Questions for Marla Spivak

Learn more about my research This month, Marla Spivak is here to answer your questions about bees and the Varroa mite.
read some answers

Your Comments, Thoughts, Questions, Ideas

bryan kennedy's picture

What do the mites do to the bees? How do they kill them?

posted on Fri, 05/27/2005 - 11:56am
Marla Spivak's picture

The mites feed on the blood (called hemolymph) of adult bees and developing pupae, much like a tick feeds on animal blood. The mites ride around on "nurse bees," which feed bee larvae. When a mite on a bee walks over a 5th instar larva, the mite drops off the bee and enters the cell containing the larva. The mite "hides" in the food at the bottom of the cell under the larva until the bees cap over the cell with wax. The larva then spins a cocoon. Once she begins pupating, the mite starts feeding on her, and then lays eggs. The first egg, a male egg, is laid 60 hours after the cell is sealed, and female eggs are laid every 30 hours after that. The mite offspring and the mother all feed on the pupa at the same "feeding trough," which is opened and kept open by the mother mite.

When the mites feed on the pupa, they weaken it. The developing bee weighs less as an adult, has a lower protein content, can have deformed wings, and doesn't live as long. Eventually, if the majority of the workers in a colony are these compromised adults, the colony will simply collapse. This usually happens in winter, when the bees need to live several months inside the colony.

posted on Fri, 05/27/2005 - 12:06pm
Liza's picture
Liza says:

What is bee brood?

posted on Fri, 05/27/2005 - 11:57am
Marla Spivak's picture

"Brood" is a generic term for immature stages of bees: eggs, larvae, and pupae.

posted on Fri, 05/27/2005 - 12:06pm
bryan kennedy's picture

How'd you get into this work?

posted on Fri, 05/27/2005 - 11:57am
Marla Spivak's picture

I read a book when I was 18 called Bees Ways. I stayed up all night reading it. I couldn't believe that some insects were social and that some people (beekeepers) interacted with their bee colonies like pets. I had to see it to believe it, so I went to work for a commercial beekeeper.

posted on Fri, 05/27/2005 - 12:07pm
Liza's picture
Liza says:

Why is your research important?

posted on Fri, 05/27/2005 - 11:57am
Marla Spivak's picture

All bees are important insect pollinators of agricultural crops, native ecosystems, and home gardens. Without bees, particularly honeybees, we would lose an estimated 1/3 of our diet. Even the dairy industry is indirectly dependent on honeybees because they pollinate alfalfa, which is feed for beef and dairy cattle. So bees are important.

Beekeepers (and farmers in general) use many pesticides to control insect pests. But insects develop resistance to these chemical treatments very quickly, making them ineffective. Beekeepers started using pesticides in their colonies to kill the mites. (It's tricky because they want to kill the mites, not the bees, and mites and bees are related!) But the mites have evolved resistance to the pesticides, and now the mites are reproducing unchecked. Putting pesticides into a bee colony is not a long-term solution, and risks contaminating bee products (honey and beeswax) besides. So it is very important to reduce the amount of pesticides used in bee colonies (and in all of agriculture!).

My goal is to breed bees that are resistant to diseases and mite pests so beekeepers don't have to use pesticides, and so we can keep our bee pollinators healthy and able to defend themselves.

posted on Fri, 05/27/2005 - 12:07pm
bryan kennedy's picture

What's been the most rewarding thing about this research so far?

posted on Fri, 05/27/2005 - 11:58am
Marla Spivak's picture

It's rewarding that we've bred a line of bees that can defend themselves against diseases and mites, and are not reliant on beekeepers' inputs (chemicals/treatments) for their survival. It's also rewarding that many beekeepers are using resistant lines of bees (ours, and others) and trying to get off the "chemical treadmill."

posted on Fri, 05/27/2005 - 12:08pm
Liza's picture
Liza says:

What are you working on now?

posted on Fri, 05/27/2005 - 11:58am
Marla Spivak's picture

We're working to make our line of bees more resistant to the mite pests. We are also working on developing a simple but accurate method to sample a colony of bees for mites so beekeepers can determine if they need to treat a colony or not. This is an Integrated Pest Management approach: only treat if mites are over a certain economic threshold.

posted on Fri, 05/27/2005 - 12:08pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

where would I go to find the wood bee and the honey bee?

posted on Tue, 06/14/2005 - 1:52pm
Marla Spivak's picture

I assume by "wood bee" you mean "carpenter bee"? Carpenter bees are not very common here. They nest in stems or in wood. They are solitary bees, meaning they do not live in a colony.

Honey bees are very common and can be easily found foraging on many flowers. Try looking on dutch clover in your front lawn or nearby park. Wild honey bee colonies are not common anymore due to the effects of the Varroa mite, but there are many beekeepers that keep managed honey bee colonies within the Twin Cities and throughout the entire state of MN.

posted on Wed, 06/15/2005 - 12:52pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

Where do Bumble bees live in the winter?

posted on Tue, 06/14/2005 - 2:57pm
Marla Spivak's picture

Only bumblebee queens survive the winter. They hibernate in the ground until late April to early June. When they emerge from hibernation, they find a nest site in the ground, collect pollen, and lay eggs to begin a colony. By the end of the summer, the colony will consist of 50-200 bees, depending on the species of bumblebee, and they will produce new queens. After mating, the new queens will hibernate, and the rest of the colony dies off before winter.

posted on Wed, 06/15/2005 - 12:56pm
DRAYDEN's picture
DRAYDEN says:

WHAT COLOR ARE BEES? AND WHY ARE THEY THAT COLOR? ARE ALL BEES FUZZY?

posted on Wed, 06/15/2005 - 11:16am
Marla Spivak's picture

There are many bee species and they are many different colors, ranging from metallic green and blue, to yellow and black stripes, to all black. All bees are fuzzy - the hairs help them collect pollen from flowers, which is their sole source of protein in their diet.

posted on Fri, 06/17/2005 - 3:13pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

What do baby bees look like when they are born?

posted on Wed, 06/15/2005 - 1:57pm
Marla Spivak's picture

A baby bee emerges from her cocoon looking exactly the same as she will for the rest of her life. Once a bee emerges from her pupal cocoon, she is an adult bee.

posted on Fri, 06/17/2005 - 2:55pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

What is honey?

posted on Wed, 06/15/2005 - 2:32pm
Marla Spivak's picture

Honey is nectar that bees collect from flowers. The bees add an enzyme to the nectar to break down the sugars, and they evaporate water from the nectar. When the water content is less than 18.6%, and it is stored in honey combs, it is honey.

posted on Fri, 06/17/2005 - 2:56pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

How do bees reproduce?

posted on Wed, 06/15/2005 - 4:08pm
Marla Spivak's picture

The queen bee mates in the air with 10-20 male bees. She does this when she is 5-10 days old, and does not mate again for the rest of her life.

