Thursday, May 6, 2010

Bees at Night

Every so often I get asked, “So, what do bees do at night?”

The answer is simple they go home. Being that it has been much warmer the last few days, I have been finding a large number of bees hanging out at the front of the hive. I talked about the reasons for this in another post over here. One can really see the strength of a hive at this time of day because all the foragers are back from the field.

First up “B2”, it has been almost 4 weeks since the package was installed. That means that this hive could possibly be seeing the first of its new bees hatching. This could account for the small mass at the front entrance. The entrance reducer is still set for the small opening because you can see I am still feeding them. They aren't taking it very quickly, which suggests that there is plenty of better option around the neighborhood for them to feed on.
Next is “Club Fergie” in the link from above it shows what the entrance looked like a month ago at the start up of the Spring hatching season. Now a month later you see what a population explosion there has been. I was planning on moving the entrance reducer up to the next size, but the 10 day forecast shows it is going to be back in the 40sºF at night starting this weekend so I will probably wait another week for that. I am not worried about opening the entrance up because all they have in their feeder right now is plain water to help them with cooling the hive when it gets too hot. Plain Water, is not really the thing that encourages robbing.
This picture demonstrates that the perfect time to do a hive check is not at night. For one, bees don't fly at night very well because there is no sun to orientate them however, they are excellent crawlers which added to the complete hive population being home makes this an equation for a sting disaster to happen.