Here are some sample SHORT ESSAY questions.  Think about your answer, then click the box to see what the Eastern Apicultural Society of North America would consider a correct answer.


New colonies (hived package bees, nucs, swarm captures, splits) are a management challenge. Give three things the beekeeper should do within the first month to expand the new hive and then two additional things that should be done over the summer before the bees rear the bees that will rear the fall bees that will overwinter.

(c) Phil Frank

For 1st month: 1. feed the new bees sugar syrup, 2. assist the new hive to draw foundation into comb 3. monitor the population growth but don’t over inspect so queen can lay eggs; add 2nd box for brood + other possible stimulations OK For summer 1. push bees to expand into 2nd brood box (deep) or 2nd 3 rd boxes (if mediums) 2. check for mite load. Feed colonies if no or reduced fall flow, prevent robbing + Other possible responses OK

You are a beekeeper with 10 hives. A pumpkin grower close by asks if you could rent him 2 or 3 colonies for his pumpkin patch. Give 5 reasons why you should decline

Pumpkin Blossom

He uses spray (at least on other crops), you have no convenient way to move (no pick-up/ helpers to lift and heft, price he is willing to pay won’t cover your costs (it never does), you don’t want to work at night to put bees in/take out of patch, you desire a contract but are reluctant to work one up that you think grower will sign, if patch is too close(< 3 miles) bees would drift back home , workers in pumpkin patch likely to be afraid of bees in hives and may damage them, exposed hives may be stolen. (OTHER reasonables answers?)…

The beehive is a DARK, HOT, & SMELLY place. Why? Give 5 biological reasons for these hive characteristics. (Include at least one reason for each attribute: hot, smelly and dark.)

(c) Phil Frank

DARK – needed for wax gland function (any other reason?) but not for other hive functions. HOT - for brood development + evaporation of water in honey ripening process + for normal adult survival (any others?) SMELLY so bees detect pheromones of queen ,brood &/or workers uniting and coordinating hive activities + distinctive hive odor + others ?

Bees fly to flowers, then walk on them to gather nectar/pollen. Explain what muscles enable insect wings to function and how, with 6 legs, they can walk on flowers? How much (relative to their body weight) can they collect before flying back and what are major wing structure features that allow this weight load? Could you carry the same amount relative to your body weight in supers from hive to extracting location?

(c) Phil Frank

Unfold wings with muscles attached directly to wing base. Fly to/from flowers with indirect flight muscles of thorax. Walking is a triangle of 3 legs. Bees can carry 1/2 or more of body weight as wings are not rigid - they move in figure 8. The wing's front edge veins reinforce the membrane. The hind/trailing wing portion is flexible a membrane. They hook wings for greater surface area. NO - unless trained weight lifter, we cannot carry as much without use of aids.