A colony reproduces itself by swarming. Half of the colony takes the mated queen and leaves the nest in search of a new nest site. The other half stay in the old nest and raise a new queen, who will take her mating flight when she is 5-10 days old.

posted on Fri, 06/17/2005 - 2:58pm
PAUL FRIENDSHUH's picture
PAUL FRIENDSHUH says:

WHEN BEES GET DEFORMED OR KILLED, HOW DO THEY GET THAT WAY? BY CHEMICALS?

posted on Wed, 06/15/2005 - 4:23pm
Marla Spivak's picture

Bees may be deformed or killed for many reasons, including diseases, viruses, pesticides, and old age.

posted on Fri, 06/17/2005 - 2:58pm
Kat's picture
Kat says:

How can you tell the difference between a honeybee and a wasp and a hornet?

posted on Thu, 06/16/2005 - 10:55am
Marla Spivak's picture

Honey bees are fuzzy or hairy. Yellowjackets and hornets (both of which are kinds of wasps) are not fuzzy. Honey bees collect pollen to eat. Wasps are predators and eat insects and spiders.

posted on Fri, 06/17/2005 - 3:01pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

How big is the biggest bee?

posted on Fri, 06/17/2005 - 1:39pm
Marla Spivak's picture

The biggest bee is probably a bumblebee queen. She can be about 2 inches long.

posted on Fri, 06/17/2005 - 3:11pm
From the Museum Floor's picture

How many stomachs does a bee have?

posted on Fri, 06/17/2005 - 1:56pm
Marla Spivak's picture

Technically, a bee has one stomach for digestion. Bees also have a crop, which is more like a holding tank for the nectar they collect. No digestion happens in the crop, so it is not a true stomach.

posted on Fri, 06/17/2005 - 3:02pm
From the Museum Floor's picture

Why do bees sting?

posted on Fri, 06/17/2005 - 1:58pm
Marla Spivak's picture

Bees sting to defend themselves and their nest. They sting only in self-defense when they are disturbed.

posted on Fri, 06/17/2005 - 3:02pm
From the Museum Floor's picture

Do all bees live in a hive?

posted on Fri, 06/17/2005 - 1:58pm
Marla Spivak's picture

No, most bee species are solitary. Only honey bees, bumblebees, some sweat bees, tropical stingless bees, and a few other species live in colonies.

posted on Fri, 06/17/2005 - 3:04pm
From the Museum Floor's picture

How big is a queen bee?

posted on Fri, 06/17/2005 - 1:59pm
Marla Spivak's picture

The queen bee's abdomen is about 2-3 times as long as a worker abdomen because it is swollen with developing eggs. Her head and thorax are only slightly larger than worker bees.

posted on Fri, 06/17/2005 - 3:06pm
From the Museum Floor's picture

How do bees make their hives?

posted on Fri, 06/17/2005 - 1:59pm
Marla Spivak's picture

Honey bees make their nests from wax, which they secrete from glands on the underside of their abdomen. The wax is secreted in small scales which the bees mold into honey combs. The combs consist of hexagonal cells. They build vertically hanging honey combs, and put their honey, pollen and brood in the cells.

posted on Fri, 06/17/2005 - 3:08pm
Liza's picture
Liza says:

What's an "instar"? Do different bees go through different numbers of instar stages?

posted on Fri, 06/17/2005 - 2:08pm
Marla Spivak's picture

An instar is a stage in a larva's life. Larvae must molt to grow. The stages between molts are called instars. Honey bees have 5 larval instars.

posted on Fri, 06/17/2005 - 3:09pm
Taryn's picture
Taryn says:

What do mites eat? And why do mites like the bees?

posted on Sat, 06/18/2005 - 11:05am
Marla Spivak's picture

The Varroa mites feed on the bees' blood. These mites can only live on honey bees -- their existence is totally dependent on the honey bee.

posted on Sun, 06/19/2005 - 12:51pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

How much honey does a hive make in a month?

posted on Sat, 06/18/2005 - 3:05pm
Marla Spivak's picture

A honey bee colony in Minnesota can make 100-200 pounds of honey in a summer.

posted on Sun, 06/19/2005 - 12:51pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

Are bees friendly?

posted on Sat, 06/18/2005 - 5:28pm
Marla Spivak's picture

I think honey bees are friendly.

posted on Sun, 06/19/2005 - 12:51pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

Have you heard of any animals dying lately due to globing warming and rainforest directions?

posted on Sat, 06/18/2005 - 7:42pm
Marla Spivak's picture

Yes, some plants and animals are going extinct due to global warming, deforestation, agricultural practices, and human expansion in general.

posted on Sun, 06/19/2005 - 12:53pm
Ashley's picture
Ashley says:

What kind of education did you receive in high school? What did you major in?

posted on Sun, 06/19/2005 - 12:05pm
Marla Spivak's picture

In high school, I received a general education. I have a Bachelor's degree in Biology and a PhD degree in Entomology.

posted on Tue, 06/21/2005 - 1:25pm
Emma Rettner's picture
Emma Rettner says:

How many species of bees have been discovered in the world?

posted on Mon, 06/20/2005 - 10:46am
Marla Spivak's picture

It is estimated there are at least 20,000 species of bees in the world.

posted on Thu, 06/23/2005 - 9:57am
Bryan Rettner's picture
Bryan Rettner says:

What kinds of pollen do different bees use to make their honey?

posted on Mon, 06/20/2005 - 10:51am
Marla Spivak's picture

Bees make honey from nectar they collect from various flowers, especially clover, alfalfa, and basswood trees in MN. Pollen is a source of protein for bees - they do not make honey from it.

posted on Tue, 06/21/2005 - 1:27pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

Where did the parasite come from? Why is it a problem now?

posted on Mon, 06/20/2005 - 11:16am
Marla Spivak's picture

Varroa mites came from Asia, and parasitized a different species of bee, Apis cerana. When beekeepers moved Apis mellifera into those parts of Asia, the mites jumped to the new host bee that had no defenses against the mites. The mites were able to build up to large populations within the bee colonies and eventually cause them to collapse.

posted on Tue, 06/21/2005 - 1:29pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

How long do mites live?

posted on Mon, 06/20/2005 - 11:37am
Marla Spivak's picture

The Varroa mite lives 2-3 months in the summer in MN, and can live 6 or months during the winter on adult honey bees.

posted on Tue, 06/21/2005 - 1:31pm
ra's picture
ra says:

Why do bees sting, and why are some people allergic to bees when other people are not?

posted on Mon, 06/20/2005 - 12:29pm
Marla Spivak's picture

Bees sting to defend their nest against intruders. Some people's immune system cannot handle bee venom-- those people don't produce the right kind of antibodies and they have allergic responses to the stings.

posted on Tue, 06/21/2005 - 1:32pm
Bazil's picture
Bazil says:

