Yesterday I was extracting honey. When I was finished, I took some of the honey-coated wax cappings I'd scraped off a frame and put them on a yogurt container lid. Then I took it outside and weighed it down with a rock, got my camera, and started snapping. (Owl Wood might want to turn his head away at this point!)
At this time of the year, honeybees go into a frenzy if they find honey anywhere. Shortly after I took this photos, the lid was coated with honeybees (which I neglected to photograph!)
The more time I spend with my honeybees, watching them and working with them, the more I appreciate and love them. And for those who fear them, think about the fact that my camera lens was about two inches away from the bees when I took those photos, and my head was brushing against a sedum plant loaded with foraging honeybees. No, I did not get stung. When bees are out collecting nectar, they are focused on their task and generally unaggressive and uninterested in you!
A younger worker bee drinking up honey. Worker bees live for about six weeks in the summer season. They cycle through various jobs in the hive (cleaning lady, nurse bee, wax-maker, undertaker) before beginning their final work as foragers.
This bee looks pretty good. Her wings are in nice shape, and her thorax is still quite fuzzy. Near the end of her life (presuming she's not eaten by a bird, stepped on by a human or otherwise prematurely killed), her thorax will be worn smooth and hairless on top, and her wings will be tattered. Often the foragers just drop dead while out in the field. Honeybees literally work themselves to death, for the good of the hive.
Quite the honey party going on here!
This is a honeybee in a state of bliss. Back legs splayed out, proboscis deep in the honey... aahhhhh!
And they can be quite the contortionists.
I wonder what yoga pose this is? "Nectar-drinking upward bee"?
Sweeter than sweet.
Then along comes an Eastern Yellow Jacket...
If she had entered a beehive, she would have been attacked and likely killed by the residents. But out in the field, they sip honey companionably together.
Quite the mandibles on her! She has the face of a cartoon character.
Okay, I'm probably the only one that finds this cute. But I do!
Here's another tiny bee...
I think it's a sweat bee but I'm not sure. Does anyone know?
Enjoying the sweetness of life.
I like how the incoming bee already has her tongue stuck out, ready to get that honey!
You can see her proboscis (tongue) particularly well in this photo.
And here's one on the nearby sedum.
Today I have honeybees bouncing off my office windows. I put out two supers full of extracted frames for the bees to clean out before I store them for winter. They take out every last drop of honey.
You need to do this well away from the hives, otherwise you can encourage the bees to rob each other of their honey stores. They go nuts at this time of year when you put out the boxes and start looking everywhere for honey, including my house and garage. The frenzy soon dies down but if you have a fear of bees, you probably wouldn't want to be walking around outside my house right now! It doesn't bother me but it is a little disconcerting to see them pinging themselves off the glass.
PS: If my Dad were still alive, he'd be 82 today. Hope he's off having a beer and a laugh somewhere. Here we are in 1975. Note my cat brooch. :)