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By -Stanley-
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Joined:  Tue Nov 16, 2021 1:23 am
#448140
I repotted these small extra flytraps today, and now these bees are just observing the quality of my potting skills.
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By -Stanley-
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#448145
No, I think the bees where gathering something. The plants were potted just today, and a queen bee doesn't just go flying around like that.
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By Intheswamp
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#448149
I've had honey bees working the peat moss before. I'm not sure what they're getting but it seems I recall that was a white substance left in the spot where they hunkered down. As for the queen bee flying...usually twice in her life. The first time is when she emerges from her cell and takes her maiden flight to a nearby DCA, a "Drone Congregation Area" (I think that's what I remember them being). It is an area where drones (males) congregate during the day with the sole purpose of mating. Somehow they know where it is and the queen knows where it is...it's like someone tells them where to go. When the queen flies through there is a "meteor" of bees chasing her. Usually on one of these flights the female bee/queen will mate several times. She may, but usually doesn't take a second maiden flight the next day. The mating will impregnate her for all successive bees, tens of thousands of bees. She will spend the bulk of her life being fed, laying eggs, and running on the surface of the comb...she's the fastest-footed bee in the hive, too!!! Seriously!!! :lol: The only other time she may fly is when the hive "swarms"...half the bees leave with the queen to create a new colony...it's referred to as "species propagation". The queen laid several eggs that the workers chose as "special" eggs. They built extra long cells, much different from the regular worker bee cell. When the egg hatches and a larva has formed the workers make a special food called "royal jelly" that they feed those regular worker bee larvae to make them almost magically turn into larger, queen bees. Thus, the old colony members that are left behind have queen bees forming to continue their colony and the old queen has left to established a new colony...sometimes in the wall of your house, or under the roof eave, or maybe in the patio grill. :lol: And that's my nature talk for this evening!!! :mrgreen:
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By -Stanley-
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Joined:  Tue Nov 16, 2021 1:23 am
#448150
Right, everything you said is pretty accurate. What I find interesting is that the queen measures the size of each cell (big/small) to determine whether the egg is going to be a drone or a worker (male/female).
By Andrew072
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Joined:  Wed Oct 18, 2023 4:40 am
#448161
I have a ton of honeybees that come in search of water
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By DragonsEye
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#448169
As just mentioned, the bees are most likely there in search of water, and since the peat moss is moist/wet, they’re lapping up water. If you ever want to, you could actually create a water station for bees simply by putting out a plant saucer filled with pebbles, and then add just enough water, so that the tops of the pebbles are still above the waterline. That way, the bees can land on the pebbles, lap up the water, and not have to worry about drowning. Do you keep in mind you will have other insects as well that will visit such a station because ,again,…easy source of water, don’t have to worry about drowning … hey what’s not to love?
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By Intheswamp
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#448173
-Stanley- wrote: Sat Mar 09, 2024 1:10 am Right, everything you said is pretty accurate. What I find interesting is that the queen measures the size of each cell (big/small) to determine whether the egg is going to be a drone or a worker (male/female).
Have you heard about the "bee dance"...that's pretty intense, too. It is amazing what creation holds!
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By Intheswamp
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#448175
A water station for honey bees is a very good idea. They use it for things like making honey and cooling the hive...I call those workers at the "watering holes"...tankers. ;) What is interesting is that the bees will choose the water from a nasty drainage ditch, or a stagnate kiddie's swimming pool over freshly poured "good" water. The yuckier the water the better they seem to like it...go figure, eh? But, a watering hole set up for them works well...just let the water age a bit, or pour some aged water in it.

And, a bit more "bee trivia"....all the bees you see working flowers, loading up with water, feeding the queen and baby bees, making honey, defending :shock: the hive, basically doing any kind of work are....females. :mrgreen: All the drones are dead-beat males whose only purpose in life is to mooch off of the workers (females) and go to the drone congregation areas regularly in hopes of hooking-up with a virgin queen. ;) When winter approaches, many times the female workers will physically drag the remaining drones outside of the hive and doom them to a cold cruel death.

