End-of-year flight of the honeybees

A honeybee on mahonia. (Photo by Katie Sloop)

Our friend Fred Sloop of Buzzy Bee Apiary in Oak Ridge this news flash and pictures yesterday:

Well, this New Years Eve day was incredibly warm () and sunny. Tens of thousands of our bees (see photo) were filling the air, engaging in both cleansing flights and bringing in many very small pellets of pale yellow pollen.

My daughters – Katie & Elizabeth – and I undertook a walking expedition to find out what could be blooming that might be providing the pollen. We discovered blooming camelias, flowering quince, forsythia, a few dandelions and dozens and dozens of blooming mahonia that were COVERED with honeybees – hence, they were the principle pollen providers.

Katie managed to capture one of the foragers (photo 2) using the built-in camera on her i-phone. Also, a rather unusual observation – one of our hives (#3 – Cordovan Italians) – still has lots of drones!

Enjoy & Happy New Year!,

Fred Sloop

Buzzy Bee Apiary

Oak Ridge, TN

Thanks to Fred for the update and especially to Katie and Elizabeth for tracking the bees and for the pictures.

One of the Buzzy Bee Apiary hives on Dec. 31, 2011. (Photo by Katie Sloop)

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