from Jacqui and me to this record of our experiences as new beekeepers in The Marches.

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Thursday, 25 March 2010

"heater" bees on TV

Amazing - Richard Hammond's programme on Tuesday evening included spectacular thermal imaging from within the hive. The hot bees showed up so clearly as did the heat radiating from them within the brood. There is so much still to discover and understand. I'm considering appointing a "hive correspondent" to keep us in touch with developments direct from the frames, sooner or later we shall discover that part of the spectrum that will enable us to communiate.

Sunday, 21 March 2010

Spring and "heater bees"

Serious pollen collection continues at the hive. Workers have been foraging on our late winter flowering heathers. The Bumbles are also out.

Interesting email from Elizabeth at L&DBKA drawing attention to the Telegraph article about "heater bees". It seems new technology has revealed that some bees raise their body temp by an additional 10 degrees C, enter empty brood cells and then control the temp of up to 70 pupae around them. One degree C is critical. 35C produces forager workers whereas 34C results in housekeeping bees. It seems that the heater bees can decouple their wings so that the muscles run at full power without moving the wings thereby raising body temp to 44C!!! Bees normally require a temp of 35C to fly. Since it is not 1st April the article seems genuine, its amazing the discoveries still to be made.

Tuesday, 2 March 2010

more pollen

Great - warmish sunshine for two days in a row!!
The bees are really enjoying our Hellibores.

Monday, 1 March 2010


Last night was very frosty but thankfully bright sunshine warmed things up today 1st March. Bees were out in force early afternoon and for the first time this season they started to bring back pollen in quantity. White (probably Hazel) and egg yolk yellow (probably snowdrop) clearly seen. Looks as though the Queen is starting to work at increasing numbers.
With flying bees out and temperatures well up I decided to check for stores. They have been overwintering in brood and a half - brood box with super ontop and no Queen excluder. Eased them fractionally apart and hefted the super. Still very heavy so reasured that feeding not yet needed.