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Honey bees galore!


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#21 Offline T.C. - Posted November 9 2016 - 8:35 AM

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Nope, I don't remember which country, I think Japan? However they are hand pollinating almond trees with q tips!



#22 Offline fortysixandtwo - Posted November 11 2016 - 11:27 PM

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Nope, I don't remember which country, I think Japan? However they are hand pollinating almond trees with q tips!

 

I know it was true for apples and pears at least. But the Chinese removed so much native habitat and used excessive pesticides to the point they have killed off all their native pollinators in many areas. So there is nothing to naturally pollinate those crops. They have to manually pollinate.

 

That said I am still seeing honeybees flying around in Northern California. It has been pretty warm the last week or two.



#23 Offline dermy - Posted November 12 2016 - 7:54 AM

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I don't like the scenerio we are having in Canada, it's really warm, usually their is about a footish of snow out by now. I've also heard this year will see more -40C weather then normal and possibly even more snow. It's supposed to be brutal. But what happened was it snowed, melted and tricked some of the plants into budding [no flowers obv. but still, that takes up a bit of energy from the trees and stuff]. The bears aren't hibernating yet either.....



#24 Offline T.C. - Posted November 12 2016 - 9:34 AM

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I don't like the scenerio we are having in Canada, it's really warm, usually their is about a footish of snow out by now. I've also heard this year will see more -40C weather then normal and possibly even more snow. It's supposed to be brutal. But what happened was it snowed, melted and tricked some of the plants into budding [no flowers obv. but still, that takes up a bit of energy from the trees and stuff]. The bears aren't hibernating yet either.....

Same here Dermy, I live in Wisconsin so your actually right above me depending on where you live in Canada? However, yeah, the lilac trees in the backyard have buds on them? It's wierd, it was cold for a while and like you said when it's supposed to be cold outside, I am outside in jeans and a t shirt right now. Ant colonies that had closed off their tunnels and sealed them,  but know they broke the seal again and are out foraging? And the honey bee thing? They are still flying around outside right now, i have never seen them past Sept. because it's too cold. it's almost the middle of NOVEMBER!?!?



#25 Offline MrILoveTheAnts - Posted November 12 2016 - 10:40 AM

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http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v735/mrilovetheants/Bees%202010/PublicFeeding.jpg

At the heart of this topic, we're witnessing social feeding. At their core Honeybees are out looking for a meal and are prone to "dumpster dive" in the lack of other types of food. It's why I recommend people rinse out their cans of cat food and soda before placing them into open recycling bins.

 

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v735/mrilovetheants/Bees%202010/HummingbirdFeederHardtoGet.jpg

It's why hummingbird feeders often have little guards on them to prevent bees from getting their tongues in there.

 

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v735/mrilovetheants/Bees%202008/QueenDark.jpg

Honeybees only reproduce by colony division. (Don't ask me how this process started, they've been doing it for millions of years.) Queens are completely helpless on their own because they're bred and programmed 1) murder all other developing queens in the hive they're born into, then 2) try and mate within the first two weeks of life. Sometimes it rains or you get a late freeze and they have to wait. There are cases where they don't mate and go on to lay nothing but useless drones (male honeybees) but those are rare.  

 

Now the process is a little more complicated than documentaries tend to make out. The reason for this is some breeds are prone to swarming more so than others, also population plays a roll.

 

In the spring time the workers will begin making queen cells, roughly 50 of them in a good hive. The parent queen of the hive will lay eggs in each of these as she finds them, which means the hive is in the process of making ~50 new queens!

 

Addressing an issue of diet real fast, any fertilized egg can develop into a new queen, even if it's laid in a worker cell. The workers simply make the cell larger. What determines the development of an egg into a worker or queen is the lack of pollen in the diet. NOT royal jelly. "Royal Jelly" as its called, is a substance that any worker bee can produce and feed to any other bee.

 

Around the time the first queen bee emerges (15 to 16 days after laying) the hive is going to want to swarm. Sometimes it rains though and they have to hold off on that. However this does not stop the process of the newly emerged queen systematically wondering the hive to murder all the rival queens. They have a special stinger designed to slide into capped cells and kill them as brood. Mother and Daughter queens get along fine with one another so there's no threat of the new queen killing off the old one. It's when two sister queens emerge that they fight. 

 

In the case of hives being too big: The newly emerged queen simply doesn't have enough venom to kill all her competitors. So she will leave the hive with a swarm of her own. Thus, multiple swarms can happen from a single hive within days of one another. Each time the hive swarms roughly 40% to 60% of the workers leave with them.

 

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v735/mrilovetheants/Bees%202011/SwarmLater.jpg

Bee Swarms are exactly what they sound like. They're a literal cloud of bees taking to the air. There are so many flying in one area that they cast a shadow on the ground.

 

Initially they will fly from the hive and land in an adjacent tree not far from the hive. They do this to first make sure they have a queen with them. If they don't then they fly back into the hive and go "What Happened!?" Then they try again. Sometimes the queen's wings are damaged or she was snagged by a bird or something. These things happen but not often.

 

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v735/mrilovetheants/Bees%202008/Swarm2008landing.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v735/mrilovetheants/Bees%202008/Swarm2008bearded4.jpg

http://vidmg.photobu...BeesLanding.mp4

Sometimes they land on the side of a house.

 

Regardless of where they initially landed, once they have a swarm of bees situated somewhere with a queen, they then send out scouts to locate suitable nesting sites. First light the next morning, the swarm takes off to what they had voted on being the best one.

 

Honeybees are looking for hollow cavities with a narrow entrance. This makes hollow trees and attics to homes ideal.

 

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v735/mrilovetheants/Bees%202009/21BeeMeetingBeesfanningchemical.jpg

Once they land, certain workers begin fanning pheromones into the air, via a gland seen here as a wider orange slit. The more bees doing this in an area, the more workers arrive to enter. Sometimes swarms fall off of branches or the queen lands someplace else. Which ever side has the queen wins the argument of where the bees should go.

 

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v735/mrilovetheants/Bees%202008/NJBA/NJBAbees.jpg

Lastly they begin producing wax by using a different gland under their abdomen. You can see a worker doing that here. Normally the job of nest building is delegated to bees of a certain age. In the case of swarming, pretty much every bee does it which allows them to quickly establish a new hive for the queen to lay eggs in, pollen to be stored around the brood, and of course honey storage.


Edited by MrILoveTheAnts, November 12 2016 - 10:45 AM.

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#26 Offline T.C. - Posted November 12 2016 - 11:20 AM

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Amazing, thank you for posting this, Super helpful, detailed and full of information!






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