And on a lighter note.... B’ssss

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  • Now your in.. The Buzzing kind of 🐝 Bees I’m on about. I really should know more about bees and bee behaviour. I love honey. But it’s all a bit thin on the ground. What I do know is I must respect the importance of bees in plant pollination, production of honey and hive security. I know a little bit about threats to bees and to agriculture, should we loose most of them. However, it is only recently that scientists have discovered how bees can breed A Sexually. It’s down to a unique extra gene and to date, only found in one Sp of bee (the Cape bee of South Africa.). Which are now found to bee capable of reproducing without the need of Male sperm.... cool eh!

    But this thread is nothing to do with that discovery. I know to respect bees, leave them alone, try to prevent harming them or locking them in captivity etc. For approx 6 years I’ve noticed extremely large bees entering a whole in the concrete step of the workshop door, (in single units) They have never bothered me and clearly easy to spot and hear when entering the hole in the step. This year it’s been different. One bee (not so large) stung me on the leg having entered the open workshop door by mistake. This year another bee colony has taken to another shed (entering the shed through a gap in the door. It’s these new bees which are considerably smaller in size on average, that Im interested in.
    Three weeks ago I notice a bee bumbling (rollypollying) on the floor outside. On closer inspection I realised there was two bees in a scrum. The smallest bee on the back of the larger bee with front legs clamping onto the folded up and forward large bees wings. My first thoughts were is that bee dying? (Till I realised the small bee biting the back of the large bees neck) then (are they fighting?) I was under the impression bees mated on the wing, the queen flying up in ever increasing circles, leaving the weaker “Male” bees to fly it out. On a successful mating with the queen. The queen then tears out the males genitals (while still inside her) resulting in the death of the Male bee. What price a shag. This method of selecting the strongest specimen to promote health of the hive and stop multiple queen colonies developing within the colony.

    Well that’s what I thought until I googled bees. Turns out bees often mate on the floor in a messy drawn out affair, a bit like us van dwellers really, Except it don’t take a solicitor to separate bees, we have much in common not.

    But that’s not really why I’m posting about bees. For the last two weeks I’ve been finding solitary bees landing on a rubber footpath I’ve got down for winter weather. It’s the third bee I’ve found standing, struggling, lethargic but alive, but it will stay there now until it’s dead. Without google guessing, is this a natural occurrence? a diseased hive problem? or just too much time on my hands?

  • Maybe the path is not healthy for them in some way ? Usually its because they have gotten cold or ran out of energy , recently I have revived a few with some suger water on a slightly warmed spoonspoon, they all have a few sips then buzz- off.

    Weedkiller or pesticides maybe , I did see a pic of a bee with glyphospate poisoning .

  • Maybe the path is not healthy for them in some way ? Usually its because they have gotten cold or ran out of energy , recently I have revived a few with some suger water on a slightly warmed spoonspoon, they all have a few sips then buzz- off.

    Weedkiller or pesticides maybe , I did see a pic of a bee with glyphospate poisoning .

    yes interesting connection to pesticides. Over the years Ive been reviving bees with spoon food. Sometimes not successful. It’s not the rubber mat ai don’t think as they seem to start this rest process on the concrete yards away from the shed door. Only making their way onto the rubber mat near end of life. I’ve been tiptoeing around them like they must have a death wish. The bee today was clearly aware of my presence, as it kept lifting and hold up a leg when I hovered near it. These aren’t returning bees as there’s no signs of pollen. I will try spoon feeding on the next find. If they have struggled in the hive and half starved, that could make them go for broke I guess.

  • Shroom, you made me think. The other day I noticed lots of wasp activity in the grapevine. On inspection I found the wasps were attracted to a toy figure “Stretch” I picked stretch up in the rubbish pile at Dovedale last year. for six months it sat on the front bumper of the County.
    At MOT time in March, I hung stretch up in the metal framework the grapevine is growing along. He had split when I picked him up and this “stretchy synthetic body filler” was starting to run, drip out of the toys body.
    I thought the other day it strange wasps should see this as a food source, But after your post. I Wondered if bees had also tried to eat the dripping filling and it’s not tolerable, possibly toxic to these bees. I’ve been out and removed Stretch tonight. It was still crawling with wasps, but I will see if other bees die.

  • I guess it might be a few things into play, nature/pesticides/disease/parasites/weather.

    Most bees lives revolve around working til death, killing/death/sex and disease.

    nature, about now some worker bees weather bumble or hive bees or wild bees simply work till there knackered then die, most worker bees live a short life from a grub to a worker bee then there replaced by another worker bee being fed in the hive, or nest in the ground like a bumble bee,

    weather we have had some messed up weather again, it came really hot, and that would make the bees work like mad then it got to dry making plants die off so no pollen or nectar for bees to live on, now its been a wet spell thats made them tired and grumpy and up to mischief making queen cells when there bored in the hives (lockdown)

    but plants have shot up with pollen nectar etc

    pesticides yep i guess farmers spraying crops ( in know of one dickhead spraying his barley and wheat with roundup so it dies off so he can be the first to harvest in the field, great for bees and the end user huh.

    diesease, dont feed bees shop bought or blended honey its a risk, as some imported honey or blended honey can have diseases in them bad for bees (esp china again) theres european and american foul brood this can be in honey combs etc and if the bees get it it decimates a hive, or brood, the grubs turn to snot and die,

    varoa and parasites they suck blood on the bees and where them down making them suseptable to disease as well.

    drones basicly they have sex and either die or a are killed by the queen or worker or guard bees, or if your surplus to requirements in the hive your thrown out and stung to death.

    so they you have it a take on the violent world of bees.

  • Cheers Prepper, a lot of info. Late spraying of glyphosate is becoming regular it seems. Kill off any rouges before they can seed during drying out of crop. A job once undertaken by migrant workers or tractor mounted weed wipe. As this saves having yield downgraded from rouge seed contamination. But it’s not simple economics. Paying for chemicals, then contractor to spray, if equipment isn’t in house. My relatives in Australia were paying a pilot to spray crops. Can’t see that happening in the UK with all the licences and regs on top of expense.

    Since disposing of “stretch” I’ve not noticed anything like the amount of wasps around and no dying bees either.