Architecture of Honey Comb

Here’s a quick video of the drone comb I pulled from Hive #2 yesterday with some commentary about the architecture of the comb. I point out the drone eggs, too, which should show up well in full screen HD mode.


I call this post “Architecture of Honey Comb” even though it’s drone comb because, as far as I know, there’s no difference between the two. Both drone comb and honey comb have large cells, and drone comb is supposedly backfilled with honey once the drones emerge, anyway, so they’re virtually the same.

12 Minutes of Slow Motion Honey Bees

I took a 3-minute video clip of honey bees coming and going from a hive entrance and stretched it out to 12 minutes. (I couldn’t stretch it out any further.) I replaced the slow motion soundtrack with the original normal speed soundtrack. (Then I looped it.) Then I tried to render the video file in a manner that would minimize the ghostly blur effect of the bees flying. (I still need to work on that.) The final 550mb WMV file was encoded at 720p HD and took several hours to upload to YouTube. I haven’t watched the video yet (because it’s 12 minutes long), but at 720p in full screen mode, it probably doesn’t look too bad.

P.S., The original video was 14 minutes long, but I made the last 20 seconds or so normal speed and then forgot to change the 14 in the title to a 12.

Why Honey Bees Drink Dirty Water

We’ve put out water for the honey bees living in our backyard, but they seem to prefer dirty water from puddles around the yard. They specifically seem to favour the moist dark compost soil in our raised garden beds.

Does the soil give off some sort of fake pheromone that attracts the bees? I didn’t know, so I looked up “water” in my excellent 1947 edition of The ABC and XYZ of Bee Culture (the only edition of the book I could afford) and I learned that the bees bring in more water in the spring during brood-rearing and less water as the honey flow peaks. But more to the point, the bees drink from compost piles (and composted soil) because the water there is warmer than water left in a dish. The bees are able to absorb warm water faster than cold water. So it’s not the stink of the compost that attracts them. It’s the warmth.

I think it’s fair to conclude, from this instance and everything else I’ve observed, that whatever honey bees do, they do it with the utmost efficiency.
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Hunting for Honey Bees

There’s not much to see here but I’ll show it to you anyway. It’s a raw video of me walking through the field behind our shed looking for honey bees on dandelions. The field fills with a variety of wild flowers during the summer and fall. I might explore it again later on in the season when there’s more to see. (Note: The video contains some brief G-rated profanity.)


The video demonstrates how difficult it is to get a precise focus on the bee. Looking at an LCD screen in the bright is not ideal. I might manually lock the focus next time and attach a stick to the camera so I can physically see where focused area ends. Anyway, it’s been cold for the past week and the bees have been stuck in their hives. Sunnier skies and warmer temperatures are supposedly on the way. I hope so. We only have four months of the year that aren’t cold, wet and windy (that is, they’re not as cold, wet and windy as the other eight months). I’m ready to make the most of it. I think the bees are too. Come on summer, let’s get on with it!

Mud Songs: Now Available in HD!

I think I’ve worked out my high-definition video problems. Until now most of the videos available through the Mud Songs YouTube channel were in standard definition, which is fine and dandy for most of us. But sometimes it is kind of cool to watch a video in full screen mode and not have the picture turn into a bunch of over-sized fuzzy pixels. The pieces of pollen and the tiny hairs on the bees show up much better in HD, even if you don’t have an HD monitor. So for now on if I think the video is worth watching in HD, I’ll upload it in HD. Low bandwidth users can always play it back in standard definition, but the HD option will be there for anyone who wants it. So let’s compare, shall we?

Here’s my most recent video in standard definition (360p). Watch it in full screen mode and see how that works for you. (No need to watch all of it.)

Now here’s the same video in 720p high definition. Again, watch it in full screen mode and see if you can tell the difference — but make sure to select the 720p play back option instead of the default 320p.
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