Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Hot and Bothered

We've had some real classic, hot and humid Philly summer days in the past two weeks - can you say muggy? I was checking on the bees on one of these 90+ degree days and I was pretty amazed at what I saw - this was the busiest I have ever seen the hive. Tons of bees were flying around the hive or gathering near the entrances. They were probably just trying to stay cool. Here is some video...

video

Then as I sat and watched the activity, I saw a yellow jacket flying around the area checking out the hive. The yellow jacket was trying to get into the hive but the bees wouldn't let him (her?) in. Instead, the yellow jacket was hanging out in front of the hive harassing a honeybee drone and a worker bee. The drone is the thick, fat bee hopping and flopping around. The yellow jacket is the long skinny black and yellow one with long wings. I got some good footage - it's not quite Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom, not quite a cheetah taking down an antelope - but still kind of cool. By the way, a yellow jacket is a type of wasp - not a bee. What many people think are bee stings are actually yellow jacket stings.


video


This is a yellow jacket - looks pretty different than the honeybees when you actually look closely -


copyright 2008 Tom Murray

I didn't open the hive this time so I am not sure what is going on inside. I will open the hive some time this weekend to see what's happening. Maybe there will be some honey to take!