Do bees like to attack and bite people? Why do they sting? Why do they get mad and fly around you when you swat at them? \r\n

posted on Mon, 06/20/2005 - 1:00pm
Marla Spivak's picture

Bees don't "like" to attack and sting. Bees die after they sting. They only sting to defend their nest. If you swat at them, they need to defend themselves! Don't swat at them -- stay calm and they won't bother you.

posted on Tue, 06/21/2005 - 1:33pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

Is it true that, aerodynamically, bees should not be able to fly??

posted on Mon, 06/20/2005 - 6:47pm
Marla Spivak's picture

Not true. They used to think that about bumblebees, but not anymore.

posted on Tue, 06/21/2005 - 1:34pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

Where do the mites come from? How do they spread from colony to colony?\r\n

posted on Tue, 06/21/2005 - 9:44am
Marla Spivak's picture

Mites spread when bees go into other colonies by accident or when they rob honey from weak colonies -- they pick up mites from the other colonies and take them home.

posted on Tue, 06/21/2005 - 1:38pm
Bre's picture
Bre says:

What are some other products that bees make?

posted on Tue, 06/21/2005 - 10:08am
Marla Spivak's picture

Bees produce, honey, pollen royal jelly, propolis, beeswax and bee venom.

posted on Tue, 06/21/2005 - 1:35pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

Do these mites infest other bees, such as the large bumblebee? Or just honeybees?

posted on Tue, 06/21/2005 - 10:53am
Marla Spivak's picture

Just honey bees.

posted on Tue, 06/21/2005 - 1:35pm
From the Museum Floor's picture

Do bees have a brain, blood, and all the other things we have?

posted on Tue, 06/21/2005 - 10:54am
Marla Spivak's picture

Yes, bees have a brain, blood, and most everything we do (with variations), except bones.

posted on Tue, 06/21/2005 - 1:37pm
From the Museum Floor's picture

In our Florida home we destroyed a very large honey bee hive. We blocked off the access area. For a month afterward bees came to the area. When they could not enter the hive they swarmed and left yellow/brown droppings all over our garage area. Was that feces or honey or nectar? Why did they swarm until they deposited, and then go away? Did they do back to a different hive, or was that their hive?

posted on Tue, 06/21/2005 - 11:15am
Marla Spivak's picture

It's really difficult to interpret what happened from the information you have given me. If you destroyed the hive (meaning killed all the bees in the colony), they could not have swarmed. If you simply closed off the entrance, you probably left lots of foraging bees outdoors. They could not get back in, and eventually died or drifted into other colonies. The yellow/brown droppings were probably bee feces - bees always defacate outside the nest.

posted on Tue, 06/21/2005 - 1:43pm
jENNIFER's picture
jENNIFER says:

What can you put on or spray to keep bees from making a hive on your house?

posted on Tue, 06/21/2005 - 12:49pm
Marla Spivak's picture

Nothing. I enjoy having bees and wasps nest on my house because I know they are beneficial insects.

posted on Thu, 06/23/2005 - 9:58am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

How do bees learn how to do bee dances?

posted on Tue, 06/21/2005 - 1:22pm
Marla Spivak's picture

They don't learn. They dance instinctively.

posted on Thu, 06/23/2005 - 9:59am
Ashley's picture
Ashley says:

Do bees ever stop protecting their queen?

posted on Tue, 06/21/2005 - 2:22pm
Marla Spivak's picture

Not generally. She is the egg layer and they need to protect her.

posted on Thu, 06/23/2005 - 9:59am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

Bumble Bees colleect honey but what do hornets do besides sting people?

posted on Wed, 06/22/2005 - 10:12am
Marla Spivak's picture

Hornets eat caterpillars, spiders and other insects that we consider pests. Hornets are very beneficial in keeping these pest insect populations in check.

posted on Thu, 06/23/2005 - 10:00am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

Why do bees have stingers?\r\n

posted on Wed, 06/22/2005 - 2:19pm
Marla Spivak's picture

They have stingers to defend themselves.

posted on Thu, 06/23/2005 - 10:01am
From the Museum Floor's picture

How many bees are there in Minnesota?

posted on Thu, 06/23/2005 - 8:47am
Marla Spivak's picture

Sorry, I don't know what you mean. Species of bees? Colonies of honey bees?

posted on Thu, 06/23/2005 - 10:01am
From the Museum Floor's picture

How many bees live in a hive?

posted on Thu, 06/23/2005 - 8:47am
Marla Spivak's picture

There can be 40,000 to 50,000 honey bees in one colony.

posted on Thu, 06/23/2005 - 10:02am
From the Museum Floor's picture

Where did the word "bee" originate?

posted on Thu, 06/23/2005 - 8:48am
Marla Spivak's picture

From the Indo-European root, Bhei, or German word Biene.

posted on Fri, 06/24/2005 - 12:02pm
From the Museum Floor's picture

How old can a bee live to be?

posted on Thu, 06/23/2005 - 8:48am
Marla Spivak's picture

In the summer, a worker bee usually lives 4-6 weeks. In the winter, a worker bee can live 4-6 months since she does not fly and wear herself out.

posted on Fri, 06/24/2005 - 12:03pm
From the Museum Floor's picture

How did the mites develop resistance to the pesticides?

posted on Thu, 06/23/2005 - 8:49am
Marla Spivak's picture

I assume you don't want an extremely technical answer to this question. All organisms develop resistance to things (like antibiotics and pesticides) that act on specific nerves or genes to harm them. They evolve physiological ways to cope with the pesticide so that it no longer affects them.

posted on Fri, 06/24/2005 - 12:06pm
From the Museum Floor's picture

How do bees make so much beeswax without running out?

posted on Thu, 06/23/2005 - 8:49am
Marla Spivak's picture

Bees have wax glands that can continually produce tiny flakes of wax, as long as there is sufficient nectar coming into the colony so that the wax glands in the bees are stimulated.

posted on Fri, 06/24/2005 - 12:07pm
From the Museum Floor's picture

How do bees talk to one another?

posted on Thu, 06/23/2005 - 8:49am
Marla Spivak's picture

Bees don't talk. They communicate with chemical messages, called pheromones, and with movements and vibrations.

posted on Fri, 06/24/2005 - 12:08pm
Tasia's picture
Tasia says:

Do queen bees ever die and if they do, will another queen bee come and how?

posted on Thu, 06/23/2005 - 11:46am
Marla Spivak's picture

Yes, queen bees die, just like all living organisms. The worker bees in the colony can raise a new queen by feeding some young female larvae a special food we call royal jelly. This special diet triggers gene expression in the larva so it develops into a new queen bee for the colony.

posted on Fri, 06/24/2005 - 12:11pm
Angela's picture
Angela says:

What is the most unusual table food that depends on bees?

posted on Thu, 06/23/2005 - 1:10pm
Marla Spivak's picture

Do you mean a food or other product that bees need to pollinate - like avacados or coffee? Or a product of a bee hive that people eat - like royal jelly or larvae?

