Friday, June 17, 2011

Undertaker bees

Yesterday I witnessed three bees carrying out dead bees at the hive during a period of two to three minutes. This goes on everyday, but you really have to be watching closely. In the morning yesterday I went to fill up the bee feeder and forgot to return to fill it and place it on the hive. So the bees went 9 hours without their supplement food. I was a tad worried when I saw the bees dragging out dead bees.


This video shows a worker bee hanging on to a drone bee at the hive entrance. Not sure if was being expelled or what. The females are known to kick out the drones when they are not needed any longer.

Today the bees were orienting around the hive. If I'm correct the workers at three weeks of age do this when they start foraging. The orienting flight helps them to learn the way back to the hive. Early next week I'm checking the hive to look for hatched brood.

The weather report calls for 90s the next week everyday, got to love the Carolinas.

11 comments:

greggo said...

Its amazing to watch and learn how everything is intertwined in their world. No wasted actions. Creation at its best.

Jan@Thanks for today. said...

This is just amazing, Randy. I enjoy learning about bees and how intelligent they are. It's exciting that you're experiencing all of this first-hand;-)

Curbstone Valley Farm said...

I wonder if that was a undertaker dragging out the dead in a video, or a guard wrangling an intruder? It's not easy to tell from video. They are clean and fastidious creatures though. Sometimes we'll see the undertakers take off and fly significant distances with the bodies. I'm always impressed they can get airborne hauling something the same mass an size as they are. Makes me feel like such a wimp ;)

sweetbay said...

I heard about that forecast too... would be bearable if only there were showers to cool temps off at their hottest.

Cameron said...

I'm learning so much from your bee posts.

Have you been down to the NC Zoo in the last year or so? I think they've got a great little educational bee exhibit that children really seem to enjoy and understand. Good that they are trying to spread the word about the goodness of bees.

The 80s and low humidity were so wonderful...but, still need more rain. Hopefully, tonight! Heading back to hot. I always think of Yogi Berra's quote "it ain't the heat, it's the humility." :-)

Janet, The Queen of Seaford said...

Most interesting! I appreciate reading all your bee postings, I am really learning a good deal.
Could really use some cooler temps...this heat is nuts!

keewee said...

Randy, thank for the video. It is very interesting to learn new things about our animal kingdom. It has never crossed my mind about dead bees in a hive, so now I know.
have a great weekend.

compost in my shoe said...

It is amazing to watch them fly off with the deceased family members. Burial somewhere in the garden.......Good luck with the hive!!

Catherine@AGardenerinProgress said...

I never knew there was such a thing as undertakers bees. Very interesting video! Wish we could get some of that heat. We are struggling to get out of the mid 60's around here.

Birds, Bees, Berries, and Blooms said...

Thanks for your help with my moth identification! I'm pretty sure you are right. I forgot that when he hit panicky ninny stage he had some red eyes on the bottom of his wings. I couldn't find one with the black back. I'm glad your bees are doing great. There is nothing I enjoy more than sitting on my bee watching stump with a cup of coffee. I especially like to note what color the pollen is. It makes me wonder where they have been. Again thanks for swinging by my porch. I had a feeling you would be able to identify my mystery moth.

Msrobin said...

I've really been enjoying your bee tales since it's nothing that I'd ever do! You had commented that my first butterfly sighting was quite late, and that's always true. I'll see them around town, but in my garden they never arrive till later in the summer. Yes, my town is being built up with housing,so the butterflies are probably getting pushed around. I do live in suburbia, so any that visit here are a bonus.