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I began this blog to chronicle my beekeeping experiences. I have read lots of beekeeping books, but nothing takes the place of either hands-on experience with an experienced beekeeper or good pictures of the process. I want people to have a clearer picture of what to expect in their beekeeping so I post pictures and write about my beekeeping saga here. Along the way, I've passed a number of certification levels and am now a!
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Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Mortician Bees are Earning Their Keep

Within the hive certain bees are designated to carry out the dead. These mortician bees have been hard at work in Hyron, the hive that was robbed on Saturday. Below is the pile of bees at the end of the robbing.



Yesterday (Monday) you can see that the pile has been greatly diminished by these tireless workers.


When I got home from work today, here's what the same pile looked like. Not only do the bees feel a need to clean house, they have a much harder job to do with the robber screen in place. Nonetheless, they soldier on, carrying the dead bodies up the screen to fly away to drop them far away from the hive.

Here you can see a mortician bee, carrying her dead sister up the tall robber screen to the 3 inch top entry. She flew over the top too quickly for my digital camera to catch her in the act.

You might notice the small hive beetle on the outside of the robber screen. I saw two of them this evening outside the screen. They must be eager to get into this very weakened hive, but the robber screen is a barrier for them as well as the robbers, at least at the moment.

I am in great admiration of this hive. Their boundaries were violated, their peace was shattered, and yet they continue with life, trying to restore their hive. I hope, hope, hope the queen is still alive and buzzing. I'll see this weekend.
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1 comment:

  1. Anonymous7:14 PM

    My boys and I got a kick out reading about mortician bees. We learned so much! Thank you so much for posting photos! Amazing creatures!!

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