I like watching the honey bees in my backyard. It’s impressive to see a bee come back to the hive weighed down with pollen. I’ll get a picture of that soon enough. But today — five minutes ago — I noticed a row of bees near the entrance of Hive #2 fanning their wings.
Just sitting there together, not moving, but fanning their wings like crazy. I’m guessing they were trying to cool down the hive, get a breeze blowing through it. At first there were three bees in a row. Then one flew away but the two remaining kept at it.
Maybe they’re just a couple of baby bees drying off their newly-minted wings. As usual, I don’t know, but I’m going with the cooling-the-hive theory.
More bees seemed to appear as I got closer to take the photos, but they also seemed happy to ignore me.
And the two cool bees kept doing their thing.
November 2018 postscript: The bees are ventilating the hive to regulate the temperature for brood rearing or to help evaporate water from the nectar to turn it into honey, or both.