Bees are incredible. The best way I've found to understand them is to consider the entire colony as a macro-creature...usually referred to as a superorganism. Without a queen, the colony dies. Without workers, the colony dies. And even without drones, the colony dies. It takes the combination of all three, working together, for the colony to survive.
DragonsEye wrote: Sat Mar 09, 2024 1:55 pm As just mentioned, the bees are most likely there in search of water, and since the peat moss is moist/wet, they’re lapping up water. If you ever want to, you could actually create a water station for bees simply by putting out a plant saucer filled with pebbles, and then add just enough water, so that the tops of the pebbles are still above the waterline. That way, the bees can land on the pebbles, lap up the water, and not have to worry about drowning. Do you keep in mind you will have other insects as well that will visit such a station because ,again,…easy source of water, don’t have to worry about drowning … hey what’s not to love?
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By DragonsEye
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Joined:  Sat Oct 01, 2016 1:22 pm
#448176
Intheswamp wrote: Sat Mar 09, 2024 2:40 pm What is interesting is that the bees will choose the water from a nasty drainage ditch, or a stagnate kiddie's swimming pool over freshly poured "good" water. The yuckier the water the better they seem to like it...go figure, eh?
Not terribly surprising, really, if they’re finding the water by scent and not by sight, which I strongly suspect is the case. While flowers often have bright colors that can be seen from a long distance, and therefore attract the bees attention, water — being typically flush to the ground and perhaps hidden underneath a cover of a sedge or other grasses or even the shade of a tree so that there wouldn’t be any glint of sunlight shining off of it to let you know it’s there — doesn’t have that going for it. Clean water has a very little scent to it. However, places like bogs, swamps, or other areas where water can remain stagnant typically gets a very recognizable odor to it. And that odor, even for humans with our poor sense of smell, is detectable from quite a distance away. As result finding older water is probably much easier to do and so that’s what bees and probably many other animals hone in on.
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By Intheswamp
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#448177
The "scent" idea may be valid. I have to correct myself on the icky-water part, though. I have seen honey bees strongly attracted to fresh water that just filled up a kiddie's swimming pool...and I mean strongly attracted. Just an observation from keeping bees (in the past) and having grandchildren. :lol:

As for the scent attraction...I've seen bees go for the nasty water when clean water was right beside it. Maybe the minerals or something in it. I dunno, the bees are being mum about it. ;)

I will say this...once a bee finds a source of water or a patch of high quality nectar or pollen they will "tell" all their girlfriends about it and soon there's a crowd there...kinda like a surprise shoe sale or something. :mrgreen: They really are amazing creatures.

ETA: I think the attraction to the freshly filled kiddie poolwater is the chlorine smell. Seems weird that that would attract them but they also like yucky water. Go figure...bee brains, I guess! :lol:
Last edited by Intheswamp on Sat Mar 09, 2024 8:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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By andynorth
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#448181
They seem to really like the nectar water of our hummingbird feeders. So much so that we have to move them out of kids playing area because they swarm them, especially when it is quite warm.
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By Intheswamp
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#448190
Oh yeah, put sugar water out and you'll be making lots of honey bee friends!!!! ;)
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By -Stanley-
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Joined:  Tue Nov 16, 2021 1:23 am
#448216
Intheswamp wrote:A water station for honey bees is a very good idea. They use it for things like making honey and cooling the hive...I call those workers at the "watering holes"...tankers. ;) What is interesting is that the bees will choose the water from a nasty drainage ditch, or a stagnate kiddie's swimming pool over freshly poured "good" water. The yuckier the water the better they seem to like it...go figure, eh? But, a watering hole set up for them works well...just let the water age a bit, or pour some aged water in it.
I live next a lake and I've seen bees drinking water from it, so hopefully the water situation is fine for them. These pots are maybe like 30 feet away from my beehives, and the bees probably just find it easier to drink from them.
Intheswamp wrote:Oh yeah, put sugar water out and you'll be making lots of honey bee friends!!!! ;)
That's like the worst thing you could do :lol: . Bees will swarm the sugar water, because its free food. Then once they realize its much easier then going flower to flower gathering food, the colonies of bees turn on each other and start robbing one another (which is a disaster, I've seen my bees being robbed before.)
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By Intheswamp
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#448231
Sugar water is like drugs for bees. Gang wars happen! :shock:
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