Monday Night Mystery: Take the Beekeeping Test

I am enjoying the exam-style challenges, so let’s close July with an excerpt from the IB496 “Introduction to Beekeeping” midterm exam. I will award 1 point per question to the first person who provides the first correct answer to each.

The cumulative points winner for the month of July will win their choice of 1) any 8×10-sized print from my insect photography galleries, or 2) a guest post here on Myrmecos.

Good luck!


1. What was Lorenzo Langstroth’s key discovery?
a. Smoke calms bees.
b. Respecting the “bee space” in hive construction leads to easily moveable frames.
c. Pressed wax foundation placed in frames encourages bees to build straight combs.
d. Queens and drones mate outside the hive.

2. Bees use a substance called propolis to seal cracks in their hive. What is it made from?
a. Collected plant resins
b. Secretions from the hypopharyngeal gland
c. Condensed honey
d. None of the above

3. Apis mellifera, the species used in most beekeeping, is just one kind of bee. Approximately how many other bee species exist worldwide?
a. 150
b. 4,000
c. 10,000
d. 20,000

4. The function of the nasonov gland is to produce:
a. An orientation pheromone
b. An alarm pheromone
c. Queen substance
d. Royal jelly

5. You’ve decided to become a beekeeper! Which of the following ways to obtain bees will give you the fastest population increase?
a. A nucleus hive
b. A 3-pound package of bees
c. A large captured swarm
d. A bait hive

6. You watch a bee in a garden collecting nectar in late summer. Of the following, which is her most likely age (= time since emerging from the pupa)?
a. Three days
b. Eight days
c. Twenty four days
d. Sixty days

7. Which symptoms indicate a failing queen?
a. Swarm cells
b. The pattern of capped brood is sporadic
c. The hive contains hundreds of drones
d. All of the above

8. While biking to your apiary you pass a field of blooming sunflowers about two miles away. Could your bees be gathering nectar there?
a. Yes, two miles is within a bee’s flight range
b. No, two miles is too far for small insects like bees to fly

9. At the end of winter, the cluster of bees will most likely be found in the hive:
a. At the front
b. At the back
c. At the top
d. At the bottom

10. The largest economic impact of beekeeping in the United States results from:
a. Sale of royal jelly
b. Sale of wax
c. Sale of honey
d. Pollination services

10 thoughts on “Monday Night Mystery: Take the Beekeeping Test”

  1. #1 b
    #2 a
    #3 b
    #4 d
    #5 a or c, depending on what period of time we’re talking about.
    #6 b
    #7 b or c, failing in what regard? The presence of swarm cells is hardly the failing of a queen bee as they’re a normal part of hive reproduction.
    #8 a
    #9 c
    #10 d

  2. Pingback: Answer to the Monday Night Mystery: – MYRMECOS - Insect Photography - Insect Pictures

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