Hard Working Bees

They’re Foraging Now

Our bees relocated from Georgia last Wednesday and wasted no time in mapping and foraging about the neighborhood.  I guess when you have a short life span you don’t have time to waste.  I still feed them with sugar water one or two times a day.  On a sunny day they seem to take less from the feeder, but if it rains I have to fill the feeder twice.

I checked on them about 7:40 yesterday morning and found that some of them had already returned from pollen patrol.  I hadn’t even finished my first coffee and they’ve already finished making one of their rounds.  That put me to shame.  But seeing them out and about in the neighborhood makes me happy since that translates into a higher chance of overall survival for them.  The problem I have is the difficulty in prying myself away from just watching the comings and goings around the hive.  Bee watching is very addictive.

Back from foraging

Later in the afternoon, I checked on them again.   A lot of them were gathered outside the hive entrance; two different sizes of bees.  I briefly panicked thinking my bees were being robbed.  Mugged by the locals, so to speak.  I promptly narrowed the entrance to a gap so small that only the workers could get through, unknowingly trapping the drones, stuck on either side.  I rushed to the beekeeping books and looked up “robbing”.  Not finding much information regarding “bee hive robbing”,  I turned to an online search.  An indication of robbery is bees fighting, not just head to head communicating, maybe 4 against 1 in a fight and a more aggressive attitude.

Notice different colors of pollen

I rushed back and opened the entrance wider only to find that I had created chaos for them.  The larger bees, the drones I had mistaken for interlopers, couldn’t get back in and the ones inside couldn’t get out.  I caused a stampede, pretty much.  Ten minutes after widening the entrance, everything returned to normal.

Lesson learned?  The crowd makes their orientation flights on sunny afternoons.  Eureka!

4 thoughts on “Hard Working Bees

  1. A drone stampede! I like drones as they are under appreciated by beekeepers. Some of the drones may not even have been yours, as drones like to pay visits to local hives, where they are welcomed in and fed. I like to imagine they’re looking out for new virgin queens, so that they can get a head start on the chase when she leaves! But that’s probably me over romanticising it, as apparently drones tend to ignore queens flying outside of the drone congregation areas up in the sky.

    1. That is interesting to know. Welcome to the banquet then! Just don’t go back and tell your little “worker bees” to come over and take them all.

  2. Your story reminds me of the rushed crush of the shopping crowds for Black Friday! Can’t wait to hear about your honey.

    1. It’s very rare to get honey the first year. We will have to leave it for them to over-winter with. I think the bees have more sense in general than humans when it comes to shopping for pollen rush. However, if one comes knocking at the patio door and offer us some honey this year, we wont turn it down.

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