The honeybees are going strong! Because of the recently hatched adults (mostly workers) there’s a buzz of activity inside/outside the hive. I observe them daily, watching hive activity is truly amazing. Admittedly for this new beekeeper, it’s also reassuring to see them like this. I have an active hive that is thriving and their numbers are continually increasing!
Bouncers: You shall not pass!
Outside the hive is alive with activity. I see a tiny cloud of the foragers (about 100 or so) some are flying away to gather nectar and others are returning once the are loaded with pollen/nectar. The guard bees do their thing and inspect every honeybee before she enters the hive. That’s their job. I think of them as bouncers. Bees that belong to a hive share a certain smell, if the guard bee doesn’t detect this scent the worker bee might get rejected. Of course, they will usually make exceptions for honeybees that have mistakenly gone to the hive bearing gifts (nectar/pollen.) They’re not going to turn down free food!
Honeybees with pollen baskets are one of the cutest things to see. The pollen attached to their legs reminds me of leg warmers. The few insects, that I have observed, attempting to enter the hive have not received a warm welcome from the guard bees.
I didn’t see any dead honeybees, the last time I opened up my Warre hive. However, I did see a few dead honeybees about 100 feet away from the hive. So why weren’t any inside the hive? The honeybees remove them. The worker bees all have jobs in their home, none of the females shirk their duties. They’re all hard workers. One of the duties assigned to some bees is keeping the hive clean. Part of keeping the hive clean is removal of dead honeybees.
I must say, that it is truly fascinating to observe the honeybees that are assigned the job as an “undertaker.” I’ve actually seen them carry the honeybees outside the hive. to their “honeybee graveyard.” The neighboring ants have quickly learned about this spot and I can see ant activity within that area. There’s not always a dead bee, but sometimes they get lucky. Then you’ll see a flurry of activity as the quickly cart of bee to add to their food supply.
Let the Honeybees be Honeybees!
I firmly believe that beekeepers can do more harm than good, by constantly interfering with honeybees home. You won’t see me doing that. Relax, take it down a thousand! Let the bees do their thing and be BEES!!! They know how to this better than we do.
Because of my hands off approach, I won’t be inside my Warre hive that much. However, I most likely will check on them this weekend just to ensure everything looks fine inside the hive. I’ll be on the lookout for wax moths, verroa mites, and any other signs of trouble.
But judging by the hives healthy & vibrant community I shouldn’t have anything to worry about.