Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Why we live in Florida - Dec 1st Activity

Coldest weather of the season arrived this past weekend. Lows in the low 50's and high in the upper 70's, Brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr

I couldn't even put a entrance reducer right now, it would just create a traffic jam at the entrance.

I took some silly short videos. I’ve said it before, I think video is a good way to observe behavior and to look out for heavy Varroa infestations or signs of other parasites / diseases.Observations from the video

  • "IN" Traffic keeps to the bottom of the landing board. "OUT" Traffic exits above and upside down. That really keeps things moving
  • Not a big flow of resources, but there is still a flow of pollen and nectar. Not bad for early December. It’s mostly nectar in the morning and as the day progresses pollen increases. That’s due to the simple reason that later in the day, the sun dries up the nectar in the flowers.
  • The loud noise you hear over the bee’s buzzing are cicada’s. If you think they are loud now, you should hear them in the summer.

Also visible in the video is my latest modification. I extended the side skirt with some wood and liquid nails (light brown stuff you see). It hides the moats on the sides completely under the hive. This equates to less bees drowning in the moat. I noticed that bees coming in fast and heavy at certain angles (directly from behind --> perpendicular to the entrance) from the field would sometimes miscalculate their approach and come up short just to land and drown in the moat. The wood skirt extension greatly relieves the problem of drowning bees. Still, in the front moats there are 4 to 6 bees drowning per week. I finally observed why .................. bees that are dying, worked their wings off or for whatever reason can't fly back, make an attempt to walk back with their last field load. Only to be denied returning to the hive by the moats. I find a few bees now and then dying or dead just hanging on the side wall of a moat. Cruel thing but maybe, just a theory, it may be for the best of the colony. Bees walking back may give microbes/parasites/diseases a change to hop on and be taken into the hive. But that’s just a theory.

The following video was taken the same day but in the afternoon. The angle is different simply to allow the light to be behind the camera. Notice the increase of pollen compare to the morning video.

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