|One of our new neighbours coming out of its new home|
|And one on its way in.|
Also, while I was at school doing science outside (we were covering shadows) some of us saw a huge swarm of bees fly straight across the playground. My Mum found a really interesting article on the BBC news website about bees and swarms. Here is the link.
BBC - Bee Swarms
I think that my new neighbours are Tree Bumblebees but today I'll just cover a little about bees in general.
So, here are the facts on bee hives and swarms:
|There's lots of food nearby at the minute|
- Mr. Hogg says that bee swarms are nothing to be afraid of as they are just looking for a suitable place for the hive. Weirdly, when I saw them, they were heading towards my house. Is there a connection? :-)
- After the Worker Bees and The Queen have survived the Winter and the 10,000 to 20,000 are huddled together to keep warm. As it gets warmer, the colony expands leaving around 50,000 worker foraging.
- The Queen, meanwhile is still laying eggs, making more workers and, eventually, drones as they died at the end of Summer.
- While all of this is happening, something quite special is also going on. Communication through pheromones. All bees have separate pheromones or smells meaning and doing different things.
- The Queen's being the most important. It attracts all the workers to it and encourages them to build the comb, forage more and tend to the brood. The Queen is extremely important for their survival so they obey. If the Queen is not performing very well the workers will replace her.
- After a while there are so many bees that some won't receive the pheromones and, to them, is non-existent. They will then attempt to create a new Queen by doing the following:
|Tree Bumblebee ( Bombus hypnorum )|
- The Drones will mate with some Female workers an create some eggs. All the eggs will be identical but it will be fed Royal Jelly.
- After it hatches it will be as important as the original Queen (let's call her Queen 1) and will have to leave and give in to Queen 2.
- If she doesn't do this then Queen 1 and Queen 2 will engage in a battle to the death until one of them becomes the dominant Queen. Queen 3 if you will.
- As they breed more and more there won't bee (;-) enough room for them and some of them look for a new hive position (Queen 2 might get lucky and arrive when there is too much room and go with them).
- The Queen is not a very good flier and will have to rest somewhere such as a post. It wouldn't be wise to approach this. Also, while this happens, scout bees will be sent out to look for a nest-site.
Here are some links to some more information:
Expect a Part 3 and more over the next couple of days as I definitely haven't covered all about Bees yet.
Hope you enjoyed,