Bees Teaching Each Other

Bees Teaching Each Other

When the light is low and just right, it’s possible to follow a bee’s flight path. On occasion, I’ve observed pairs of bees leave a hive and fly in close formation. It was obvious one bee was following the other. Was it being taught? Small cell colonies initially detect and remove mite infected pupa. Although the effects were dramatic, many colonies still perished. But after the […]

Beebread and Core Gut Bacteria

Beebread and Core Gut Bacteria

Randy Oliver has published part 3 in his Re-evaluating Beebread series. This series and his other articles are well worth a read. It’s been awhile since I’ve written anything about honeybee symbiotic micro organisms. Since then, some additional pertinent  research has been released. For me, that’s good news, as it should lead beekeeping from the nuke em disease/pest treatment model, to a more probiotic/symbiotic approach. […]

Historical Comb Cell Size

Historical Comb Cell Size

New research indicates that the basic premises for small cell beekeeping are in error. Brood foundation hasn’t been enlarged. And historical cell size measurements methods haven’t confused this issue. This confirms what I’ve written about  A.I. Roots observations. -dM

Bees and Hexagons

Bees and Hexagons

Radiolab does it again.   Solved! A bee-buzzing, honey-licking 2,000-year-old mystery that begins here, with this beehive. Look at the honeycomb in the photo and ask yourself: (I know you’ve been wondering this all your life, but have been too shy to ask out loud … ) Why is every cell in this honeycomb a hexagon? My kind of bee math. Check it out.

Co-evolution of Bees and Mites

Co-evolution of Bees and Mites

At Beesource, Mike Bispham shared a paper describing the co-evolution of two bee populations in Europe. Host Adaptations Reduce the Reproductive Success of Varroa Destructor in Two Distinct European Honey Bee Populations Dr. Tom Seeley has  suggested a similar process is at work in the Arnot Forest near Cornell University. Check it out. Years ago, I setup a small cell test yard optimized for the […]

High Speed Summary of Life Inside the Beehive

High Speed Summary of Life Inside the Beehive

Another great YouTube video. Thanks AndersHQ. -dM

Bumblebee Math

Bumblebee Math

The February 2012 National Geographic Magazine, page 26, describes an experiment designed to test how efficiently bumblebees navigate between flowers. Six artificial nectar sources were setup near a nest box. And individual foraging behavior was monitored. Here’s what they found: The flight of the bumblebee-even when not set to music-may seem frenetic and random as the workers forage for pollen and nectar to carry home. […]

Cell Entombment

Cell Entombment

Here’s something that may catch your eye taken from this article in the Guardian: “But the bees’ last ditch efforts to save themselves appear to be unsuccessful – the entombing behaviour is found in many hives that subsequently die off, according to Pettis. “The presence of entombing is the biggest single predictor of colony loss. It’s a defence mechanism that has failed.” These colonies were […]

Heater Bees

Heater Bees

Unfortunately the neat short showing a few flowers in ultraviolet and heater bees in infrared light has been removed from youtube. So, it’s been replaced by this image. The video showed how the heater bees crawled into a cell and remained relatively motionless. Without the infrared, it looked like those house bees were taking a snooze. 🙂 Bee behavior is complicated and poorly understood in […]

Randy Oliver – Scientific Beekeeping

Randy Oliver – Scientific Beekeeping

So, what does a non-migratory Wyoming beekeeper do when the winds are howling and the snow blowing? This one turns down the thermostat. Fires up the infra-red heater. Kicks back and reads. It’s been awhile since I’ve visited Randy Oliver’s  Scientific Beekeeping site. It was well worth the return visit.  If you haven’t been there, take the time. For some reason, the site is easier […]

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