That is a common question. We do get stung occasionally. We try to approach the colony calmly and with a little puff of smoke in the entrance. The smoke confuses their communication so they aren't as aggressive. A honey bee sacrifices its life to protect its colony. On the other hand a little bee sting therapy is good for a person.
The stinger should be removed as soon as possible by scraping it out, such as by using a finger nail or credit card. Squeezing the stinger, and attached venom pouch, may cause the release of more venom in to the skin.
Yes, if the bee that stings is a worker bee it will lose its life shortly after stinging. A queen bee may survive after stinging, however it is extremely unlikely to be stung by a queen.
There may be any where between 10,000 to 80,000 bees in a colony. Population is highly dependant on the activity and season of the bees.
Bees can fly between 12 and 20 miles per hour.
Honey stored in sealed containers can remain stable for a very long time! However, honey is susceptible to physical and chemical changes during storage; it tends to darken and lose its aroma and flavor or crystallize. These are temperature-dependent processes, making the shelf life of honey difficult to define. For practical purposes, a shelf life of two years is often stated. Properly processed, packaged and stored honey retains its quality for a long time. If in doubt, throw it out, and purchase a new jar of honey!
While there is no official U.S. federal definition of raw honey, the National Honey Board defines raw honey as “honey as it exists in the beehive or as obtained by extraction, settling or straining without adding heat.” This definition does not have any legal authority, but is provided to help in the understanding of honey and honey terms.
Honey comes in many colors and flavors. These are called honey varietals and they are determined by the types of flowers the bees visited for nectar. Some are light and sweet; others are dark and bold. Pick the honey you like and enjoy!
Crystallization is the natural process by which the glucose in honey precipitates out of the liquid honey. Different varieties of honey will crystallize at different rates, and a few not at all. If your honey crystallizes, simply place the honey jar in warm water and stir until the crystals dissolve; or place the honey container, with the cap open, into near boiling water that has been removed from the heat; or place the honey in a microwave-safe container with the lid off and microwave, stirring every 30 seconds, until the crystals dissolve. Be careful not to boil or scorch the honey. Also keep in mind that you can eat the honey in a crystallized form. Just scoop out of the jar and spread it on your toast or drop it in your tea!
Honey may contain Clostridium botulinum spores that can cause infant botulism, a rare but serious disease that affects the nervous system of young babies (under one year old). C. botulinum spores are present throughout the environment and may be found in dust, soil and improperly canned foods. Adults and children over one year of age are routinely exposed to, but not normally affected by, C. botulinum spores. Honey is safe to consume during pregnancy and lactation. While infants are susceptible to the infant botulism, adults, including pregnant females, are not. The concern for babies stems from the fact that infants lack the fully developed gastrointestinal tract of older humans. Since the mother is not in danger of developing this condition, the unborn baby is protected.
There are anecdotal stories of people claiming relief from allergies by eating local honey, but we are not aware of any scientific evidence to support these claims. This subject is somewhat controversial, since some experts claim that the kinds of pollens that are the greatest cause of allergies are smaller windblown pollens that are not typically found in honey.