Ballast stones?
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Thread: Ballast stones?

  1. #1
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    Default Ballast stones?

    I came across this article this morning which talks about bees carrying small stones for ballast when flying in a storm? Completely new to me after ten years with the bees. Fact or myth?

    https://www.ancestral-pathways.com/b...nd-the-ballast

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  3. #2
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    Default Re: Ballast stones?

    ... just 'cause its on the Net doesn't make it true ...


    Watching bees flying/landing with a heavy load of nectar or water might lead a beekeeper to think that carrying a stone might not improve a bee's flight characteristics in a thunderstorm.
    Graham
    USDA Zone 7A Elevation 1400 ft

  4. #3
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    Default Re: Ballast stones?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rader Sidetrack View Post
    ... just 'cause its on the Net doesn't make it true ...
    Could you send that to me in writing?

  5. #4
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    Default Re: Ballast stones?

    That has to be the biggest bunch of trash I have ever read concerning honeybees. If any of you have ever spent any time in Santa Fe, you would be aware that we host many, many individuals such as the author. They don't call it Fanta Se for nothing.
    "Tradition becomes our security, and when the mind is secure it is in decay".....Krishnamurti

  6. #5
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    Default Re: Ballast stones?

    The linked to web site is just another flavor of mysticism; full of convoluted and supposedly supporting analogies. Not surprising that the parables are weak on factuality!

    A being from another planet would probably get a laugh out of our current mainstream ideologies too.
    Frank

  7. #6
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    Default Re: Ballast stones?

    File with the need to tell the bees when the keeper dies.

  8. #7
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    Default Re: Ballast stones?

    thanks for the morning funny

  9. #8
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    Default Re: Ballast stones?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rader Sidetrack View Post
    Watching bees flying/landing with a heavy load of nectar or water might lead a beekeeper to think that carrying a stone might not improve a bee's flight characteristics in a thunderstorm.
    Not even a beekeeper, but a poet. This bit of ancient "knowledge" comes from a book by American naturalist John Burroughs (linked in the article): "Virgil says bees bear gravel stones as ballast, but their only ballast is their honey bag." So yeah, the zeroth century Roman poet thought bees carried rocks, the 19th century writer knew that was bunk, and here in the 21st century the idea is being "gleaned from old books on the subject written by old time beekeepers." Sheesh.

  10. #9
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    Default Re: Ballast stones?

    I did not read the article but, wouldn't one expect to find the ballast in the hives before storms? As ingenious as some people would have us believe bees to be, it would be foolish for them to wait for a storm to look for ballast since ballast is needed while empty.

    I'm gonna' go out there and harvest all of the Bee Ballast I can find. I'm sure it's in there, I probably just missed it because I wasn't looking for it.

    I'm sure it is very valuable because everything in a hive is a cure for something. Now, where did I put those chicken lips?

    Alex
    Ten years of Beekeeping before varroa. Started again spring of 2014.

  11. #10
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    Default Re: Ballast stones?

    Quote Originally Posted by AHudd View Post
    I did not read the article but, wouldn't one expect to find the ballast in the hives before storms? As ingenious as some people would have us believe bees to be, it would be foolish for them to wait for a storm to look for ballast since ballast is needed while empty.

    Alex
    dang I'm glad I ran across this thread, every year my hives get heavier and heavier, and I haven't been able to figure out why, I know it couldn't be because I'm getting older.
    mike syracuse ny
    Whatever you subsidize you get more of. Ronald Reagan

  12. #11
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    Default Re: Ballast stones?

    Quote Originally Posted by Riskybizz View Post
    That has to be the biggest bunch of trash I have ever read concerning honeybees. If any of you have ever spent any time in Santa Fe, you would be aware that we host many, many individuals such as the author. They don't call it Fanta Se for nothing.
    You are right about Santa Fe.Its a nice place but it draws some odd individuals.

  13. #12
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    Default Re: Ballast stones?

    This reminds me to ask a question that I have been meaning to ask. What happens to foragers when they are caught in a thunderstorm? Do they stop flying and rest in a tree? Get soaked and die? Fly like hell as fast as they can and hope to make it back to the hive?
    I have gone down to my apiary right after a thunderstorm and have seen some bees coming back, but I had no way to tell if they were caught up in it.
    Anyone know or even have some guesses?

