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The investigatory and communication power of bees

IMG_2523I’ve made a disastrous mistake. During honey extraction I put aside some very good-looking frames for cut-comb.

Storage was a bit of an issue, but I decided to put them in a super inside a cardboard box. The box was put in the spare bedroom, a north-facing room with no history of bee invasion (you can see where this is going!). A small window was left ajar and the cardboard box wasn’t quite bee proof.

This storage worked as expected for a couple of weeks and I took out frames for cut-comb as required.

Then after a two-day gap when I didn’t enter the bedroom, I went to retrieve another frame and found the room alive with bees! In two short days a bee or two had somehow discovered the slightly open window, found the slightly open box and taken a sample. (The weather was quite cool, so the enticing smell of the honey was certainly not apparent to me.)  The investigatory scouts had then gone back to tell their relatives of a poorly hidden honey hoard.

In less than 48 hours, a golden throng had decimated four frames (one remained intact — I know not why). Sadly some bees died in the exercise as they couldn’t find the small top window exit to take away their plunder.

The bees investigatory and communication powers had made a fool of me in less than two days. I won’t be making that mistake again.

Turlough, Vita’s Guest Beekeeper Blogger

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