Saturday, January 7, 2012

warmth after winter freeze

Bee foraging on mahonia.
Bee foraging at birdbath.
Two hive entrances, as inspired by John Jones.
Insulating Bee Cozy and the two hive entrances, as inspired by John Jones.
Bees unable to fly.

A few days ago Atlanta experienced below freezing temperatures (two days in a row) which killed many of our potted plants.  As the weather has warmed, the bees are vigorously foraging for water and pollen.  The flight path is short and straight (bee lining), making trips to forage at the flowering mahonia and the bird bath.  I spotted red maple buds in the neighborhood, but those buds are not yet attracting bees.

Scientific American Blogs posted an article about a parasitic fly (Apocephalus borealis) which has laid eggs in 77% of the sampled California Bay Area hives.  Perhaps the parasitic fly is another honey bee stress.  I grabbed a few bees beneath the hive which were unable to fly.   I am storing these bees in a jar to see whether parasitic fly larva will emerge in the next week. 

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