Identifying the bees in a honeybee colony

Identifying the bees in a honeybee colony starts with the three types: queen, workers which are female and drones which are male. The workers make up the large majority of the population and look like the typical honeybee you’ve seen in your garden. Cute and adorable, right?

Honeybee on lavender
Honeybee on Bird Foot Trefoil
Honeybee and swamp mallow






The honeybee queen looks similar to the workers with a longer abdomen.

Queen honeybee

Here’s a close up of all three:

Worker, Drone, Queen

They can be a little harder to spot on a frame of honeybees fresh out of the colony:

Worker and Drone near the top of the frame
Brood frame with workers and drones



Substituting Honey for Sugar

Honey can easily be substituted for white refined sugar in baking. Since honey is very sweet, add less honey than the sugar most recipes call for. Reduce any liquids by 1/4 cup and add a little more baking soda and lower the oven temp by 25F. That’s all there is to it!

Since I’m a visual person I made a little chart:

A quick substitution guide

While you can take out up to half of the refined sugar (white sugar) when I do this I start with 1/4 c and then see how it tastes. Then the next time I’ll take substitute a little more.

I recently made my all time favorite Molasses Cookies using Buckwheat Honey instead of brown sugar and molasses. They came out just fine! Next time I would add a little more spice as the buckwheat, while flavorful, isn’t as strong as molasses.  Check the Recipes page if you’d like to try the cookies out yourself.



2018 Beginner Beekeeping Classes

Join us and learn the basics of beekeeping in our one day class. We offer a mixture of hands on and lecture that prepare you to care for your honeybees.

Green Heron Apiary will be holding beginner beekeeping classes January-March in Jephson Hall at Keuka College near Penn Yan, NY.

Class dates are:

January 20, 2018

February 17, 2018

March 24, 2018

All classes run 8am-5pm.
Prices for each class are $50 per person or $90 per couple and include a boxed lunch. Minimum class size is 10 participants.

The boxed lunches include:
Roast Beef, Turkey, Ham, Chicken Salad, Egg Salad or Grilled Vegetable and are served with Whole Fruit, Potato Chips, Bakery Cookies and bottled water.

Join us and sign up today!

You will learn about:

  • Honeybee biology and life cycle
  • Seasonal management, including the time needed during each season
  • What you need to get started; basic equipment and attire
  • Pests, diseases including different management strategies
  • Getting stung! It’s going to happen.
  • Sweet rewards – extracting and wax plus other value adds

You will be provided printed material to use and reference at home. We invite you to continue learning with us free of charge in our training yard during the spring, summer and fall months and invite to join our growing club.

Continue to learn:

If you’re interested, you can also sign up for follow up emails that review class topics and introduce new topics.