Good morning all, as promised, here are a few follow up photos of the “housekeeping” task of removing the dead from two differnt hives, taken a tad after dawn this morning.
Hive #1, below:
In the photo above, you can see the dead honey bee outside the hive entrance, tongue in the air.
The bee above her seems poised to carry her further away.
Within a few minutes, (above) she is moved to the side of the entrance, and then is removed completely.
Hive # 2 – below:
Similarly, ( I love this hive and its gorgeous propolis entrance), the honey bee corpse is seen at the hive entrance.
awaiting further action from the hive.
The alive bee above appears to have her eye trained upon the corpse, and is, perhaps, gathering her strength
to carry the dead honey bee further from the hive. The photos I had of the “carrying” were blurry as the dawn light
was dimmer than appears in these photos, and any movement captured in a photo was not at all in focus.
Here you can see the hive entrance is cleared, and a forager bee is just returning to the hive with pollen packed
on her back legs. Removing the dead appears to be a practical matter for the honeybee, and the as we explored last post,
is in the service of the life and health of the hive.
Where do dead honeybees end up? Returned to the earth, as we all shall be. But, as they are not encased and
embalmed, they can actually nourish the ground upon which they lay.
4 thoughts on “Follow up photos For Housekeeping and the Hive: Removing the dead.”
Ruth – falling out of mid-flight may happen. More likely, as they weaken and are about to die, they head to the ground and spend their last few minutes/hour(s) there. Sometimes you can see them walking around on the ground for “too long” a time; meaning that they spend more time on the ground than a healthy bee would. They generally do not have the strength to take flight again. Thanks so much for your interest in bees. And our blog!
Love the photos, love the info. Can’t wait for more!
Your enthusiasm makes my day Jaffery; thank you so very much.
Fascinating! I have sometimes seen dead bees on the ground and wondered did they die and fall out of the air mid flight?