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  • Kathryn Allard

Bee Adventures - Part 2

Dernière mise à jour : 20 juil. 2020

June 9, 2020

I woke up way too early thinking about my bees and wondering if they were ok. What if I had sprayed them too much and they were all stuck together? It’s cloudy and only 10 degrees celcius. Apparently, bees don’t forage nor go out of the hive under 16 degrees. I find that a tad drastic and hard to believe, considering the weather is mild most of the year. Kind of limits the timeframe in which they need to do their work... Let’s say a nice spring sunny day is forecasted at around 14 degrees. That’spretty warm, no ? If I were a bee, I’d love such a day! I could understand if it were cloudy, because bees orient themselves with the sun. Anyway, we’ll have to wait and see. Maybe mine are special. 😉

According to the University of Maine:

The minimum temperature for honeybee flight is 12º celcius. The optimum temperature for flight activity is 22-25º celcius, but activity continues up to about 38º celcius before declining.

... Even with favorable temperature and sunlight, rain and wind speed above 15 mph can cause honeybees to stop foraging.

I went out to the hive and expected a loud and steady buzz, but all I heard was a very soft hum, even when I put my ear on the side of the hive. I started to panic a bit and thought I had done something extremely wrong the night before...

Plus, about 20 bees were on the ground in front of the hive, huddled together. Poor things... they were probably very cold last night... They are likely some bees that had fallen from the nuc frames or the cardboard box, and didn’t make it inside. It was almost dark when I finished up... Well, I won’t make that mistake again. In the future, if some are on the ground, it will be because they were too weak from the ride home. Maybe that’s the case with these... it makes me fee a little better.

I took a dozen of the bees and brought them to a half sunny area and layed them on a rock. And sure enough, when I went back after lunch when the sun was fully out, there were only 3 left!! Hoooray for the warmth of the sun. Now I just hope some sort of signal drew them close to the others and they found their way inside the hive.

We saw a few in the mud and wondered if they had decided their new home wasn’t appropriate. My friend Google search taught me that bees will often prefer muddy water over the colder water of springs or streams because they can benefit from the nutrients in the mud. Also, they digest the warmer water more easily.

After work and a short walk Richard and I checked the mesh I had stuck on top of the ventilated top to make sure it was still taped on tight. I could see lots of bees down below from that small hole! Other bees were coming in for the night.

I wonder if they have enough syrup and if they’re happy and warm. The advantage of having a frame feeder is that they don’t have to leave the hive to feed, and no other insects - like nasty wasps - get into it. The disadvantage is that I have to open the hive to fill it up, and it takes the space of a frame. I might make a home feeder, just to experiment.

Only a soft and steady hum came from the hive when we checked after dinner.

... a happy and healthy hive emits only a very soft sound, discernible only up close when you open it. Beehives always have some buzzing in them–the bees move around, beat their wings, and go about tending their young and storing away pollen and honey. The Druid's Garden
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