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Bumblebee Math

The February 2012 National Geographic Magazine, page 26, describes an experiment testing how efficiently bumblebees navigate between flowers. Six artificial nectar sources were setup near a nest box. And individual foraging behavior was monitored. Here’s what they found: The flight of the bumblebee-even when not set to music-may seem frenetic and random as the workers […]

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Cell Entombment

A Guardian article describes cell entombment: But the bees’ last ditch efforts to save themselves appear to be unsuccessful – the entombing behavior is found in many hives that subsequently die off, according to Pettis. The presence of entombing is the biggest single predictor of colony loss. It’s a defense mechanism that has failed. These […]

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Heater Bees

Many beekeepers think hive inspection isn’t harmful. Bee disease is seen as a worse problem. That a beekeeper must frequently inspect to protect bees from harm. My first beekeeping job required hive inspections every two weeks. Natural beekeepers know better. As science advances, we learn more about colony behavior. How delicate it is. And how […]

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