From one of our gals: Apis mellifera

We decided to try something new; we will occasionally invite guest bloggers to write on LaGuardia Corner Garden’s website. This is the first contribution by Apis mellifera.

I live with my sisters some brothers and a queen. We sisters are very busy because we must work for our queen. Our home is a box which some people call a hive. Our family is called a colony. We sisters do all of the work: We clean, we make wax and build new cells to raise our little sisters in, we forage for food, we fan our wings to heat our home when it is cold and cool it during the hot time. We also defend our colony when it gets attacked. There are some guys who don’t do much. They stay in the hive and are called drones.

Apis mellifera on the left. On the right a quince blossom.

There are two humans who look at us a lot. The humans covered our home to keep us warm during the cold time. The humans gave us sweet water in case our honey was not enough for us during the cold time. The humans have smoke that makes us relaxed and we don’t mind it. Sometimes it feels good to just relax. Sometimes the humans take the honey we make. The humans only take a little, so we have enough for ourselves. Near our house there are many flowers in the warm time. The flowers and nectar are what we use to make honey. Honey is our food when the flowers are gone. It has been very cold, and the flowers are not here, so we ate our honey. We have to make more for the next cold time.

The humans who covered the hive.

Warm time is coming. It is flower time. Soon there will be a lot of dancing. My sisters and I will be very occupied flying back and forth getting nectar to make honey. We also collect pollen. It is a mostly yellow grainy stuff we can gather or our furry bodies and in baskets on legs. We take it back the hive and then make it into bread to feed our young sisters and brothers.

A worker bee visits Scilla flowers. The entrance to the hive is busy. Workers bring back pollen from different flowers. Some of it is yellow, some is white.

Our area is getting warm and green. New flowers are growing. We can get nectar and pollen.  When we find nectar and pollen, we dance to tell our sisters where to find some. We know that soon so many different kinds of flowers will be here! We do not have to go far!  It really is exciting and our home is very active. I am dancing more these days and my sisters go out to find the place I dance about. They go and come back and dance, too because they found a place to tell us about. So far, I have danced about snowdrops, crocus, winter aconites, Scilla and quince very close to our home. But now my sisters tell me that the pear trees in the streets have opened their white flowers and there is also a peach tree with many pink flowers not far away.

Peach and pear blossoms have a lot of nectar and pollen for hungry bees.