Friday, January 22, 2010

Rainy Day Bees

The El Nino rains have come to Southern California. It has been raining more or less continuously for four days. On days like this I no longer snicker at my Niece's hive with the fancy peaked roof. I suspect the bees might prefer it too. I could move the hive away from the roof drips but 95% of the time this is a good location so it will stay where it is. Once the rains have stopped for a few days I will look inside and see how dry it is. I suspect the bees have done their job and sealed all the cracks. On the up side, no ants.

When there is a break in the weather the bees peek out to see what the weather is.

They are quickly off to poop or find food. These two shots were taken late in the afternoon.

Everyone is in a hurry to work between storms.

Checking the weather after the last squall.

As the days got wetter, so did the hive and there were casualties. There may be more bodies tossed out of the hive but the rains washes them away. These could be natural deaths and the bees shoved out the entrance and off to the side.

Checking a body above the entrance.

Deciding it does not matter and getting to the business of bees.

Finding some white pollen within the hour since the rain has stopped.

They keep going out in ones and twos. This is not the big mass of bees working on normal days, just a few at a time and no one hangs out on the landing deck very long. The winds are quite strong and rain can come back at any time.

Even with the short turn-around between storms there is pollen to be found, this time it is a nice yellow. And so it goes, with a break in the weather the bees are out doing the bee things. It looks like they will be dancing between the storms again today but it should be clear in a day but only for a day. More rain is due early next week.
Some years there is no rain and now there is almost too much at once but the bees adjust.

Dealing with bees in bad weather can be challenge. This is what happened when Kirk Anderson of Backwards Beekeepers had his hive tip over due to wet soil.
You can hear the full story live if you attend the Backwards Beekeepers Meeting on Sunday, Jan 24. Check the website for directions

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