posted on Fri, 06/24/2005 - 12:13pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

Is it true that honey is the only food that will never spoil? What makes this so?

posted on Thu, 06/23/2005 - 1:21pm
Marla Spivak's picture

The sugar content in honey is so high, it will not support the kind of bacterial growth that causes it to spoil. With time, the gentle flavors of honey may disappear, but the honey will not go "bad."

posted on Fri, 06/24/2005 - 12:15pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

Why doesn't the queen go out?

posted on Thu, 06/23/2005 - 1:27pm
Marla Spivak's picture

The queen is so full of eggs, and so busy laying eggs, she can't fly. She only flies on two occasions: when she takes her mating flight (when she is about 7 days old, before she starts laying eggs), and when the colony is so big, it swarms. Before the colony swarms, she stops laying eggs and loses weight so she can fly. The bees that stay behind in the nest raise a new queen.

posted on Fri, 06/24/2005 - 12:17pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

HOW DO BEES LAY EGGS?\r\n

posted on Thu, 06/23/2005 - 2:24pm
Marla Spivak's picture

Eggs mature in a queen bee's ovaries, and when they are mature, the eggs pass through oviducts and out of the queen through an opening at the tip of her abdomen.

posted on Fri, 06/24/2005 - 12:20pm
From the Museum Floor's picture

Is it true that bees are connected by a "hive mind"?

posted on Fri, 06/24/2005 - 10:43am
Marla Spivak's picture

This is not a true or false question! There is no central authority in a bee colony (or any social insect colony), and colony-level behaviors appear to be more than the mere summation of the behaviors of individual bees. In this sense, I think there is a "hive mind."

posted on Fri, 06/24/2005 - 12:35pm
Richard's picture
Richard says:

I am a beekeeper with mite problems. How can we purchase your queen bees?

posted on Fri, 06/24/2005 - 11:19am
Marla Spivak's picture

You can purchase them in the spring from B&B Honey Farm, in Houston, MN. Your can also purchase them from a MN beekeeper, Mark Sundberg from Fergus Falls. If you want 50 or more, you can purchase them from another MN beekeeper, Darrel Rufer. Order early for next year.

posted on Sun, 06/26/2005 - 11:45am
chynna m. white's picture
chynna m. white says:

how can you tell a female bee and a male bee apart

posted on Fri, 06/24/2005 - 4:47pm
Marla Spivak's picture

Female bees are a bit smaller and have stings. Male bees (drones) are a bit larger, more square looking, and don't have a stinger. You will only see females on flowers, as they are the only bees that forage. The vast majority of bees in a colony are female.

posted on Sun, 06/26/2005 - 11:47am
ashleigh's picture
ashleigh says:

What happens when a bee stings? and why does it hurt so much to get stung?

posted on Sat, 06/25/2005 - 10:51am
Marla Spivak's picture

When a honey bee stings, her barbed stinger sticks in your skin, which rips the sting apparatus and part of her stomach out. She dies shortly after she stings. It hurts because of your body's response to the venom, which contains pain-inducing peptides, histamines, and other compounds that work on nerves to cause pain.

posted on Sun, 06/26/2005 - 11:53am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

Why do bees buzz?

posted on Sat, 06/25/2005 - 12:00pm
Marla Spivak's picture

Buzzing is produced by the contraction of the bee's flight muscles, which can be very fast.

posted on Sun, 06/26/2005 - 11:54am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

How many be stings can a person tolerate?

posted on Sat, 06/25/2005 - 4:21pm
Marla Spivak's picture

A healthy person (without heart problems for example) can withstand around 1000 stings before suffering mass envenomation (toxicity). However, other people, with compromised immune systems or other health problems, can only withstand 100-300 stings. If a person is known to have a systemic allergy to bee venom, they may not be able to tolerate one sting. However, these life-threatening allergic responses are not as common as people think. Most people think a large local reaction to a sting (massive swelling around the sting site) is a serious allergic reaction. Actually, that kind of swelling is quite normal and there is no need to worry.

posted on Sun, 06/26/2005 - 12:00pm
JACKIE's picture
JACKIE says:

can u clone or combine genetic codes to make a nice friendly cute bee?????

posted on Sat, 06/25/2005 - 4:36pm
Marla Spivak's picture

I think bees are nice, friendly and cute already! Even if I could clone or "combine genetic codes" I couldn't produce a cuter bee than it already is.

posted on Sun, 06/26/2005 - 12:01pm
THERESA's picture
THERESA says:

How do you get honey out of a hive?

posted on Sun, 06/26/2005 - 1:53pm
Marla Spivak's picture

After the honey combs are removed from a colony, a beekeeper opens the wax cappings over the honey comb cells with a hot knife, then spins the honey out of the comb using an extractor, which is like a big centrifuge (it spins like a washing machine). The honey is strained to remove wax particles and then bottled.

posted on Tue, 06/28/2005 - 1:15pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

How many breeds of bees are known? Are are there domestic "breeds"? How is a breed different than a species?

posted on Sun, 06/26/2005 - 2:44pm
Marla Spivak's picture

Different species of bees cannot interbreed. There can be many races = subspecies within a species, that can breed with each other. A breed of bees usually refers to a cross that humans have made within or among races - kind of like a plant variety. The most common races of bees in the US are Italian, Carniolan and most currently, Russian bees. From those, a number of breeds or varieties are being sold throughout the US.

posted on Tue, 06/28/2005 - 1:23pm
From the Museum Floor's picture

Do bees fight or sting each other?

posted on Mon, 06/27/2005 - 10:14am
Marla Spivak's picture

Bees from the same colony usually don't fight with each other. If bees from one colony try to enter a different colony, there may be a fight. Yes, they can sting each other, and after stinging, the worker bee dies.

posted on Tue, 06/28/2005 - 1:24pm
From the Museum Floor's picture

Why do bees make honey?

posted on Mon, 06/27/2005 - 10:16am
Marla Spivak's picture

Nectar from flowers, which bees convert to honey, is their sole source of carbohydrate -- it is their food. They need about 75 lbs of honey to survive a winter in Minnesota.

posted on Tue, 06/28/2005 - 1:26pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

WHY ARE BEES YELLOW AND BLACK?\r\n

posted on Mon, 06/27/2005 - 2:42pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

If queen bees produce worker bees and the next generation of queen bees does that mean that they mate parent with offspring or sibling with sibling? do they mate at all?

posted on Mon, 06/27/2005 - 5:34pm
Marla Spivak's picture

Queen bees mate on the wing, outside the nest, with drones (males) from many surrounding colonies and apiaries. Queens and drones can fly 1-3 miles on these mating flights, so there is little to no inbreeding.

posted on Tue, 06/28/2005 - 1:28pm
NATALIE's picture
NATALIE says:

hi how are you? i was wondering how old bees live to be?

