Bee Informed

Bee Smart Crossword #5: Honey Bee Taxonomy

So, what is taxonomy?  According to the dictionary;

tax·on·o·my
takˈsänəmē/
noun

BIOLOGY
  1. the branch of science concerned with classification, especially of organisms; systematics.
    • the classification of something, especially organisms.
      “the taxonomy of these fossils”

Basically, taxonomy is the scientific way of organizing and classifying living things.  In the case of our Interests, that would be bees, especially honey bees as far as this puzzle is concerned.

If you prefer working the puzzle on paper, you can print the puzzle out as a PDF with a word list to help you learn new terminology.

Crossword-Bee Smart Puzzle #5_ Bee Taxonomy

 

The Return of the Bee Smart Podcast featuring the Beehooligans, Episode 33

Yes my friends, it’s here.  This first step back is a humble little episode, hosted by yours truly.  There are plans to make this more…companionable as it picks up steam again.

You will be able to listen to the full episode here on the embedded player in this post and you can listen through the whole lineup of Bee Smart podcasts on the Podcast Page of this website.  (eventually they’ll all bee there, I am still adding them in one at a time).

This episode discusses the return of the podcast and the timely topic of Honey Bee Taxonomy.

Ooh, They’re talking about the taxonomy of africanized honey bees

This is honey bee taxonomy week.  As an interesting sideroad for All Hallow’s Eve I thought we’d visit the Smithsonian Institute taxonomy page on the “Killer Bees”.  (Click on the photo to visit their page and read the very interesting article.)

A.m. scutellata Queen and attendants

Africanized honeybees are descended from stocks that evolved in the tropics and, as such, are ill-equipped to withstand prolonged cold winters. They are believed to be limited to tropical and subtropical habitats.

Honey Bee Taxonomy

This week, our general topic will center on the taxonomy of honey bees.  what is taxonomy you ask?  No, it’s not having to pay a fine to the government for having bees.

Taxonomy is the scientific classification of living things in order to identify and organize where they fit in related to other creatures.

Why is taxonomy important to those involved in apicultural pursuits?  Beecause we are often very concerned about genealogical traits of colonies that will have the most success in the places we keep them.

Knowing where bees are originally from, the traits and genetic lines they descend from and how any and all of that relates to their success in various other locations is important to everything from pollination traits, defensive traits foraging and honey production traits and the types of pests and illnesses they have been adapted to as they evolved in the place they originate.  Queen rearing is very much affected by knowing what bees are and from whence they came.

Scientific research that is always ongoing makes great use of taxonomy to locate and identify new species and sub-species of bees all the time.

It’s always a good thing to learn and know about taxonomy where bees and beekeeping are involved.  Check out the new puzzles coming up this week that focus on honey bee taxonomy.  The Crossword puzzle will post on Wednesday and will have the downloadable PDF with a wordlist on it.  The answer sheet to the Crossword and the Wordsearch versions are already available for our supporters on our Patreon supporter webpage  

The next episode of the Bee Smart beekeeping podcast featuring those Beehooligans will also talk some about taxonomy and how it is useful for beekeepers of all levels of experience.

Of course, we’ll bee sure to get some posts up with even more useful information along this line as well as we get through the week.  The objective here is always to help folks Bee Smart.

Let’s get this party started!

The Bee Smart beekeeping project has had a forums page for awhile now.  It is…slow…would not be an overstatement.

However, the whole point of the Bee Smart beekeeping project is to inform, educate and provide a interesting, even entertaining place to do those things.

The forum area is open to anyone with an interest in bees, beekeeping, the things bees produce and more.

We’ve just added a new sub-forum to discuss the more scientific areas of bees and beekeeping.  Feel free to ask questions, offer topics for discussion, maybe answer some questions you think are important for people to know but often get left unanswered.

Please read the notes and pinned post there before posting, it’s important.

Looking forward to seeing you there.

Monochrome Terrorists

Do your hives stay out near a wooded area where skunks hang out?   Next time you go out to check your hives and the bees are behaving just absolutely nasty, check them out.  Does the population of the colony seem weak?  Are there scratch marks near the entrance?  There’s a pretty good chance that a skunk has been terrorizing your hive by scratching at the entrance and eating your bees.  No wonder they’re so nasty.  Gee thanks you striped punk.

Skunk skulking around hives

Bee Smart Crosswords #4 – The Pests of Honey Bees

Word list:

ANTS
BEARS
BIRDS
DEER
DRAGONFLIES
MICE
PEOPLE
RACOONS
ROACHES
SHB
SKUNKS
SMALLHIVEBEETLE
SPIDERS
TRACHEALMITE
VARROA
WAXMOTH
YELLOWJACKETS

You can download the PDF and print out the puzzle and the answer sheet by clicking on the links…

Crossword 4 PDF

Crossword 4 Answer sheet

Junkyard Grubbers

Junkyard Grubbers

Those late Summer pests, Wax Moths, lay their eggs in the wax of the combs.  the larvae emerge and eat the wax from the brood sections of the hive.  This is because they (the wax moth larvae) get most of their nutrition from various impurities found in brood comb wax and in order to get to that junk, they eat the wax too.

Wax Moth larvae on brood comb.

 

 

 

This Week at Bee Smart…Pests

Trying out some topical changes here at the Bee Smart beekeeping project.  You may have noticed the new weekly puzzle on Wednesdays.  It has a theme.  That’s due to the idea that each week here will loosely focus on a particular subject.

This week’s subject is pests of beekeeping.  Notice that we’re just talking about pests, not diseases or poison.

Nasty little critters like Varroa mites and Small Hive Beetles (SHB).  Wax moths, ants, skunks, even dragonflies.

There are many pests that seem intent on taking down bees.  We’ll spend this week talking about some of them in these posts, in the puzzles and maybe a video.

Some pests are persistent threats nearly all year long.  Others are seasonal or unique to certain conditions.  I won’t try to cover everything in this post, way too much ground to cover in a year let alone one week or one post.

However, we’ll spend this week getting to know a bit more about some of the troublemakers that keep making bees lives harder than they should be.  They can make beekeepers jobs harder too.

Thanks for stopping by to see what we’re up to and please come back often.  We’ll try to make sure we have something fresh ready every day.

The Bee Smart beekeeping project podcast beegins again

Yes, things are getting back on track on especially awesome.

The Beehooligans Podcast will start recording again by the end of the Month and get at least one episode out by then.. We are jumping from being a weekly podcast to every two weeks instead.  

Also, we’re focusing on assembling a live, local group of beekeeperly people to a round table discussion and one or two of our alternately located Beehooligans via web conferencing in on the chat.

And hey, if you happen to be in the Omaha, NE area on one of the days we record, we’d love to have you sit in with us.