This page contains the most
frequently asked questions related to the biology of bees, beekeeping, and bee
diseases. If you do not find the answer to your question, feel free to ask
the editor and get it via e-mail.
diseases and damages to bee colonies
many bees are there in a hive?
Depending on the season, on
the average there can be from 15000 to 50000 bees, even more.
long does a bee live?
During the year bees live
45 to 50 days, while winter bees live 5 to 6 months.
far do bees go?
On the average bees fly up
to 2km (1.5mi), but during honey flow they can go up to 5km (3mi)
many drones are there in a hive?
During summer there are
from several hundreds to one thousand drones in a hive.
is their role?
Their main role is to
fertilize the queen. They also take part in making microclimate in a hive.
bees recognize their hive?
Yes, bees remember the
position, the shape and the color of its hive.
bees recognize their owner, the beekeeper?
No, they do not.
much honey can be produced in one hive?
That depends on honey flow
conditions and the strength of a colony. In Serbia the average is from 15 to
is the greatest amount of honey that can be produced in one hive?
In favorable conditions strong colonies can produce
70 and even 100 kg of honey in several honey flows, and rarely, very strong
colonies can produce that much in one honey flow.
bees supposed to be fed in winter?
Yes, but only if they do
not have enough food and they are in danger to die of hunger.
am I allowed to move the hives with bees within an apiary?
The hives can be moved when
bees are not flying out, but this must be done very carefully in order not to
shake the bees off the frames. If bees are flying out, moving hives is possible
but gradually, e.g. you can move a row of hives one or two feet forward or
backward, and do that again tomorrow, and so on. Moving hives left or right must
be slight, but if there are not many hives in the apiary, and if they are far
from each other, even they can be moved a little more.
happened with my colony which died during winter time? What I found were dead
bees in empty cells and on the floor, 4 frames of comb without honey in the
middle of the hive and all other comb full of honey.
They died of hunger since
they could not reach the honey left or right.
did a small colony in a DB hive die in front part of the frame where there was
brood, when there was enough honey in the rear part?
The queen began laying
eggs, and the colony could not abandon the brood in order to reach the food.
Since it was a weak colony, it died of hunger.
happened with my colony? In autumn I found the hive empty, without a single bee,
but with the comb full of honey. Was it destroyed by wasps, which there were
many of at that time?
No, it was contaminated
with varroa or maybe with some virus; it went weak, and the rest of the bees
with the queen abandoned the hive.
sealed brood cells have little holes on their caps and there are dead pupae in,
is it foulbrood?
No, the brood might have
got cold or the colony had varroa.
do I recognize foulbrood?
In case of foulbrood
instead of sealed brood you would find rotten larvae in state of elastic mass or
seemingly empty cells with little holes on their caps and dry remains on the
bottom and side in a very thin layer.
every occurrence of diarrhea in the hive mean nosema?
No, diarrhea can occur
because of normal discharging of food bad digested after a long period spent
inside the hive. It can also be a sign of dysentery. Nosema, moreover, can occur
in late spring with no symptoms of diarrhea.
bees die of cold?
A normal healthy colony which has enough food can never die of cold. Actually, bees never die of cold directly, but indirectly i.e. because of other reasons like lack of food, impossibility to reach the food, disease, exhaustion of a weak colony which is unable to produce warmth etc.
Translated by Oliver Mihajlović