- Kathryn Allard
Bee Adventures - Part 3
June 10, 2020 I made a home feeder this morning, with a frizbee turned upside down then filled it with small flat rocks - so the bees can hold on and not drown because they have their legs and wings full of sticky water - I filled it with syrup, and put it on the ground close to the hive. There’s not much activity going on... Approximately half a dozen bees coming and going. I’ve read that they fly a certain distance then come back, going a little further each time, to get used to their environment. As like the last few months, the temperature varies so much within a day and the nights are only in the single digits. I don’t blame them for staying in.
I was hoping to get my nuc sooner, but the producers needed to wait for spring to finally settle in. Mother Nature threw snow at us until May 12th. Sick of it, really. If you think about mid-November snow, this winter lasted a full 6 months.
Our cherry and apple trees were in full bloom just 2 weeks ago; the bees – and the trees – would have benefited from the pollinating. Our row of mature pine trees north of the house release huge yellow clouds of pollen as soon as the wind kicks up. Our black lab Shadow used to have an amusing yellow dusty coat on his nose, eye lashes and all over his face.
Anyway, we do see some bees coming and going regularly, but not many. We spy on them often during the day with binoculars, not wanting to get too close and disturb them. Plus, you can see them really well with binoculars! June 14 2020 Sunday afternoon. The weather is finally warm, and Richard calls me outside in a rush, holding the binoculars, because he notices a dozen or so bees lazily hovering in front of the hive & a lot more activity, bees are coming and going. It’s not that warm outside, so the behaviour is very strange... Back to the house for a web search! SO! It’s a very good sign! We have a queen that is laying well, and the newly hatched bees are taking in their environment, evaluating the entrance and distance, by doing these funny figure 8 motions, and facing the hiveé
As the worker bees continue up the work chain they become foragers and must orient themselves to their individual hives before heading off. Usually if you watch closely, individual bees take flight facing their hive and rock back and forth widening that flight more and more ! And higher and higher. This is the all important orienteering flight.
Pretty impressed! I closed my search almost teary eyed... I’m so happy and proud! My bees are doing well!