Posted by Franz Huber
Last Wednesday, we enjoyed a visit by Nasser and Nayer Kaviani (both members of the RC of Broadbeach).  Nasser is an expert Apiarist (Bee Keeper) and "runs" several hives to produce that most wonderful of nature's food, honey.  His presentation, entitled "The wonderful work of the bee" outlines in an easy, non-technical way the various types of bees, how bees are organized in hives, their life cycles, how they mate...
OK, we all know that central to the hive is the Queen. Then there are the Workers, who are the ones that collect the honey and the pollen. But did you know that the queen only mates with a Drone? Drones are the male bees and do nothing to help the Workers (which are infertile females). They congregate in a separate area high up outside the hive, waiting for virgin queens to visit for mating. Only a few get the opportunity to mate and, once their business is concluded, they simply die... The queen returns to the hive and from then on, the Drones are not permitted entry and usually die at the hive entrance on the ground.
Development depends on the type: it takes just 16 days to make a Queen, 21 days to make a Worker and 24 days to make a Drone. Their life cycle is between 5 and 7 weeks. There is no school for young bees - they know their job from day one.  There is so much interesting stuff... if I have to pick one, it would have to be the Waggle Dance.  Its purpose is to communicate with other bees where nectar and pollen can be found. Rather than me trying to explain it, why don't you just click on this link where it is all explained in detail:
The volume of honey produced is extraordinary: world wide, some 1,500,000 tonnes are produced, of which 462,000 tonnes is produced in China. Is the honey you buy in a supermarket the real thing? Well, not necessarily, so Nasser advised. Commercial honey sold in the supermarkets is heated to stop it crystallizing on the shelves. If this heating process is not managed well, all the mysterious goodies in the honey get wasted. So, raw and unheated honey is only the real one with all the goodies in it still intact. Nasser can supply you with just that! Simply contact the Editor and I'll forward your request on to him.