Posts Tagged: Bee behavior

Autumn and the Death of Drones

http://beeinformed.org/2012/10/autumn-and-the-death-of-drones/

The autumn is here and it is getting pretty chilly in Minnesota. The shorter days and decreased temperatures also mean doom for the poor drones. While sampling colonies this past September, we saw worker bees drag out their reluctant brothers. A drone’s function is to mate, and there isn’t mating going on in the winter….

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2012 Smithsonian Folklife Festival

http://beeinformed.org/2012/07/2012-smithsonian-folklife-festival/

The Smithsonian Folklife Festival is an annual festival held on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. that celebrates cultural diversity and traditions. The USDA Bee Research Lab was asked to participate this year as part of the theme “Campus and Community”. The festival commemorated the 150th anniversary of USDA and land-grant universities. Abraham Lincoln signed…

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Observing retinue behavior.

On Thursday, Mike and I attempted to observe retinue behavior. So what is retinue behavior? Retinue behavior is the action of worker bees towards the queen including antennating, grooming and trophallaxis. A substance produced by the mandibular glands of the queen is thought to be the trigger for this retinue behavior. Antennating is the tapping…

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Entombed Pollen

http://beeinformed.org/2012/06/entombed-pollen/

Through National Survey sampling and helping with USDA field work and forage studies I have had the opportunity to evaluate many different hives from Maryland to California to North Dakota over the past year. These hives hare both stationary and migratory, having been placed in many locations across the US, and have provided me with…

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Swarm Season

http://beeinformed.org/2012/06/swarm-season/

I am sure you have all heard it, or maybe even been fortunate, or rather should I say unfortunate enough, to witness, attempt to prevent, or have your hive succumb to what this year has experienced especially frequently—swarming.  Maryland beekeepers would agree, as I heard in the state meeting this past weekend, that calls for…

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Queen Bee Identification

http://beeinformed.org/2012/04/queen-bee-identification/

Over the past few months we have been sampling and assessing colonies throughout queen breeders operations. We looked at colony size, weight, brood pattern, bee color and queen status. I had a chance to photograph some different Italian queens (Apis mellifera ligustica) and Carniolan queens (Apis mellifera carnica). Both species are usually gentle and can…

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Killer Bees

http://beeinformed.org/2012/02/killer-bees/

Killer bees. We have probably all heard them mentioned at some point and time. As a child hearing about them scared the pants off me. Today, this is probably the second most popular question I get after I explain that I work with honey bees. 1. Do you get stung?! And 2. Are killer bees…

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Testing for Hygienic Behavior

http://beeinformed.org/2012/01/testing-for-hygienic-behavior/

Last Thursday we started with our first two days of breeder sampling at Pendell-Apiaries in Stonyford, CA. Breeder sampling includes colony assessments, hygienic, Varroa, Nosema, and virus testing. Katie did a tremendous job in the field explaining and guiding the team through the tasks that needed to be completed during the two days we spent…

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The Cost of Freedom

Rob and I tore this hive apart today to have a look at what was going on inside. If you listen closely you may be able to catch parts of our conversation. The video tells the story of these bees and its struggle to survive…It can be viewed at the link below:

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Movin’ & Groovin’

http://beeinformed.org/2011/11/movin-groovin/

The different habits and behaviors of the honey bee never cease to amaze me. I am constantly learning new information that always leaves me intrigued and in awe of how fascinating honey bees really are and how much more I have yet to learn. My latest honey bee discovery involves the practice of washboarding.  The…

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