Many years of pollinating experience on those bogs.... and you? OMTCW
Last edited by honeyman46408; 02-05-2011 at 05:53 PM. Reason: UNQ
I was making no assurtions, you were. What makes you say they are africanized? It seems like an outrageous claim.
And what does OMTCW mean? Speak English won't ya please?
Only My Two Cents Worth.
Jeeze the snow is making everyone a tad cranky.
I think the theory of snow on the ground confusing the girls as to which way is up makes sense. An old beekeeper told me to put hay on the ground, it may give them a chance to make it back to the hive if they land.
The timing of this question was interesting to me.....I just read about this phenomenon in Winter World by Bernt Heinrich. He's a scientist (biologist) who wondered about this very question in regard to his own hives. He set out to find a plausible answer.
He suspected the snow did disorient the girls, so he spread wood shavings in front of his hives and found fewer bees getting confused. But he found this didn't account for all of the behavior. Were they trying to cleanse? He found too many of them had chosen to fly but wouldn't bother to void even though they were out long enough to do so. After dissecting some dead bees, many indeed still had feces in their gut. So that wasn't the whole answer, either.
He finally concluded that since bees have no sense of calendar dates and are likely interested in the absolute earliest pollen sources of the season, they routinely send out scouts to check things out. While they get it wrong on many occasions and end up diving into the snow from the cold or snow blindness, eventually they will get it right and find that wonderful first pollen of earliest blooming trees. I find this very plausible and it explains this behavior to my satisfaction.
Don't be afraid your life will end. Be afraid that it will never begin.
Now that is the sort of answer I was looking for. Thank you!
Perhaps the extent of the hive mentality is even deeper that we have imagined. If this is true, that means individual bees are routinely sacrificed for even a small benefit for the hive at large. That could suggest a deeper collective intelligence. That means that there definitely is a minimum cluster size needed to overwinter because it's basically a war of attrition against the cold. That's why clusters die of small size with plenty of stores.
with that in mind, It doesn't seem far fetched for me to imagine these little critters with that sort of intelligence. They are truly a wonder of nature and at times, i believe we have barely scratched the surface of what we "think" we know about them!
"You laugh at me because I am different, but I laugh at you because you are all the same."
On the "turning upside down and crashing" bit - you will see the same behavior from fish at night when you are diving. If you shine your light on them from the side they will flip so their dorsal fin is towards the light. Then they will keep bouncing off the bottom as they try to swim. It's pretty funny - of course they aren't dying while doing it!
He found too many of them had chosen to fly but wouldn't bother to void even though they were out long enough to do so. After dissecting some dead bees, many indeed still had feces in their gut. So that wasn't the whole answer, either.
This is hard to believe...
How do you really know they were out long enough?..In cold weather bathroom may just take a bit
longer when chilled ...or doesn't work at all.
When shading the entrance temperature difference is allot and most bees stay inside and not on
the landing board...thus no flight takes place. To my observation bees flying in freezing temperature
only happens when sun is out.