Sunday, December 21, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

The short life of a working girl

By
From page C4 | January 12, 2014 |

A female honey bee, Apis mellifera, in a six week lifetime will master many tasks.

Her first three weeks will be in house and the second three outside. Upon emerging as a new adult, she will spend her first two days wandering through the hive eating pollen and honey while observing the labor taking place. Cleaning and polishing cells will be her first job.

As soon as the royal jelly gland develops, she will be a nursemaid to the queen and the larvae. The queen is fed royal jelly for life. The larvae get royal jelly for three days. When royal jelly glands atrophy and the eight wax glands mature, our girl will become a cell builder and capper. This requires knowledge of size, location and need.

Queen cells are the largest. Drone cells are located on the outer periphery and are larger than workers’ cells. These workers limit the number of drones by herding the queen away from drone cells. They will also fill these cells with honey to block laying. If she has already laid eggs they will eat them or the larvae.

As the wax glands begin to atrophy, the next job undertaken is unloading the returning foragers. If the load is pollen, she will store it in a cell. If it is nectar, she will chew it to remove moisture until is the correct texture for honey and then she will store it in a honey cell.

Shortly past the two-week mark, she will begin guarding the hive. Standing on their rear four with their front legs raised for grasping, they check for suspicious flight patterns and anyone who does not have the odor of the hive.

At midday, when the sun is on the hive entrance, you will see a lot of flight activity. The inside workers are taking a break to relieve themselves. No healthy bee will discharge feces inside the hive.

The guard bees will start making short flights from the hive and return to land at the entrance, where they will immediately take off again.

We are now at the three-week point and it is time for some heavy lifting. The honey bee forager can carry a load heavier than herself. She will fly up to six miles to visit a patch. This requires exceptional navigation abilities. Bees have very poor vision –  20/2,000. That would be legally blind by our standards.

To recognize a target she would have to be very close. A worker will die after about nine days of heavy foraging or three weeks of light-duty foraging. The flight muscles wear out at approximately 500 miles. Two thousand trips may be needed to produce one ounce of honey.

These girls get the job done!

Thomas Tucker is a Master Gardener with the University of California Cooperative Extension office in Fairfield. If you have gardening questions, call the Master Gardener’s office at 784-1322.

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | 14 comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

  • Eurythmics - Sisters Are Doin' It for ThemselvesJanuary 12, 2014 - 5:31 am

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=drGx7JkFSp4

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Donna Summer She Works Hard For The MoneyJanuary 12, 2014 - 5:41 am

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MX7MbG6MiQs

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Shoo Shoo Baby by the Honeybee TrioJanuary 12, 2014 - 5:43 am

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vg7DswGefjg

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Chatanooga Choo Choo -by the HoneybeesJanuary 12, 2014 - 5:47 am

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1TMB-VPkPv0

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • A TASTE OF HONEY "BOOGIE OOGIE OOGIE"January 12, 2014 - 6:22 am

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MmMAcgkI_D4

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Buzz Off CD....The Ventures - Honky Tonk (1960)January 12, 2014 - 6:36 am

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5A3upRF1pEc&list=RDTum4XL9x_Ns

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Bee my Little Baby?January 12, 2014 - 6:42 am

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=llcpb4fDFdg

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • OK Everybody Sing...Eddie Money-Take me home tonight with lyricsJanuary 12, 2014 - 6:46 am

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QrTDa3XTUxw

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • The Ronettes - BEE MY BABY - live [HQ]January 12, 2014 - 6:50 am

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jrVbawRPO7I

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • GIANTS baseball- National Anthem - Honeybee Trio!January 12, 2014 - 7:03 am

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KXTSNyefkks

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • O JOHNNY WITH MIKEY & THE HONEYBEE TRIOJanuary 12, 2014 - 7:07 am

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eHplXH09sdU

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Now Flor Something Different...Ventures-Hawaii 5 OJanuary 12, 2014 - 7:43 am

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aQSPivbWwuY

    Reply | Report abusive comment
.