thanks,
natalie

posted on Tue, 06/28/2005 - 1:35pm
Marla Spivak's picture

I'm fine, thanks! I answered this question above.. can you find the answer??

posted on Thu, 06/30/2005 - 12:11pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

About how many babies does a bee have?

posted on Tue, 06/28/2005 - 2:50pm
Marla Spivak's picture

The queen bee can lay 1,000-1,500 eggs per day in the summer in Minnesota. If the queen lays eggs every day for 4 months, she would have 120,000 - 180,000 daughters (worker bees).

posted on Thu, 06/30/2005 - 12:13pm
From the Museum Floor's picture

How many drones and worker bees does a colony of bees have?

posted on Thu, 06/30/2005 - 9:15am
Marla Spivak's picture

A strong colony can have 40,000 - 50,000 workers and about 2,000 drones.

posted on Thu, 06/30/2005 - 12:15pm
From the Museum Floor's picture

Are there cultures that eat bees?

posted on Thu, 06/30/2005 - 9:16am
Marla Spivak's picture

Bee brood (larvae) is a sold routinely for human food in open markets in Thailand and Indonesia. I don't think any culture would eat the adult bee because it's mostly cuticle. The larvae are delicious though, especially sauteed in olive oil with a little garlic.

posted on Thu, 06/30/2005 - 12:17pm
From the Museum Floor's picture

How many times do bees swarm a year and why?

posted on Thu, 06/30/2005 - 9:16am
Marla Spivak's picture

Swarming is a form of colony reproduction. Colonies swarm when they are very populous. In Minnesota, a colony swarms usually once, and usually in early June. The queen leaves with half of the bees to find a new nest, and the half that remains in the colony raises a new queen.

posted on Thu, 06/30/2005 - 12:21pm
From the Museum Floor's picture

What do bee hives look like?

posted on Thu, 06/30/2005 - 9:16am
Marla Spivak's picture

A man made bee hive is a wooden box. As the colony grows, more boxes are added on top. The boxes are 9 5/8" tall, 19 7/8" long and 16 1/4" wide. Inside each box, a beekeeper puts wooden frames that hang vertically, 9-10 frames per box. Inside the frames, the bees build wax comb.

In nature, bees build vertically hanging wax combs in a hollow of a tree, or other cavity.

posted on Thu, 06/30/2005 - 12:27pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

HEY WE ARE WONDERING HOW MANY TYPES OF BEES ARE THERE? WHEN WAS THE FIRST BEE DISCOVERED!!!!!!!

posted on Tue, 07/05/2005 - 4:37pm
Marla Spivak's picture

There are an estimated 20,000 species of bees in the world. The oldest fossil bee is about 100,000 million years old.

posted on Thu, 07/07/2005 - 10:33pm
From the Museum Floor's picture

Are mites the reason for the scarcity of bumble bees for the last two or three years or so in Northern Minnesota?

posted on Thu, 07/07/2005 - 5:04pm
Marla Spivak's picture

No. Bumblebees are not affected by Varroa mites. Bumblebees may seem scarce in Minnesota because we (humans) are destroying their natural nesting sites with housing developments and pesticide use.

posted on Thu, 07/07/2005 - 10:27pm
From the Museum Floor's picture

Do bees have anything to do with aquatic plants or animals?

posted on Thu, 07/07/2005 - 5:04pm
Marla Spivak's picture

Not to my knowledge.

posted on Thu, 07/07/2005 - 10:28pm
From the Museum Floor's picture

How much honey can one bee make?

posted on Thu, 07/07/2005 - 5:04pm
Marla Spivak's picture

An individual bee makes less than 1 tsp of honey in her lifetime.

posted on Thu, 07/07/2005 - 10:34pm
From the Museum Floor's picture

Do all bees live in a hive?

posted on Tue, 07/12/2005 - 4:50pm
Marla Spivak's picture

Please see my answer above. Thanks!

posted on Wed, 07/13/2005 - 4:01pm
From the Museum Floor's picture

How long does a bee live? How long can a queen bee live?

posted on Tue, 07/12/2005 - 4:51pm
From the Museum Floor's picture

How long does it take for bees to turn into adults?

posted on Tue, 07/12/2005 - 4:51pm
Marla Spivak's picture

It takes a worker bee 21 days to develop from egg to adult. It takes a queen bee only 15-16 days to develop into an adult. A male bee, a drone, takes 24 days to develop.

posted on Wed, 07/13/2005 - 4:03pm
From the Museum Floor's picture

My tomatoes are not producing many fruit. Is this happening all around the state and is it due to a shortage of bees. I live in Saint Paul. My tomato vines are very healthy looking but have few tomatoes.

posted on Tue, 07/12/2005 - 4:52pm
Marla Spivak's picture

My tomatoes are producing lots of fruit. Tomato pollination is done by bumblebees, not honey bees. It's possible you live in an area where bumblebee nests are not common.

posted on Wed, 07/13/2005 - 4:04pm
From the Museum Floor's picture

How long does it take to build a hive and what do they make it from? They really must bee busy bees!

posted on Tue, 07/12/2005 - 4:53pm
Marla Spivak's picture

Bees construct their nest from wax. They can construct wax combs very quickly. For example, they can constuct two wax combs in a week or two. A full colony that nests in a tree has about 10-20 combs.

posted on Wed, 07/13/2005 - 4:06pm
From the Museum Floor's picture

What are some examples of foods that we depend on bees for besides honey and sweets? Is it used in recipes such as cakes or veggie mixed or even Jello?

posted on Tue, 07/12/2005 - 4:54pm
Marla Spivak's picture

Apples, avacados, almonds, berries (strawberries, blackberries, blueberries, cranberries), vine crops (canteloupes, watermelons, pumpkins, cucumbers) are just a few of the fruits and vegetables that require bee pollination to set fruit.

posted on Wed, 07/13/2005 - 4:08pm
From the Museum Floor's picture

Why are hives placed in trees? Aren't there any other places that it can be located? Sometime they are located in trees and house overhangs. But why trees?

posted on Tue, 07/12/2005 - 4:55pm
From the Museum Floor's picture

Do bees see like people do?

posted on Tue, 07/12/2005 - 4:56pm
Marla Spivak's picture

Bees see colors very well, like we do, but they don't see red very well. Bees can see colors in the UV spectrum, and we cannot. Bees have eyes with many facets (lenses), but the images from all the lenses converge in their brain as one image, as ours does. Their final image does not have the same resolution as ours, but overall, their vision is quite good.

posted on Wed, 07/13/2005 - 4:12pm
Sunshine's picture
Sunshine says:

IS IT TRUE THAT KILLER BEES ARE MOVING TO NORTH AMERICA, AND IF SO WHAT SHOULD WE DO TO MAKE SURE WE DONT GET STUNG?

