I had an unexpected day off today and had time to sit around in the heat and watch the bees in our backyard. I took some photos of the bees scenting.



They’re scenting en masse because the hive was moved a few feet yesterday. Today is the first day since the move for the hundreds of drones to get out and do their thing. And if it wasn’t for the scenting, the drones and many of the foragers (though mostly the drones because they’re exceptionally slow and stupid) would return to the old location and not find their way back home to the new location.

Check out The Aftermath of Moving a Hive video and the Nasanov posts for more info on this behaviour. I’ll have a more detailed post up in a week or two.

9 Responses to “Honey Bees Scenting”

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  1. Emily Heath says:

    These are fantastic photos Phillip, best I’ve ever seen of mass Nasonov scenting.

    • Phillip says:

      Thanks, Emily. The macro shots are the most difficult. Many of them are out of focus by about a millimetre. It’s tricky. But I’m working on it.

  2. Jeff says:

    Really nice pics Phil. I wish I had you around the day mine swarmed for pics. You would have taken amazing shots.

    • Phillip says:

      We have to set you up with your own blog, Jeff. More exciting things are likely to happen — have already happened — with your hives this summer. The photos are easy. Just get a cheap camera with a macro setting. Flick to “auto” and let ‘er rip. That’s what I do when I’m feeling lazy, and then I just crop the photos and they look fine.

      I’m building another air conditioning shim soon, and maybe a slatted rack. It’ll be the saddest looking slatted rack on the block (i.e., it’ll look like I built it), but I think it’ll work.

      That’s if I have time to do it.

      I just got a notice that some “rite-cell” foundation is ready for me to pick up at the post office. It’s wax coated foundation that’s partially drawn out, supposedly to give the bees even less work to do. I don’t have any extra drawn comb for my nucs, so I’m hoping the rite-cell does the trick.

  3. Jeff says:

    The split Dan and I made. The split that was queen right in your yard is now into it’s second box and on fire. I stole a partially drawn out frame from it yesterday to give to one of my weaker nucs. One of the nucs is doing a poor job drawing comb. There is a lot of wax cells on the bottom board and not much comb being drawn.

    When I pick up my swarm this weekend I plan to steal a few frames to get a jump start for the nucs. Some capped brood/drawn comb will go a long way to get this colonies off to the races.

    Let me know how those rite cells work out. I’m interested. Should be great for nucs.

    • Phillip says:

      One of my nucs is slow going too. Barely taking down any syrup. Not even touching the pollen patty. I haven’t done a full inspection since I started it up. Could be a weak queen. We’ll see.

      My second nuc is doing better.

      Are you and Dan planning to graft any more queens this summer? I still have plenty of drones pouring out of my hives if you need a place to mate them.

      I wish I had extra drawn comb or frames of brood I could move from one of the hives to the weak nuc. But none of my hives are built up enough. Juneuary really knocked them back.

      The way your splits are exploding, I don’t think you’ll have any problem getting plenty of honey this year. I wouldn’t be surprised if your swarm hive gives you honey too.

      I plan to set up some hives on some land in CBS next spring. The weather there isn’t as good as Clarenville, but it’s usually much better than what we get in St. John’s.

  4. Jeff says:

    I’m not certain how things are going to go for honey production. If I get any honey it is going to be from the colony that swarmed. The original colony that swarmed is not doing much of a job of filling supers yet. But that being said I assume the brood box needed to be refilled again after the original swarm.

    I may even get a bit of honey from the split Dan and I made by the way they are going.

    Next may I plan to pull 2 empty frames from each colony so they can draw out new comb and I have some drawn comb for rotation/splits/preventing swarming, etc.

    Any splits going forard will be supercharged with 3 – 4 frames of brood. That really makes a difference in our short season.

    Also I will need that foundation due to the swarm that I had. Sorry man.

    • Phillip says:

      No problem about returning the foundation. It just arrived today. I’ll give it to Dan to bring to you ASAP. I have plenty of foundation now.

      The Rite-Cell foundation is thicker than regular foundation and more difficult to slip into the frames. I broke off the bottom bars of two frames trying to get the foundation in. Looks like I need to insert the foundation while I’m building the frames.

  5. Phillip says:

    I didn’t look close enough before to notice the blur of the bees’ wings beating in the last two photos in this post. I think I can make out the edge of the bee’s left wing in the second last photo. The last photo (if not all of them) are impressive when you realize that the wings are actually in the photos but are virtually invisible because they’re moving so fast.

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