At the heart of every bee hive is a queen bee. Since her well-being is linked to the well-being of the entire colony, the ability to find her among the residents of the hive is an essential beekeeping skill. In QueenSpotting, experienced beekeeper and professional “swarm catcher” Hilary Kearney challenges readers to “spot the queen” with 48 fold-out visual puzzles — vivid up-close photos of the queen hidden among her many subjects.
QueenSpotting celebrates the unique, fascinating life of the queen bee chronicles of royal hive happenings such as The Virgin Death Match, The Nuptual Flight — when the queen mates with a cloud of male drones high in the air — and the dramatic Exodus of the Swarm from the hive. Readers will thrill at Kearney’s adventures in capturing these swarms from the strange places they settle, including a Jet Ski, a couch, a speed boat, and an owl’s nesting box. Fascinating, fun, and instructive, backyard beekeepers and nature lovers alike will find reason to return to the pages again and again.
This publication conforms to the EPUB Accessibility specification at WCAG 2.0 Level AA.
Few will be able to resist beekeeper Kearney's master class in beekeeping, a delightful mixture of how-to tips, popular science trivia, and interactive challenges. Being able to find the queen bee, Kearney explains, is imperative for any beekeeper hoping to keep a hive healthy and productive. "If the original queen is not removed" after a new one hatches, the "worker bees will remain loyal to her and kill the newly installed one." Kearney covers the logistics of turning nectar into honey, the trick to tracking the queen's age (via a dab of bright paint on her back representing the last digit in her birth year), and the secret to creating those "bee beards" occasionally displayed by beekeepers (just apply some queen pheromones). As for the visual quizzes scattered throughout, the task is the same in each: find the queen in a photo of a horde of bees splayed across multiple pages. Solutions are provided, but, in a rather fiendish twist, Kearney waits until the end to offer tips. This all adds up to a spellbinding study of one of the world's most important insects, and one with appeal for kids (through the puzzle component) as well as adults.