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Author Topic: Bees are lazy in the summer  (Read 710 times)
Understudy
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« on: March 02, 2007, 11:08:16 PM »

http://www.lasvegassun.com/sunbin/stories/business/2007/mar/02/030202467.html


Sincerely,
Brendhan
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Jerrymac
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« Reply #1 on: March 03, 2007, 12:20:01 AM »

Around here it was really dry. I'm sure that had a lot to do with little to no honey. But bees being lazy?Huh? I would think it takes more to keep the hive cool so less out gathering? What ya think?
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Understudy
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« Reply #2 on: March 03, 2007, 08:04:51 AM »

I think that is a very real possiblity.

Sincerely,
Brendhan
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tillie
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« Reply #3 on: March 03, 2007, 09:17:02 AM »

When it's really hot here in Georgia, mine are never lazy - they are working hard fanning the hive, even if they are not out foraging....seems like a negative slant to use the term "lazy" - sort of goes against "busy as a bee.." grin

Linda T
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Understudy
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« Reply #4 on: March 03, 2007, 10:10:27 AM »

When it's really hot here in Georgia, mine are never lazy - they are working hard fanning the hive, even if they are not out foraging....seems like a negative slant to use the term "lazy" - sort of goes against "busy as a bee.." grin

Linda T
Oh but there are lazy bees:

This story is only in a google cache but cape bees are lazy bees and bad for bees in general.

Lots of buzz, less honey from Cape bees

By Bob Hopkin Garden Route Correspondent

A GEORGE-based retired game ranger and avid beekeeper has discovered that Garden Route bees have their own version of “Outeniqua rust” – a feeling of being relaxed.

These bees produce only a quarter of the honey that would be expected of such insects in other parts of the country.

During his conservation work in and around the De Beers mining properties in Kimberley, Angus Anthony began keeping bees and extracting and selling the honey they produced.

The industrious African killer bee (Apis scutellata), which is indigenous to most of South Africa north of the Karoo, enabled him and hundreds of other bee enthusiasts to develop small but lucrative businesses from honey production or renting hives out to pollinate fruit and seed crops.

Since moving to George after his retirement in 2005, Anthony has been disappointed to find the unique species of honey bee endemic to the Cape – from East London through to the west coast – does not have the energy of his northern counterpart.

The Cape bee (Apis capensis) is reluctant to get going in the morning and has an unpleasant habit of encouraging his African killer bee neighbour to follow suit whenever they meet.

Cape bees typically produce only about 10kg per hive per year. The northern variety produces up to 40kg.

Anthony said the Plant Protection Research Institute verified this phenomenon in the early 1990s.

The agriculture department, through the Agricultural Research Council, then instituted a programme to try to prevent migration of bee populations either to the north or south.

“While I have a few hives here just for my own enjoyment, the local bees are just too slow and lazy to make it a viable business,” Anthony said.

He finds his existing hives, which are still in the Kimberley area, are far more productive so he keeps them going, commuting regularly between the two locations to meet demand.

The department has created an invisible but legally enforceable “bee frontier” at about 31° south where, if southern Cape or “black” bees are found to the north of it, beekeepers are obliged to destroy the swarms.

Anthony said bees used a system of pheromones to communicate in the hive.

The African killer bee queen, who produces all the offspring in a hive, has a unique range of smells, which she produces to control the actions of the swarm.

Unfortunately, Cape worker bees produce very similar pheromones.

When the two strains meet, confusion results. The killer bee queen stops producing eggs and eventually starves to death through lack of attention from the worker bees, which become reluctant to forage for nectar. This leads to the colony dying out.

“Humans have been involved in harvesting honey and cultivating bees for more than 10 000 years. Even though the first beekeeping rules were written by the Ancient Greeks in 600 BC, beekeeping doesn‘t get any easier,” Anthony said.


Sincerely,
Brendhan
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