The beehive arrives
I was pretty happy about being at work the day the beehive arrived at the farm.
I was there when Tom, the keeper of the bees, opened it up.
I tried counting the bees on one tray. How many bees are in the picture above?
For the first time in my life I got to see a queen bee up close and personal. You can see her here (the large bee with the orange abdomen) surrounded by female worker bees who take turns caring for her.
Every hive has a few drones (they are the males). They don't have to work, they just "serve" the queen. You can see a drone in this picture. He's the large dark bee lying in the center being ignored by the female worker bees.
See the shiny cells? Those cells are full of nectar. There are worker bees in the hive who receive nectar from the foraging bees who gathered the nectar while visiting flowers. The worker bees who receive the nectar take it into their mouths and hold it there for awhile before depositing it into a cell. When the nectar is deposited it still contains a lot of water. Most of the water will evaporate and soon it will turn into honey. I'm simplifying this process as I write. Life in the beehive is not all that simple. Nor is the transformation of nectar into honey. It's fascinating to learn how intricate this system really is.
Note: The beehive was a little late in arriving. You've probably read or heard about the beehive colony collapse. It's really true--in case there were any doubters--that honeybees are dying. There are a number of things contributing to this, and if you want to read more you can start with this link to a paper written in 2007. It gives a good overview of multiple factors that are/could be involved: http://www.plosbiology.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pbio.0050168
Your photos are gorgeous!!!! I especially like the frontal close ups of insects. Amazing. And the fungi - I'm ready to risk it. Standing by with garlic and olive oil....
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