Wednesday, 26 August 2015

Eviction Notice

As I walked past my strongest honey bee hive this morning, I could smell fresh meat. And I knew, given the time of year, exactly what that meant. The drones are being evicted. The smell of fresh meat is from the unborn male honey bees being ripped out of their brood cells (often in pieces), dragged out of the hive and dropped in the nearby grass by their sisters. Adult drones will be harassed, bitten and even stung until they leave the hive and perish.

The season is over for raising queens and so drone reproduction service is no longer required. As far as their sisters are concerned, they are not only useless but freeloaders. Having no hand in gathering groceries, they will enjoy no meals or group warmth this winter. When the snow blankets the land, the hive will be a 'girl's only' club -- a grim fact not revealed in the 2007 animated film, Bee Movie, starring Barry the Bee (voice by Jerry Seinfeld).

A drone finds his sisters have become hostile towards him.


As a sister bites his antenna, another worker (top right) threatens with open jaws.


Two workers nip at their defenseless brother.


A worker displays open jaws and points her foreleg as if proclaiming "You must go!".




Former drone eviction post, The Party's Over, Boys! 


4 comments:

  1. I had no idea this happens, and your photos to document the season's events is superb. With your winter nearing, do you have to prepare the hives for the colder weather?

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  2. Nancy ...

    In November, I'll remove the extra honey supers and condense each hive down to four boxes. Then I'll wrap them with an insulating blanket and cross my fingers that they'll survive our bitter winter.

    I forgot to mention that the bee corpses don't go to waste. Birds and skunks happily snap them up!


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  3. This s truly fascinating. I've been think about invasive species, and how nature takes care of itself, for the good of the whole. Well done! Who knew?

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  4. Love the way you documented this...first time it happened here I was really worried....Cant believe you are gearing up for winter already...

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