posted on Wed, 07/13/2005 - 11:39am
Marla Spivak's picture

There is really no such thing as a killer bee. The bees you are referring to are from Africa. They were introduced into South America in the 1950's and they have spread throughout South and Central America, Mexico, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and southern California. They are just bees with an attitude (meaning they are very good at defending their nest) and pest control operators are keeping them out of public areas within the US. You don't have to worry one bit about them. If you are in Texas, for example, and you find a honey bee nest in a tree, you should NOT disturb it. Calmly walk away.

posted on Wed, 07/13/2005 - 4:15pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

can the bees stop the mites from feeding on the young bees IF SO HOW DO THEY STOP THEM\r\n

posted on Wed, 07/13/2005 - 2:25pm
Marla Spivak's picture

That is what my research is all about. Bees can perform hygienic behavior to remove young bees that are infested with mites. Bees can also groom mites off of other adult bees.

posted on Wed, 07/13/2005 - 4:17pm
Samantha's picture
Samantha says:

Well, I was wondering how mites kill bees? I have wondered that for a very long time and finally I can ask you!! Thank you for your time!! You're wonderful. Thanks again,
-*- sAmM -*-

posted on Wed, 07/13/2005 - 3:49pm
Marla Spivak's picture

One mite weakens one bee by sucking on its blood (hemolymph). The parasitized bee will not live as long, and may have deformed wings so can't fly to collect food. A colony of bees has 30,000-50,000 bees. If there are lots of mites, there will be lots of weakened bees, and finally the whole colony will die.

posted on Sat, 07/16/2005 - 12:12pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

WHEN ARE BEE BABYS BORN ,IN SPRING , SUMMEER ,OR FALL ?

posted on Wed, 07/13/2005 - 4:05pm
Marla Spivak's picture

In Minnesota, baby bees are born continuously from about March through mid October. The queen lays the most eggs from May through August.

posted on Sat, 07/16/2005 - 12:14pm
Laynie Madison's picture
Laynie Madison says:

Do You Enjoy The Work You Do\r\n

posted on Thu, 07/14/2005 - 11:22am
Marla Spivak's picture

I enjoy my work very much!

posted on Sat, 07/16/2005 - 12:14pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

whats up with the bee dance? I mean, what r they doing when they do it.

posted on Thu, 07/14/2005 - 11:58am
Marla Spivak's picture

When a forager collects food outside of the colony (pollen or nectar), she will return to the colony and inform other bees about the food source: what it tastes like, how far from the nest it is located, and in what direction. The dance she does communicates all this information, without any words! It's very fascinating how they do this, but it would take me pages to explain here. Maybe you could look it up in a book or on-line?

posted on Sat, 07/16/2005 - 12:17pm
JULIA DOUGLAS's picture
JULIA DOUGLAS says:

Why are bees attracted to flowers and not plants?

posted on Thu, 07/14/2005 - 12:50pm
Marla Spivak's picture

Flowers have pollen and nectar, which are the only things bees eat (besides water). Pollen is their sole protein source, and nectar is their sole source of carbohydrates. The rest of the plant does not supply any food for the bees.

posted on Sat, 07/16/2005 - 12:19pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

What is the bee's kneees made out of???

posted on Thu, 07/14/2005 - 1:05pm
bryan kennedy's picture

I will jump in here for Marla Spivak. The Bee's Knees is just a figure of speech that became popular in the 1920s. It was part of a series of terms that all meant "excellence" based on animal parts. Other examples include, the cat's whiskers , cat's pajamas, and cat's meow.

posted on Thu, 07/14/2005 - 3:17pm
From the Museum Floor's picture

Have you ever been stung by a bee?

posted on Thu, 07/14/2005 - 2:36pm
Marla Spivak's picture

I am stung at least once a day during the summer months -- and often many more times than that. It's part of beekeeping and it doesn't bother me a bit, except that each sting hurts for about 30 seconds.

posted on Sat, 07/16/2005 - 12:21pm
From the Museum Floor's picture

How many years have you been doing this kind of thing?

posted on Thu, 07/14/2005 - 2:49pm
Marla Spivak's picture

I have been keeping bees for 32 years.

posted on Sat, 07/16/2005 - 12:22pm
Eliza's picture
Eliza says:

Are there people trying to find a pesticide that will kill the mites and not harm the bees?

posted on Thu, 07/14/2005 - 4:48pm
Marla Spivak's picture

Yes. There are several such pesticides available, but I really prefer that beekeeper use other, less toxic ways to kill the mites because I don't want the pesticides to contaminate the honey.

posted on Sat, 07/16/2005 - 12:23pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

HOW I CAN PURCHASE BEE QUEENS AND FROM WHERE,PLEASE?

posted on Fri, 07/15/2005 - 10:26am
Marla Spivak's picture

If you live in MN, try local beekeeping suppliers: Mann Lake Bee Supply, B&B Honey Farm, Nature's Nectar, or Cannon Bee.

posted on Sat, 07/16/2005 - 12:25pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

HOW SMALL CAN A NEW BORN BABY BEE BE?

posted on Fri, 07/15/2005 - 10:51am
Marla Spivak's picture

A new born baby bee is always the same size because she develops in a honeycomb cell that has a fairly constant volume.

posted on Sat, 07/16/2005 - 12:26pm
bailee's picture
bailee says:

Can you make honey without bees?

posted on Fri, 07/15/2005 - 12:19pm
Marla Spivak's picture

No. Without the bees, it would only be sugar syrup and wouldn't have the delicate taste of the flowers from which they collect the nectar.

posted on Sat, 07/16/2005 - 12:27pm
amy's picture
amy says:

what is the difference between wasps, bees, and hornets????

posted on Fri, 07/15/2005 - 1:58pm
Marla Spivak's picture

Bees are fuzzy and eat pollen. They are pollinators. Wasps are not fuzzy and they are carnivores -- they eat other insects and spiders. They are predators. A hornet is a kind of wasp, there are many kinds of wasps, and there are many kinds of bees.

posted on Sat, 07/16/2005 - 12:28pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

How is the queen bee chosen?

posted on Fri, 07/15/2005 - 2:38pm
Marla Spivak's picture

When bees need a new queen bee, they feed many young larvae royal jelly and build a queen cell around each of the larvae they feed. The first queen to emerge from the cell usually kills off the other developing queens, and so gets to be queen of the colony.

posted on Sat, 07/16/2005 - 12:30pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

How many people die from bees a year?\r\n

posted on Fri, 07/15/2005 - 3:51pm
Marla Spivak's picture

I don't know the exact number, but I'm fairly certain fewer people die from bee stings than from being struck by lightening each year.

posted on Sat, 07/16/2005 - 12:31pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

do you work in lots of different states?

posted on Sat, 07/16/2005 - 2:08pm
Marla Spivak's picture

Most of the research I do is in MN. But I work with beekeepers all over the United States. I also collaborate with beekeepers and researchers in Brazil, Argentina and Spain.

posted on Mon, 07/18/2005 - 11:34am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

