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Bees full of honey


#1

Hi guys,

I have been searching with vain for images online that show what a bee looks like with its nectar sac full. I have long been wondering if the bees without pollen coming back into the hive are full (hoepfully!) of nectar.

Or is the difference indiscernible between a bee with an empty nectar sac and one with a full sac?


#2

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#3

Watch them from the side.
Full bees approach the entrance with their hind end dangling about 45%
Empty bees are more horizontal.
Similarly robbers exiting a hive are full and can be seen to walk around on the front before they take off or dip significantly as they leave the entrance. Empty bees on a mission fly straight out at speed without any preliminary walkabout.
See if you can get Storch…“At the Hive Entrance” as a download somewhere. It’s fascinating reading.


#4

If you want pictures of engorged bees, I would study pictures of swarms. Swarming bees are packed to the gills with honey before they leave, so likely that is as engorged as they will ever be.


#5

Thanks Dee, interesting little read.


#6

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#7

This thread reminds me of this old song:



:wink:

A bit hippy, a bit trippy. Maybe I found some of Jape’s mushrooms… :smile:


#8

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#9

Thanks @dee and @skeggley or the responses! I will have a look at them outside the hive again to see if i can discern the difference in the bees! cant wait.

That article is great and something all beekeepers should read, especially if they want to reduce the frequency of opening the hive. It might need an update though! its now 30 years old and pre-varroa etc.

One of my little gripes about beekeeping books is that they often assume that the reader is in the same location/season as them, and mention months like ‘August’, and its difficult to interpret into my local seasons. It would be great if they could say things like ‘mid Autumn’ ‘onset of Winter’ etc so it is more accessible to all readers.


#10

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#11

Are you saying that if bees are flying in the snow to poo they are short of stores?


#12

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