  14. #13
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    Default Re: Ballast stones?

    if you are ever working bees when a thunderstorm is coming you will know, will look like the biggest flow ever as they pile back into the hive, some get caught out, I have had them sitting on the tires of my truck protected from the rain until it's over. I would guess you do lose some.
    mike syracuse ny
    Whatever you subsidize you get more of. Ronald Reagan

  15. #14
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    Default Re: Ballast stones?

    Quote Originally Posted by wildbranch2007 View Post
    if you are ever working bees when a thunderstorm is coming you will know, will look like the biggest flow ever as they pile back into the hive, some get caught out, I have had them sitting on the tires of my truck protected from the rain until it's over. I would guess you do lose some.
    Indeed - it's a mad rush to get back (so how do they know there's storm coming ? Changes in atmospheric electrickery ?) - but I've often seen a handful who didn't quite make it sheltering underneath broad leaves. Clever bees, eh ?
    LJ
    A Heretics Guide to Beekeeping http://heretics-guide.atwebpages.com/

  16. #15
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    Default Re: Ballast stones?

    Quote Originally Posted by Fivej View Post
    This reminds me to ask a question that I have been meaning to ask. What happens to foragers when they are caught in a thunderstorm? Do they stop flying and rest in a tree? Get soaked and die? Fly like hell as fast as they can and hope to make it back to the hive?
    I have gone down to my apiary right after a thunderstorm and have seen some bees coming back, but I had no way to tell if they were caught up in it.
    Anyone know or even have some guesses?
    I would guess 'all of the above'.
    I know that I have seen HBs sheltering under the eaves of my house during rain storms. I would assume they shelter under leaves, too. I would also presume that some can dash back, and others are lost to the storm trying to make it back.
    Never ask a barber it he thinks you need a haircut.

  17. #16
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    Default

    Individuals seem to have a good chance making it home at the start of a storm. Swarms not quite as good of odds. I went out after a very hard, sudden shower and found a small swarm hanging in a tree. A few feet to the left was a large swarm of dead bees with a few dead ones on the lower branches. My guess is the dead ones were from a primary swarm and the small one was an after swarm which left the same hive right after the storm. The first rained off the tree and drowned. I have only had that happen once.

  18. #17
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    Default Re: Ballast stones?

    Quote Originally Posted by wildbranch2007 View Post
    if you are ever working bees when a thunderstorm is coming you will know, will look like the biggest flow ever as they pile back into the hive, some get caught out, I have had them sitting on the tires of my truck protected from the rain until it's over. I would guess you do lose some.


    004 (2) (800x716).jpg I am pretty sure bees don't have facial expressions, but this one doesn't look happy about getting wet.

    Alex

    Alex
    Ten years of Beekeeping before varroa. Started again spring of 2014.

  19. #18
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    Default Re: Ballast stones?

    A while ago someone posted a video of bees returning during a rainstorm. Getting hit by a raindrop really upsets stable flight for a bee, but they seem to recover. There must be some energy cost and I don't know how much spare fuel a bee has.
    Bill

  20. #19
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    Default Re: Ballast stones?

    "To my delight a small parcel arrived in the mail some time after and inside I found the tiniest pebble wrapped in a small pice of cloth and placed lovingly in a vial. The stone was last touched by a bee and carried back to the hive, as Laura only used tweezers to touch it, thus keeping the powerful bee medicine intact.

    I sat with this medicine for some time before deciding to journey with it, as the moment I had it in my hands it felt like a powerful shamanic tool.

    What I needed to do was to ask what I was to use it for, and as always with bee medicine the answer was as simple as it was complicated...."



    LOL this stuff is epic. . I really don't know how these people even exist, but in anycase, had a real good laugh reading the article, just what I needed to get the day started in good humor.
    "Every viewpoint, is a view from a point." - Solomon Parker

  21. #20
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    Default Re: Ballast stones?

    Thanks, now I have to read it.

    Alex
    Ten years of Beekeeping before varroa. Started again spring of 2014.

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