Sunday, January 31, 2010

The View From The Side

(If you have a problem seeing this video you can view it at here.)

I looked at the other videos and noticed all of them seem to be from the front. That is fine for spotting pollen and some activities but it does not show just how many bees are working in this hive. This morning I shot the video from the side and you can really see how active the bees are.
My apologies for the shaking but I am a certified senior citizen and not in control of all my parts any more. They come in wave after wave. I do need to go inside the hive for a peek and see how much room there is
One day I will get a tripod and provide a steadier video with the Flip Video. Aside from my shaking it is a fine little camera for this purpose. The Flip takes up no room and fits into a small pocket. I have not had a chance to use it when I have the Brushy Mountain bee suit on but that time will come. When it does I may have to switch from the leather gloves to rubber ones so I can work the controls easier.

There is a palm tree right next to the hive and the bees swoop down around that tree. If I stand under the fronds I keep out of the flight path and avoid the dreaded bees-in-the-hair. They are not attacking, it is just that fat head is in the way and unexpected. The few stings in the head I have gotten were not bad but I prefer to avoid them if I can., my head is fat enough without any extra help from the bugs..

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Open The Door

For a long time I have had the entrance restriction board in place. Recently the entry seems to be very crowded. I put the board in place back in November when I thought there might be some robbing going on but that is not happening. Late last night, 9PM, I removed the restriction board and I was surprised to find a couple bees hanging out in that area and moving some, not much but some. I thought they would all be inside and sleeping.
You can see where the board rested by the dirt marks to the sides of
the entry way. There is no dirt where the bees have been going in and out for the last few months. Most of them still use the old entry area but there are now bees using the full width of the landing entry.
The bees are moving in and out in waves. I need to check the upper super very soon. It was empty when I checked the last time but they should be expanding with all this activity.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

The Sun Is Out!! The Sun Is Out!!


After four days of rain and almost no bee activity, the bugs were ready to go.
The day started with clear skies, a little chilly but the bees did not care.
The rains have left for a couple days and there was work to do.

Everyone was on the move. The low numbers from yesterday have changed to a hive full of activity

There was pollen

And pollen

Amd more pollen

It looked like everyone had pollen.

I have never seen this much pollen coming in at one time. It seemed like very third bee was had full saddle bags of pollen. Most of it was yellow but there was some blue/white pollen also.
The bees seem happy to be back at work. Normally one or two will come to check me out when I am shotting but not this time. It seems there was real work to do before the next rain in three days.
Can Spring be far away?

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

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

January Bees

It is the start of the new year and Santa brought be a much better camera, Canon Rebel XSi. A very nice Santa. The weather today in Southern California is pretty good for this time of the year, hovering around 71 deg. What better excuse does one need to go visit the hive and see how the girls are doing. This time of the day, 12:30PM , things are hopping.

Cleared for landing.

Incoming flight.

What is the password

Keep moving.

Where is flight control?

Is anyone in charge here?

A bit of pollen coming in

Hurry up you guys I have a full load, make room down there.

Bringing home the bacon.. bee bacon.

So Cal Yellow Pollen.
Good for what ails you.
Can honey be far behind?
Happy New Year
From the Bees In The Dale.