The Bee Blog – June 2002

It is now the middle of June and boy is it getting busy around here! We’ve all had a good winter with no major catastrophes. As the weather has been getting warmer and warmer, our Queen has been laying more and more eggs. Those of us who came through the winter are getting tired and will soon pass on, we are rather old you know – at least in bee years. However, the young spring bees are full of energy and are ready to carry on in our place.

Our Queen can lay 1000 – 1500 eggs per day, which then develop into workers, drones, or queens. Those poor drones, though. They hang around waiting for a virgin queen to mate with and then die right after, or hang around all summer doing nothing. Talk about freeloaders! If they don’t work and contribute to the well-being of the hive – then it is the boot for them in the fall.

Our hives have now been moved to the blueberry fields so that we can pollinate all those blossoms. You know, this must have happened when we were all sleeping, because the next morning we had a new and exciting landscape to explore. Groovy, huh?! We’ll also gather pollen to feed our young and collect nectar to turn into honey.

We will visit 50 to 100 flowers during our collection flight. In my lifetime, I’ll make only 1½ tsp. of honey, live only 4 to 6 weeks and wear out my wings. Altogether, we’ll fly over 80,000 km and visit 2 million flowers to make 1 lb of honey. Oops! My Queen just noticed that I have been talking and not doing work, I have to go now, but look for my next letter in July. Have fun and remember – the next bee you see might be me, so please don’t squish me!!

Here’s a recipe that caused quit a buzz in my house:

Honey Chicken Bake

  • ¼ cup butter or margarine
  • 1 cup liquid honey
  • ½ cup prepared mustard
  • 2 tbsp. Curry powder
  • 2 frying chickens, cut up (Pssst! you can use chicken pieces too!)

Put butter in large shallow baking pan and put in oven until butter is melted.
Remove from oven; add honey, mustard and curry powder, stirring to blend well.
Roll chicken pieces in mixture to coat all sides. Put in pan meaty side down.
Bake 45 minutes at 375F, basting often.
Turn pieces and bake 15 minutes or more until chicken is tender.

Tip for the month of June

Honey is 25% sweeter than sugar. It not only adds a wonderful flavour to baked goods and drinks but can cut calories because you need less.

Replace sugar in your favorite recipes by substituting 2/3 cup (150 ml) of honey for 1 cup (250ml) white sugar – reduce oven temperature by 25 F (15 C).