Monday, March 20, 2017

Bee-sy Day

The bees took their first cleansing flight! Did you know that bees do their best to never excrete waste in their home? All summer it's easy: fly out every day, unless it's rainy, and business is done. In the winter, though, they can't fly everyday. In fact, where I live they can't fly from about Thanksgiving until around St. Patrick's Day. Instead, they snuggle together and taking turns in the comb to compact the whole colony into the smallest ball of as many bees as they can get together. This cluster keeps the queen warm and safe inside it so they can wait through the cold months to begin to rebuild their colony (a colony is a group of bees, a hive is the structure in which they live).

Last year, it was unseasonably warm and they were out around Valentine's Day - most of the ground cover snow was gone by the end of February. This year, the snow is nearly gone finally, but it is a whole month later!

That's droppings from the north end of a south facing bee.

The snow around their hive gets spotted with it, too. It's rather chilly still for them to fly much, so sadly some of the bees don't make it back to the colony, and tiny bodies also litter the snow.

This little gal has picked a warm spot in the sunshine to clean herself after her first flight of the year.

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