Saturday, September 30, 2006

These photos were taken a week ago out under our Mulberry trees which are in full fruit right now. The weight of this massive swarm of bees was enough to weigh the whole branch down to the ground. They stayed there for about half the day. I first spotted tham at 6am...and they were gone by 11.30ao. They left no damage at all to the branch.

We noticed that the swarm seemed to be settled in a sort of twisting spiral pattern and seemed to be vaery docile.

A friend in the US sent these to a friend of his who is a retired beekeeper...this is her response,
"As a former beekeeper, having picked up many swarms (that is how we got started with bees) I noticed those little white flecks on the leaves at the top of the swarm in the first photos. Those flecks are beeswax. You may know that when the bees are getting ready to swarm they fill up on honey to have a start in their new home, and wax production is involuntary when they are full; in fact, in the hive, certain bees are "assigned" the wax production job and they hang in one spot and other bees feed them to make sure they are always full, and still other young bees take the wax away off their plates and use it to build comb. It takes twelve pounds of honey to make one pound of comb.This huge swarm is from a tremendous hive. You can tell because when they swarm they take the old queen and half the hive. Wow! Thanks for sharing these, brings back many memories."

End quite.

Aint Nature grand...gets along happily without our input!
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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Nature is just so marvellously inventive and wondrous, MC. Great post.