IS IT TRUE THAT BEES HELP MS SYMPTOMS?\r\n

posted on Sat, 07/16/2005 - 5:32pm
Marla Spivak's picture

Some people with multiple sclerosis (MS) are helped by bee venom. They have someone sting them with live bees regularly. The venom does not cure them completely, but for some people, greatly relieves their symptoms, allowing them to carry on more normal lives. For more information, look up the American Apitherapy Society

posted on Mon, 07/18/2005 - 11:38am
bRENNA's picture
bRENNA says:

WHAT DOES THE QUEEN BEE EAT?

posted on Sat, 07/16/2005 - 6:01pm
Marla Spivak's picture

The queen bee eats nectar stored in the colony, and she is also fed royal jelly mouth-to-mouth by the worker bees.

posted on Mon, 07/18/2005 - 11:40am
Stephanie's picture
Stephanie says:

Why do the bees make honey? If they do it for food then bee breeders would be taking a great percentage of their food!\r\n\r\nSteph\r\n\r\n

posted on Sat, 07/16/2005 - 7:58pm
Marla Spivak's picture

You are right. Bees make honey for food. But they make lots of extra honey, and beekeepers only harvest the extra honey. Beekeepers always leave enough honey for the bees to eat through the winter months.

posted on Mon, 07/18/2005 - 11:41am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

What is a mite?? How does it breed and lay eggs??\r\n\r\nThank You!\r\n\r\n*Maria*

posted on Sun, 07/17/2005 - 4:24pm
Marla Spivak's picture

A mite is much like a tick, but smaller. There are many, many kinds of mites. The mite that affects honey bees, the Varroa mite, lays eggs inside cells containing bee pupae. The mites mate within the pupal cell to produce fertile female mites that will go on to lay eggs in another cell.

posted on Mon, 07/18/2005 - 11:43am
bryce's picture
bryce says:

how do you avoid getting stung by a bee?

posted on Sun, 07/17/2005 - 4:30pm
Marla Spivak's picture

When I open a colony of bees, I always wear a bee veil and I use a smoker, which disorients the bees so they are less apt to sting me. I always move calmly and slowly, and avoid quick nervous movements which irritate bees.

If you are asking how to avoid getting stung when you are just playing outside, it is best to wear shoes so you don't step on a bee foraging on a flower. If you do see bees, just move slowly and calmly. They don't "want" to sting you -- they will only sting if they are disturbed. So be nice to them and they will (hopefully) be nice to you.

posted on Mon, 07/18/2005 - 11:47am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

iS IT TRUE THAT RUBBING DUST WHERE YOU GOT STUNG RELIEFS THE PAIN?

posted on Mon, 07/18/2005 - 12:40pm
Marla Spivak's picture

No. The pain goes away within one minute, so it's best to try to relax through it.

posted on Tue, 07/19/2005 - 5:35pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

What interested you in bees?

posted on Mon, 07/18/2005 - 1:36pm
Marla Spivak's picture

I was interested in the fact that they are social with no central authority. I also was fascinated by the people that kept bees, and the relationship between bees and beekeepers.

posted on Tue, 07/19/2005 - 5:37pm
With-held's picture
With-held says:

One day could honey be used as a cheap car fuel.

posted on Mon, 07/18/2005 - 1:45pm
Marla Spivak's picture

I hope you can invent an engine to take honey as fuel!

posted on Tue, 07/19/2005 - 5:38pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

How fast do bees fly?

posted on Mon, 07/18/2005 - 3:52pm
Joe's picture
Joe says:

Where did bees first appear on Earth and when?

posted on Tue, 07/19/2005 - 10:37am
Marla Spivak's picture

Honey bees evolved in Asia. Bees in general evolved around 80-100 million years ago.

posted on Tue, 07/19/2005 - 5:44pm
Joe's picture
Joe says:

How do the workers know if a pupae is infected with mites?

posted on Tue, 07/19/2005 - 10:38am
Marla Spivak's picture

That is a main topic of our research. We think the bees use odor cues to detect mite-infested pupae.

posted on Tue, 07/19/2005 - 5:45pm
Joe's picture
Joe says:

Why are bees yellow and black?

posted on Tue, 07/19/2005 - 10:38am
Marla Spivak's picture

Wow. I think you are the third person to ask me that. I really don't know why.

posted on Tue, 07/19/2005 - 5:46pm
From the Museum Floor's picture

We are thinking of raising bees. Are there some species "gentler" than others and better for home hobbyists?

posted on Tue, 07/19/2005 - 10:41am
Marla Spivak's picture

All honey bees sold in the US are of the same species, Apis mellifera, and all are gentle for new beekeepers. How gentle the bees are depends greatly on how gently the beekeeper handles them.

posted on Tue, 07/19/2005 - 5:47pm
From the Museum Floor's picture

Does what flower the bee visit change the flavor of the honey?

posted on Tue, 07/19/2005 - 10:44am
Marla Spivak's picture

Yes, the flavor of different honeys depends on the flowers from which the bees collect the nectar. For example, clover flowers produce a light honey; buckwheat flowers produce a dark, strong honey.

posted on Tue, 07/19/2005 - 5:49pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

Is it true that bees can't see red colors?

posted on Tue, 07/19/2005 - 12:53pm
Marla Spivak's picture

Yes, bees cannot see the red wavelengths of light.

posted on Tue, 07/19/2005 - 5:50pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

How many years have you been a scientist?

posted on Tue, 07/19/2005 - 1:03pm
Marla Spivak's picture

I've been employed at the University of Minnesota since 1993. But I've been asking scientific questions about bees since I was 18 years old.

posted on Tue, 07/19/2005 - 5:53pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

how many things in our life depend on bees other than our food?

posted on Tue, 07/19/2005 - 7:30pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

Where is the largest concentration of bees in the world?

posted on Wed, 07/20/2005 - 11:19am
BEN's picture
BEN says:

How long do mites ride around on nurse bees?

posted on Wed, 07/20/2005 - 1:37pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

what is the scientific name for the honey bee\r\n

posted on Wed, 07/20/2005 - 2:02pm
Nik's picture
Nik says:

How do Mites kill bees and why?\r\n

posted on Thu, 07/21/2005 - 10:37am
pa lee's picture
pa lee says:

How do you work with bees?

posted on Thu, 07/21/2005 - 12:16pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

How do you tell a queen bee from other bees?

posted on Thu, 07/21/2005 - 1:20pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

How exactly are you to breed a better bee?\r\nWhat precautionary measures should be taken when breeding as far as interactions with other bees?

posted on Thu, 07/21/2005 - 7:27pm
Caela S.'s picture
Caela S. says:

With your program breeding new queen bees for beekeepers, how much success (measured in percentage) have you had with the overall population of infested bees?

How long have you been working at this program?

I am very impressed with your work!

Thank you!

