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Honeybees
October 23, 2017
Hi,

Like clock work, the late season fledged cardinals are brought to my yard to feed.

I mentioned a week or two ago that i expect another batch of late comers.

Well, here are a couple of pictures of mom and a fledgling.

I have seen dad and a couple more, but unable to get a good picture.

Mid to late October, and fledglings are still to be seen.

I love it.

Flu shots for everyone around here this past week.

Yolanda is doing well.

Karen is having some delayed reactions to her mother's passing.

Depression, and some emotions (still no tears) are pulling at her.

I continue with neck pain, yet must chug along for now.

Your prayers for us are welcome.

Pictured is a juvenile White-crowned sparrow.

The white stripes on the young are the dark brown/red color.

They will molt and wear the white stripes of the adult, also pictured (below).

The end of another glorious week.

I will take this bonus weather any year.

Temperatures have been 15 to 20 degrees above normal (what is that, 6-10 c?).

All to come crashing down in the next day or two.

It is October in Michigan, after all.

Still, no killing frost, or freezes around here.

I have been slow at getting work done.

Partially from neck pain, but also the remaining flowers are a benefit for honeybees and queen Bumblebees.

Nectar and pollen collection now, helps a nest of honeybees and hibernating queen bumbles.

The more stored today, increases the chance to survive a severe winter.

Even though the Red Salvia are past prime, there is still plenty to feed the bees.

We segue into this week's topic.

Honeybees.

Enjoy

European Honeybee:
(Apis mellifera)

Honey bees are special.

Of the more than 22,000 species of bees worldwide, there are but 6 or 7 species of honey bees and all are social (colonized) where nests or hives can number more than 60,000 bees at any given time.

When a nest grows to large, the queen may take off with several thousand workers to establish a new
sight and the remaining workers work to make a new queen.

Honey bees are non native to the Americas.

The bees we are familiar with is the European honeybee and more recently, European Honey Bee, and more recently, the Africanized honey bee.

Here in the Northern parts of the United States and all of Canada, it gets pretty cold in the winter.

Honeybees stop flying when the temperature drops down into the 50's (15 c. and colder).

They stay inside their hive in what is called a winter cluster which means they get into a big huddle.

The colder the temperature the more compact the cluster becomes.

Contrary to popular belief, honeybees do not "hibernate" in a scientific sense.

Although honeybees remain in their hives through the winter they do anything but hibernate.

Maintaining the hive is a constant job, in warm weather and cold.

The activities of a colony vary with the seasons.

(See the honeybee on the Red Salvia from this past Saturday.)

The period from September to December might be considered the beginning of a new year for a colony of honeybees.

The condition of the colony at this time of year greatly affects its prosperity for the next year.

In the fall a reduction in the amounts of nectar and pollen coming into the hive causes reduced brood rearing and diminishing population.

Depending on the age and egg-laying condition of the queen, the proportion of old bees in the colony decreases.

The young bees survive the winter, while the old ones gradually die.

Propolis (sap) collected from the buds of trees is used to seal all cracks in the hive and reduce the size of the entrance to keep out cold air.

When the temperature drops to 57° F, the bees begin to form a tight cluster.

Within this cluster the brood (consisting of eggs, larvae, and pupae) is kept warm-about 93° F - with heat generated by the bees.

The egg laying of the queen bee tapers off and may stop completely during October or November, even if pollen is stored in the combs.

How Honey Bees Keep Warm?

During cold winters, the colony is put to its severest test of endurance.

Under subtropical, tropical, and mild winter conditions, egg laying and brood rearing usually never stop.

Their metabolic rate remains normal as they cluster together to maintain a hive temperature of around 90 to 93 degrees.

Worker bees will create a cluster with the queen bee at the center.

The workers flex their wing muscles - although they do not actually use or flap their wings - to generate heat.

The ball is constantly moving as the bees on the outermost edge of the cluster move inward to warm themselves and those on the inside move out.

The cluster will remain over the brood to keep it from becoming chilled and dying and will also move to areas of honey stores in order to eat.

As temperatures drop, the bees draw closer together to conserve heat.

The outer layer of bees is tightly compressed, insulating the bees within the cluster.

As the temperature rises and falls, the cluster expands and contracts.

The bees within the cluster have access to the food stores.

During warm periods, the cluster shifts its position to cover new areas of comb containing honey.

An extremely prolonged cold spell can prohibit cluster movement, and the bees may starve to death only inches away from honey.

The queen stays within the cluster and moves with it as it shifts position.

Colonies that are well supplied with honey and pollen in the fall will begin to stimulatively feed the queen, and she begins egg laying during late December or early January-even in northern areas of the United States, and Canada.

Shamefully, Back in my early teens, some of us guys took advantage of winter and destroyed a hive or two in the hollow of a dead tree.

Once for honey, the other time was just to be ....................... I don't know, a boy.

It took me a few years to understand why my dad was angry.

During warm periods, the cluster shifts its position to cover new areas of comb containing honey.

An extremely prolonged cold spell can prohibit cluster movement, and the bees may starve to death only inches away from honey.

The queen stays within the cluster and moves with it as it shifts position.

Colonies that are well supplied with honey and pollen in the fall will begin to stimulatively feed the queen, and she begins egg laying during late December or early January-even in northern areas of the United States, and Canada.

Shamefully, Back in my early teens, some of us guys took advantage of winter and destroyed a hive or two in the hollow of a dead tree.

Once for honey, the other time was just to be ....................... I don't know, a boy.

It took me a few years to understand why my dad was angry.

This new brood aids in replacing the bees that have died during the winter.

The extent of early brood rearing is determined by pollen stores gathered during the previous fall.

(This is why I keep blooming flowers as long as the weather allows.)

In colonies with a lack of pollen, brood rearing is delayed until fresh pollen is collected from spring flowers, and these colonies usually emerge from winter with reduced populations.

The colony population during the winter usually decreases because old bees continue to die.

However, colonies with plenty of young bees produced during the fall and an ample supply of pollen and honey for winter usually have a strong population in the spring.

On the occasional warm day, bees will take "cleansing flights" to defecate and may remove debris and dead bees that have accumulated within the hive.

It is often detrimental to have a winter with many highs and lows as the bees will fly more to look for forage which requires use of the honey stores as they need to eat prior to flying from the hive.

On these warm days, I will see several honey bees feeding on cracked corn (corn sugar).

It is this God given ability of honeybees to survive the cold of winter and emerge by the thousands that make them so valuable as a pollinator.

Well, it is time to fly for now.

Before I go, here is your positive thought for the week.

God Bless

"Do your best and trust that others do their best.

And be faithful in small things because it is in them that your strength lies."

Mother Teresa

Now the words from Jesus Christ.

“Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much.”

Luke 16:10

"Treat the earth well:

It was not given to you by your parents,

It was loaned to you by your children.

We do not inherit the Earth from our

Ancestors, we borrow it from our Children."

Ancient Indian Proverb.

Your friend indeed,

Ron Patterson



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Gardening For Wildlife.


























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