Ok, just kidding!  Must have just been a dream. :-)  The weather's felt this cold the last week, and it did spit some snow yesterday, but, no, it was not like this .......

We had a lot of rain and cool weather.  Very windy.  The bees seem to be hanging in there, though, probably doing a bit better with some food in their bellies and no extreme cold.  I am at work during the day (when the sun has briefly popped out), so I can't tell if they've been out at all.  At night when I check them through the window, it seems like the cluster hanging from the top is spreading out a bit.  They are just covering about 5-6 bars now, which seems like more than before.  That could mean they are building comb out, but I won't know until I see them during a warmer day.  Unfortunately, I will be heading out of town early (3:30 AM!!) Saturday for a conference next week, and will not return until late Wednesday.  I will have to wait to find out, I guess :-(.  Need to put a WEB cam in there :-)

Last weekend when they were flying, I spent a lot of time watching what they were up to.  Most were hovering around the entrance in a cloud extending about 5 feet out from the hive.  Occasionally, one would peel off, flying in circles out about 20 to 50 feet from  the hive, then it would return to the cloud.  I did not see any bees foraging.  I believe what is happening is the bees are orienting themselves, training essentially, to where they are and what is around them visually.  We often think of bees scurrying about, running off to flowers (up to 3 or miles away), and then coming back home with their pollen and nectar booty.  When they do that, however, they use visual clues or markers, to find their way.  Until they have that down pat, they stick close to home.  Eventually, they make wider and wider circles, moving further and further from the hive.  In their travels, they may come across some flowers and check them out.  If they are good, then they will head back to the hive with a sample and spread the word.  Right now, my babies are still taking their, well.... baby flights, getting used to the environment.  We'll need more warm weather for them to get the ol' bee Google maps up and running!  Until next week, thanks for dropping by and think warm thoughts :-)


Lynn Price
04/29/2011 15:48

Hey!! No fair inducing cardiac arrests in those of us living outside of your immediate climate zone with that first photo! :-)

And no joke - webcam. Squirrels (and their great PR folks) have been all over this. Just check out this google search:


I would much rather see whether the bees are out learning their geography than watch furry rodents make a nest, or whatever these webcams portray. I have enough squirrels right here in my backyard that I have not felt moved to watch any further "reality shows" about them....but bees.....another story!

Signing out,

Your East coast bee fan

05/01/2011 15:03

Hey! Browse the WEB at your own peril :-)

Actually, web cams have been done, but are a pain in hives because bees coat the inside of their hives with propolis, a sticky "bee duct tape" of sorts. It is made from sap and they like to fill gaps, holes, lenses, and, yes, eventually even my hive window. It, a web cam, would have to be continually cleaned, and I don't think Wendy would take the job on ......

Beth has reported in that bees have been sighted on the dandelions out front, so most likely they are figuring out where to go. And hopefully they are not some neighborhood bees horning in on the 'hood.

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