-Caela S.

posted on Thu, 07/21/2005 - 8:22pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

Why do bees die after stinging someone?\r\n

posted on Thu, 07/21/2005 - 8:30pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

when the bees are born how do they mature and how do they end up choosing the queen bee? is it as easy or difficult as choosing the united states president.\r\n\r\nthank you so much for responding to my question.\r\n\r\nthank you\r\njoanna\r\n\r\n

posted on Fri, 07/22/2005 - 11:09am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

IS THERE ANY GENETIC MODIFICATION INVOLVED IN YOUR BEE BREEDING RESEARCH?

posted on Fri, 07/22/2005 - 12:01pm
Sawyer's picture
Sawyer says:

What do beekeepers do?\r\n

posted on Fri, 07/22/2005 - 12:56pm
David Arenivar's picture
David Arenivar says:

Can the bees tell the difference between a non-infected bee and an infected bee?

posted on Sat, 07/23/2005 - 1:22pm
anna's picture
anna says:

how many kinds of bees are there in North America?

posted on Sun, 07/24/2005 - 3:29pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

Dear Marla,

First let me say that you have a really cool name! My question for you is, how common is it to be allergic to bee stings? Is it possible to die because of killer bees? P.S. nice earrings.

Love,
Some girl from maryland =D

posted on Mon, 07/25/2005 - 3:51pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

What is the bacteria in honey that is not good for babies?

posted on Tue, 07/26/2005 - 11:58am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

hi when did you start to be come a scientist and what age were you when you were interested in science and why did you get interested in science and how old are know and how long have you been doing science

posted on Tue, 07/26/2005 - 1:08pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

why do bees have fur? It's noot like its kepping them warm.

posted on Thu, 07/28/2005 - 3:32pm
chelsea's picture
chelsea says:

what is your most favorite thing to study about?

posted on Fri, 07/29/2005 - 4:14pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

How do bees choose their queen?

posted on Sat, 07/30/2005 - 11:29am
Andy Clark's picture
Andy Clark says:

How much venom do bees carry?

posted on Sat, 07/30/2005 - 10:51pm
Ed Barry's picture
Ed Barry says:

How does beekeeping in Northern climates (like Minnesota) differ from beekeeping in more temperate areas (as in the Pacific Northwest)?

posted on Sun, 07/31/2005 - 3:08am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

Why does chapstick have beeswax in it?

posted on Sun, 07/31/2005 - 1:37pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

Where does beeswax come from?

posted on Sun, 07/31/2005 - 1:38pm
karen's picture
karen says:

how many bees does it take to sucessfully run a beehive?

posted on Sun, 07/31/2005 - 3:36pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

How many pupae per adult?

posted on Mon, 08/01/2005 - 10:27am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

do bees hibernate, or do many insects hibernate, and for how long?

posted on Mon, 08/01/2005 - 2:10pm
Amber's picture
Amber says:

How long does it take bees to build a hive?

posted on Mon, 08/01/2005 - 2:11pm
Abbey's picture
Abbey says:

How big are queen bees?

posted on Wed, 08/03/2005 - 1:20pm
ABBEY's picture
ABBEY says:

how small are baby bees?

posted on Wed, 08/03/2005 - 1:23pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

WHAT ARE BEES WORST ENEMY?

posted on Wed, 08/03/2005 - 2:57pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

Do different size bees have different sized stingers?

posted on Wed, 08/03/2005 - 4:09pm
kala's picture
kala says:

i dont actually have a question for you just a story. my friend found a bee hive in the woods and were playing catch with it and some "dead" bees fell out and they thought this was cool so they brought the bee hive back to there house and set it in the living room and went to dinner and all the sudden at the end of dinner all these bees kept coming in and noone could figure out why and the dad was a bio teacher and finally figured it out i thought that was a really amusing thing they did i dont think they will be making that mistake again.

posted on Thu, 08/04/2005 - 1:06pm
Emily's picture
Emily says:

Hello Marla. I really like bees and was wondering if there was a place that I could get some of my own. I am interested in being a beekeeper and would like a few to have live in my house just for practice. If you have any inforomation for me please let me know! Thanks have a nice day.
Sincerely, Emily

posted on Thu, 08/04/2005 - 3:40pm
TATEAnonymous's picture
TATEAnonymous says:

WHY DO BEES LIVE IN HIVES?\r\n

posted on Fri, 08/05/2005 - 11:31am
Daniel Kennedy's picture
Daniel Kennedy says:

Are bees and wasps different? Why do wasps sting? Do the mites only eat bees, or do they eat other things too?

posted on Fri, 08/05/2005 - 12:36pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

what do bees do for the world

posted on Fri, 08/05/2005 - 1:32pm
Malik Jallah's picture
Malik Jallah says:

How long does a bee live?

posted on Fri, 08/05/2005 - 1:42pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

how much honey do bees make during the year?

posted on Fri, 08/05/2005 - 2:11pm
Olivia's picture
Olivia says:

what age do bees die\r\n

posted on Fri, 08/05/2005 - 4:25pm
victoria's picture
victoria says:

how long have bees been around and who discovered them?\r\n\r\n

posted on Fri, 08/05/2005 - 8:06pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

HOW DID U BECOME INTERESTED \r\nIN BEE RESEARCH?

posted on Sat, 08/06/2005 - 10:57am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

Where do mites usually live?

posted on Sat, 08/06/2005 - 12:08pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

How many types of bees are in the world?

posted on Sat, 08/06/2005 - 12:20pm
g+d's picture
g+d says:

Where are those killer bees today?

posted on Sat, 08/06/2005 - 2:32pm
twain's picture
twain says:

what do you like most about bees?

posted on Sat, 08/06/2005 - 3:56pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

can a bee fly if its wings are wet

posted on Mon, 08/08/2005 - 12:14pm
Jeff's picture
Jeff says:

What do hornets eat..?

posted on Mon, 08/08/2005 - 12:38pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

Why do you like science?

posted on Mon, 08/08/2005 - 1:11pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

can bees live with missing wings and legs?

posted on Tue, 08/09/2005 - 1:36pm
MIA MESSER's picture
MIA MESSER says:

what would be the consequences of not having bees around anymore?

posted on Tue, 08/09/2005 - 2:18pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

how many bees are in a hive\r\n

posted on Thu, 08/11/2005 - 4:01pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

How are hives made?

posted on Thu, 08/11/2005 - 4:13pm
Liza's picture
Liza says:

It seems like making honey is hard work. Why do bees make so much more of it than they need? Is that a trait that humans have nurtured, or do completely wild bees overproduce honey, too? What would the evolutionary advantage to doing so possibly be?

posted on Thu, 08/11/2005 - 4:20pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

what does the red spot on some bees mean?\r\n

posted on Thu, 08/11/2005 - 4:29pm
caleb's picture
caleb says:

how many bees live in one hive?

posted on Thu, 08/11/2005 - 4:32pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

were did these mites come from?

posted on Thu, 08/11/2005 - 5:03pm