Solano News

Shining bright for all to see: Locals deck out yards, homes

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: C1, 1 Comment | Gallery

 
The Salvation Army serves 1,000-plus across 2 days

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A1, 7 Comments | Gallery

Blue Christmas service offers reflection, hope

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A1

 
Time for annual Solano County quiz

By Brad Stanhope | From Page: A2

 
Bevy of holiday activities at Western Railway Museum

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A3 | Gallery

 
State Fair scholarship applications available

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A3

Get tested, know your status

By Morgan Westfall | From Page: C4

 
 
New development fees start Jan. 1 in Vacaville

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A5

Free New Year’s celebration slated

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A5

 
A word of warning for Senator Warren

By Bud Stevenson | From Page: B7, 11 Comments

 
New technology chief will join McNaughton Newspapers

By Tanya Perez | From Page: B7, 1 Comment | Gallery

 
Fairfield police log: Dec. 19, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A9

Suisun City police log: Dec. 19, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A9

 
Sky-high price has VA rationing hep C drug

By Tom Philpott | From Page: B10

.

US / World

Air Force admits nuke flaws, but will fixes work?

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1, 1 Comment

 
 
Design of Golden Gate Bridge suicide barrier OK’d

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5, 1 Comment

Officials: Missing dog was dyed to deceive

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Immigrants build document trails to remain in US

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

California officer kills teen after machete attack

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5, 3 Comments

 
4 teens die in fiery head-on crash in Pennsylvania

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

2 dozen injured in southern Indiana bus crash

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

 
Texas ranchers seeking alternative incomes

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7, 1 Comment

 
North Korea proposes joint probe over Sony hacking

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

2 car bombs rock southern Sweden’s city of Malmo

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Bombings kill 12 in Iraq

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10, 1 Comment

US sends 4 Afghans back home from Guantanamo

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Panama’s Noriega in prison 25 years post-invasion

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

Burying the dead after Pakistan’s school massacre

By The Associated Press | From Page: A11

 
A chance to breach divide for young in Cuba and US

By The Associated Press | From Page: A12

.

Opinion

Editorial Cartoon: Dec. 21, 2014

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8, 1 Comment

 
Season’s greetings from the Obamas

By Alexandra Petri | From Page: A8, 1 Comment

 
Sound off for Dec. 21, 2014

By Daily Republic | From Page: A8

 
.

Living

Community Calendar: Dec. 21, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

 
Today in History: Dec. 21, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2, 4 Comments

Why celebrate Christmas?

By Noel Reese | From Page: C3, 5 Comments

 
Vatican offers olive branch to US nuns

By The Associated Press | From Page: C3, 1 Comment

Horoscopes: Dec. 21, 2014

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: C4

 
Should I ask grandson why we weren’t included in wedding photos?

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: C4

.

Entertainment

Review: ‘Five’ by Ursula Archer is intriguing

By The Associated Press | From Page: C6

 
PUBLISHERS WEEKLY BEST-SELLERS

By The Associated Press | From Page: C6

Publisher hopes to sell books through Twitter

By The Associated Press | From Page: C6

 
Chris Colfer has multi-book deal

By The Associated Press | From Page: C6

Jerry Lee Lewis: Sustained by brief blaze of glory

By The Associated Press | From Page: C6

 
TVGrid

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B11

.

Sports

New Giants 3B McGehee eager to play back home

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Interim coaching jobs present challenges in bowls

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

49ers squander 21-point lead in 4th straight loss

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Eagles near elimination, fall 27-24 to Redskins

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

Raiders place cornerback Brown on injured reserve

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

 
No. 11 Lady Vols trounce No. 7 Stanford 59-40

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

Big moves bring big hope for Chicago baseball

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

 
US skier Nyman wins Gardena downhill for 3rd time

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

Vonn wins women’s World Cup downhill in France

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

 
This date in sports history for Sunday, Dec. 21, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

 
.

Business

Your info has been hacked. Now what do you do?

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

 
On the money: 4 ways to hold on to your cash when renting a car

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

 
Recalls this week: Bean bag chairs, toy monkeys

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
Scarecrows outnumber people in dying Japan town

By The Associated Press | From Page: B12

.

Obituaries

Barbara Jean Bidstrup Braker

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Perry Michael Smetts

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

Luzdivina B. Banks

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

 
Arnold Howard Evans

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

Anthony Hanson Elder

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

 
Dominic C. Scolaro

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

.

Comics