Oxford Bees

Swarm on the pavement

Submitted by will on Fri, 08/06/2018 - 16:00

I was called today to an unusual situation: a swarm on the pavement outside a house on a fairly busy street. When I arrived the bees were like a splat on the ground. They were next to a low Privet hedge, so I suppose that they'd fallen out of that.

I spoke to the house owner and got a box. This covered the splat while I went for my swarm catching equipment. When I returned they had started to cluster on a flap beneath the box. I had brought a larger box so I carefully placed small box with bees inside the big box.

Pollen Colours - Early June

Submitted by will on Wed, 06/06/2018 - 22:26

The monotone beige of the tree pollen has given way to more diverse colours. I think that there are 8 colours in the image. I haven't tried to identify the flowers which these pollen come from.

This sample of pollen colours comes from my apiary in central Oxford. There are parks and college gardens nearby so some of the flowers may be non-native.

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Pollen as food for the bees

Submitted by will on Wed, 06/06/2018 - 21:38

Pollen is the high protein food which the bees use to make food for their brood. If you see pollen coming into the hive then it's reasonable to assume that there is brood being reared in the hive.

The bees visit flowers and collect the pollen in 'baskets' of hairs behind their hind legs. We can see these 'baskets' as bright patches on the legs of returning bees. The lumps of pollen sometimes get dropped and fall to the floor of the hive where they can be examined.

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