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Saturday, February 25, 2006

Old bees

Honeybee workers live about 4 to 6 weeks, longer in winter (when they don't work as hard) and shorter in summer. Their work starts, after they emerge from their pupal stage in the hive, in tending the larval bees, fanning air over the evaporating honey, building honeycomb, then finally leaving the hive to forage for pollen and nectar. So the bees you see flying around and visiting flowers are the oldest worker bees, the veterans.

I'm told, use the sun to navigate from the hive to nectaring flowers and back. In warm weather our doors are left open and bees do fly in the house occasionally. Not sure why they come inside; maybe they misinterpret other nav aids, maybe they are very old and senile. They usually perish at the window before they ever find their skyless way home.

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