Thursday, April 23, 2009

Bees in the mud

A dozen bees were in the mud on the Lookout Hill steps in Prospect Park this morning. Gathering water, perhaps also salts and minerals. I wonder if there's a feral hive somewhere on the hill.


amarilla said...

Aawwweesome! I wonder, do bees have a schedule? Do they gather water and minerals in the morning and nectar when the sun gets a little higher (and the flowers have opened wider.) I noticed there weren't too many bees on the apricot tree in the back until later in the day.

Matthew said...

Bees do have a schedule, based on their age. They don't leave the hive until about mid-way through life at 3 weeks. Before that they work in the hive at cleaning, queen-grooming, honey making, guarding, etc. It's the old girls who forage. As to who goes for water, who goes to resins, who collects nectar, etc, I don't know. But once something like your apricot tree is found, the forager will return to the hive and tell her sisters that there is a great resource to be had, do the location dance and tell them where it is, and so bring on a crowd later.

Linda T said...

Bees also are rather amazing in that they know when the nectar is available in certain plants. I don't know about apricot trees, but if you don't see the bees until later in the day, probably the nectar is easy to get later in the day and not so available in the morning.