Heater Bees

Heater bees in infrared.

Unfortunately the neat short showing a few flowers in ultraviolet and heater bees in infrared light has been removed from youtube. So, it’s been replaced by this image.

The video showed how the heater bees crawled into a cell and remained relatively motionless.

Without the infrared, it looked like those house bees were taking a snooze. 🙂

Bee behavior is complicated and poorly understood in spite of the thousands of years humans have been trying. Today, many beekeepers still think it’s almost impossible to mess up a hive by taking a look inside. Bee disease is seen as the real problem. And it’s a beekeeper’s duty to continually inspect and protect bees from disease. On my first beekeeping job, I was required to inspect each hive once every two weeks.

Natural beekeepers know better. And as science advances, we learn more about the intricacies of colony behavior. Just how delicate it is. And how easily it can be upset. This colorful and interesting video is a neat confirmation of some of those complexities.

A natural beekeeper will look at the video and think about limiting management interference to conserve nest organization and heat, knowing that the bees do it best.

A beekeeper lacking a natural focus, might think of ways to incubate a frame of brood to produce more heater bees for earlier brood rearing, thinking man can do it better.

Where ever your beekeeping stands, IR photography is cool. 🙂 I’ve always wanted a IR camera. So, I tried to remove an IR filter from a broken digital camera. But I didn’t succeed. And I wouldn’t recommend the process. It’s easy to get a digital camera apart. It’s impossible to get them back together.

My friend Barry Birkey, the BeeSource guy, sent me the link. Thanks Barry.

And here’s a couple of related links I’ve found interesting:
The Bee Journal
Ultraviolet Flowers
Infrared Camera Hives
Flir Shed Inspection


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4 responses to “Heater Bees”

  1. Rod Lawrence says:

    The flower pics are awsome, I’ll never look at flower the same way again lol.
    And the hive pics are another reason to get into the hive, get done what you need to get done and put ‘er back togther.

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