Sunday, May 22, 2011

Home Scent: Bee's Nasonov Gland

There are lots of occasions when bees will be clustered together.

You use your hive tool to loosen the inner cover and crack it up an inch.  It's heavy.  It might be covered two inches thick with bees.

They might be clumped under your hive top feeder, happily building comb.

They will exploit every space that's greater than the bee space--1 cm--and build comb.

One method to remove clumps of bees is to hold the object over the open hive and shake it abruptly.  Also, thumping the edge of the of the object is very effective.

[Photo - bees are walking up from the inner cover and into their hive].

Shaking and thumping can get the bees in the air and it can also throw a lot of them to the ground.  If they're young bees they may have a hard time finding their way home.

A slower but very effective method is to set the object in front of the hive.  The best way is to lean it against the hive.  The bees will soon catch the smell of home and walk up.  If they can step off the object right onto the platform it's easier for them.

Older bees will stick their rears into the air showing a tiny white area that's their Nasonov gland.  They'll beat their wings vigorously and and release a homing scent from this gland.  The stragglers will catch the scent and follow it right to their front door.

Read more about it on Wikepedia or see my video of it in action below.


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