal with any bee situation you might have.

With over 30 years of experience in providing Orange County bee removal and control services, Bee Busters are at your service night and day. We are experts in removing honey bees, yellow jackets, bumble bees, carpenter bees and wasps. Being dedicated to the honey bees, we also perform a live removal and relocation of any bees or beehives that might be causing you agitation. 

 

Orange County Beekeepers’ Advice: What to Do in Case of a Bee Sting

Bee on a Bee Buster Employee - Orange county beekeepers

Getting stung by a bee or wasp is an unpleasant and painful experience, but don’t panic.

If you’re not allergic to the venom, usually the sting won’t have a long-lasting effect on your body. As the reaction to the protein in the venom of the bee or wasp, you may experience swelling, redness, itching and instant sharp pain. In most cases, these symptoms will disappear within a few hours. In the worst case scenario, it’ll go away after a day or two.

For any concerns and honey bee emergencies, contact Bee Busters, Orange county beekeepers and bee removal experts, who will provide bee rescue, relocation or removal.

To find out what to do and how to treat mild and moderate reactions to a bee sting, keep on reading!

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Does cold weather affect the number of wasps?

Place for a Wasp Nest - Anaheim wasp nest removalThis piece of folk wisdom has been around for a very long time. If the winter has been fierce and cold, the summer that follows will be mercifully free of wasps. But is there any scientific backing to this claim? If not, where did this myth originate?

The shortest possible answer is ‘no, wasps won’t be affected by the unusually cold winter’. The reason why, though, is a bit more complex, and it requires some understanding of wasp social structure.

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How Honeybees Evolved From Wasps

Orange County Beekeepers - Strange Places for Beehives - Remove term: Bee Removal Fullerton Bee Removal FullertonWith spring and warmth all around, there are many more insects around, including various bees and wasps. Most people generally have nothing against honey bees but aren’t too keen on wasps. In fact, most of us have wished at some point that wasps never existed. Interestingly enough, if wasps hadn’t been around, we would never have honey bees either.

Most people generally have nothing against honey bees but aren’t too keen on wasps. In fact, most of us have wished at some point that wasps never existed. Interestingly enough, if wasps hadn’t been around, we would never have honey bees either.

Interestingly enough, if wasps hadn’t been around, we would never have honey bees either.

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Surprising Ways Wasps are Actually Useful

Wasp - Garden Grove Wasp Nest Removal Irvine Wasp Nest RemovalIf your reaction to the title was disbelief, you share the opinion of most people who have had encounters with them. The only thing we want when we see them is get rid of them, in any way possible. However, there are a lot of wrong ways to try to get rid of a wasp nest, and only professionals can do it safely and thoroughly. In Orange County, in places like Irvine wasp nest removal is a year-round business.

Wasps seem to get a bad reputation as useless and aggressive, especially when compared to honey bees. However, the story is not as clear cut as we would want it to be. There are actually some benefits to having some species of wasps around. Just make sure you do not agitate them, as their stings hurt.

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Africanized bees

They were the real scare in the previous decades, but not much has been heard about Africanized bees lately. There was a report last year which stirred some panic, but it proved to be false, so the dust settled once again. This article aims to shed some light on these creatures, how they came to be, their behavior and other matters. Keep in mind that these bees do exist in real life and they did cause hundreds of deaths in the 50 or so years they have existed.

If you happen to encounter a colony, do not engage them, and if it is found on your property, call the experts to get rid of them. The best bee removal in Westminster and throughout Orange County comes from Bee Busters.

The inception

As their name suggests, their origin can be traced back to Africa. The bees on that continent needed to develop aggressive behavior and strength in order to survive the harsh conditions as well as the abundance of predators. Scientists believed that these traits would be ideal when paired with the more productive and docile European bees. The experiments started in Brazil in 1956. The breeding was successful, creating hybrid Africanized honeybees. However, the scientists failed to contain the bees to Brazil.

What went wrong?

The bees spread incredibly fast. Being stronger and more aggressive than their European counterparts, they were able to oust them from their ecological niche. By the early 1970’s, the bees reached the northern part of South America in Venezuela. The next decade saw them migrate to Mexico, until finally in the 1990’s they reached the southern USA. Initially, they caused a lot of problems with their aggression and persistence, so that created the myth of ‘killer bees’ which caused widespread panic. The country is still adapting to their arrival. They are not expected to travel any more north, as cold climates do not suit them.

Behavior

Like most bees, Africanized bees are very territorial. However, unlike most other species of bees, they are incredibly persistent and aggressive when they feel threatened. While most bees will break off the pursuit fairly quickly, these bees will pursue their target. It takes approximately 6 to 7 stings per LB, to inject enough venom into an average human to cause death. This, naturally, provided that there is no allergic reaction. So a 200 LB person would need 1200 to 1400 stings to be fatal. While this sounds like a lot of bee stings,  Africanized bees are more than capable of such attacks. An average colony can have between 10,000 and 20,000 bees, and often much more. A queen can lay up to 2500 eggs per day.

Comparison

However, you shouldn’t believe everything you hear about them in the media. For instance, they are often represented as being much larger than regular bees. This is in fact very wrong, as they are typically smaller than their European cousins we are familiar with. So then, is their body count a result of the more potent venom? Once again, no. In fact, there is no difference between the venoms of these two species. And even if you consider the amounts of venom they possess, you might be surprised to once again learn that a regular honey bee is the winner of this comparison as well. So it is only their aggressive nature that sets them apart.

Not killer bees after all

A report from Puerto Rico shows that the same Africanized bees are much more docile there, as a result of less competition. So, their ‘killer bee’ reputation is perhaps too harsh, and depends solely on the conditions.

In any case, you should not attempt to remove bees yourself. There are professionals who have the right equipment and training. Bee removal in Westminster in Orange County is a job for Bee Busters. Contact Bee Busters for any further information.

Different Kinds of Wasp Nests

Bee nest - Wasp nest removal Orange CountyMost of us aren’t too interested in bees and wasps. The only thing we want is for them to stay away from us and our property. However, to a trained eye, just a look at the wasp’s nest can help identify the species that is bugging you. This, in turn, makes it so much easier to prepare for the specific conditions which may apply. For instance, yellow jackets are infinitely more aggressive than paper wasps, and their stings hurt a whole lot more as well. It is good to be prepared. This is why we offer this helpful description of various bee habitations. Be warned that wasps and bees are aggressive when defending their home. Wasp nest removal in Orange County should be left to professionals with ample experience and appropriate equipment.

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Can I Remove Bees From My House?

A lot of home owners are concerned when they notice a bee hive on their property, especially if they have children or pets. Even though having bees in your garden is useful because they will pollinate your plants, most home owners like to have the colony removed. The dilemma is whether you should do it yourself or hire bee removal professionals. Our opinion is that the latter is a better option. You may say we are partial, and we are, but only because we have a decades-long experience in keeping and handling bees. In any case, read on and decide for yourself.

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