Day 22: Fanning, a Sting and a Drone

by Ginny. 0 Comments

I noticed a bee at the entrance fanning. She was just standing in one spot (right in the center of the entrance) beating her wings so fast you could not see them. The other bees (busy because it was a hot day!) were pushing past her. She was kind of in their way. I decided to switch the entrance reducer to its middle position, allowing a larger entrance for the bees. When I was removing it, (no gloves or safety gear) I repositioned my hand so that I could get a better grip and did not see the bee on the other side. She stung me. My first sting. tip of my middle finger. Smarted for a few minutes but that’s all. I waited till the bees quieted down for the evening before put in back in. When I went to push it back in, just making a little noise, lots of bees came out to just inside the entrance, and just looked at me. Some of them were upside down, all lined up and looking out – so cute.

Fanning is done for the purpose of regulating the temperature (they keep it at 93-95F) in the hive and also to help in curing (removing moisture from) the honey. I was describing to my daughter what fanning was and she said “they’re so smart”. I know it is instinct but how do those particular bees know to do this?

My raspberries are coming into bloom, and my bees love them! Also they are mobbing my holly tree. I’ve seen a few on my rosemary, forget-me-nots, and heather as well.

I also spotted a drone. He was outside the entrance, and crawled in, so I assume he was out flying. He looked large, bumbly and comical compared to the svelte and graceful sisters. I laughed. But I also wondered if he flew in from somewhere or if he came with the package? I hadn’t seen any drones at all yet.

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