Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Some Good Bee Postures to Know

There are many different postures that bees can make and by observing they can teach you a lot about what they're up to.

This is a guarding pose.

I wouldn't mess with them if they're doing this karate-like pose.

Another Alert pose to watch for which means they're on guard or upset is when their antennae stick straight out.

Notice her antennae are on "high alert".

This is fanning.

They hunch their bodies and oscillate their wings in such a way as to draw air in or out of the hive.  Of course this technique doesn't involve flying.

Fanning is done to dehydrate the honey and also to pull hot air out of the hive in summer.  Fanning is also done after spreading water on the combs to air condition the hive.  It's also done to broadcast other chemical signals - see below.

This bee and in the photo below they are broadcasting the homing scent.

Note the little crack in the end of the butt.  You'll see a tiny tuft of white there.  That's exposing their Nasonov gland which is for home scent.

This is an important sign to see especially if collecting swarms.

Once you've tipped your swarm into a box, if you see them doing the home scenting with their butts in the air, you KNOW you've got the queen in the box.

And it's such an awesome thing to see at that time.  It's a high five moment :)

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