City Critters - The Buzz on Bees at Toronto Botanical GardenMonday, May 27, 2013
The City Critters Family Series at the Toronto Botanical Garden continued with its third session - the Buzz on Bees. As their guests, our family enjoyed a honey tasting and learned all sorts of interesting facts about bees. For example, a caste of bees consists of three types of bees: the queen bee, which can be identified by her torpedo-style abdomen; the worker bees, which are smaller and have pollen sacks; and the drones, which have big eyes. The sole task of the queen bee is to emit a reassuring smell to the other bees while mating and laying eggs every 30 seconds. (I don't know about you but that sure sounds like a heck of a lot of work!) The worker bee lives for about five or six weeks during which time she will keep her room clean and take care of her baby sisters, checking in on them about 1300 times each day. Drones are male bees with the singular job of mating with the queen bee, after which he is evicted from the Big Bee Hive and dies shortly afterwards. Hmm, it kind of sucks to be a drone...
While one of the TBG beekeepers demonstrated the protective gear that must be worn, her sidekick Trish was preparing to give us a close look at the bees who were busily at work making honey.
We enjoyed a really neat view from the other side of the screen doors. You could hear the buzzing and smell the smoke which is used to calm the bees whenever they are about to be disturbed.
The next session will be on coyotes and will take place in August. And I am totally looking forward to the final session in September - Monarchs on the Move!