Life and death in the bee observation hive...
If you ever have the opportunity to check out a bee observation hive--a glassed-in hive showing the colony at work--you can easily spot the three castes: the queen bee, worker bees and drones.
If you look...
QUEEN BEE, marked with the dot, is circled by her royal attendants in a retinue. This was taken through the glass of an observation hive. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
IN THIS BEE OBSERVATION HIVE photo, an undertaker bee carries out her dead sister. The glassed-in observation hive offers a view of life and death in the hive. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
It's a blue day for the honey bees.
The massive Northern California storm--one of our worst-ever storms and marked by heavy rains and equally strong winds--means that bees are clustering inside their hives.
No foraging today.
Just last Sunday we saw...
Blue Marguerite Daisy
HONEY BEE nectars a blue marguerite daisy, a member of the sunflower family. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
TONGUE EXTENDED, a honey bee sips nectar from a blue marguerite daisy. Notice the yellow pollen on her leg. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Here's a "cold case" to investigate.
Check your backyard or neighborhood park and see if a praying mantis has deposited an egg case on a tree limb, plant or fence.
Case in point: Over at the Harry H. Laidlaw Jr. Honey Bee Research Facility, west of...
THIS EGG CASE on a potted plant outside the Harry H. Laidlaw Jr. Honey Bee Research Facility, UC Davis, will yield from 100 to 200 tiny mantises next spring when the weather warms. A praying mantis recently deposited her eggs on the plant. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
ARE YOU A PREY?--A pugnacious praying mantis eyes the photographer. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
It's not a pretty sight--the Varroa mite attacking a honey bee.
Beekeepers are accustomed to seeing the reddish-brown, eight-legged parasite (aka "blood sucker") in their hives.
UC Davis bee breeder-geneticist Susan Cobey, manager of the Harry H....
THIS VARROA MITE is feeding on a drone pupa. Varroa mites reproduce in the brood cells and attack the developing bees. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
UNLIKE many bees, these drones (males) are mite free. Most hives throughout the United States have Varroa mites. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Caught between a rock and a...soft place...
You'll often see tiny sweat bees nectaring rock purslane (Calandrinia grandiflora) in urban gardens. This plant, a native of Chile, brightens landscapes with its pinkish magenta blossoms.
TINY female sweat bee (Halictus tripartitus) nectaring rock purslane. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Ready to Fly
IS IT SAFE? A tiny sweat bee peers from the rock purslane before she takes flight. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)