Vita Bee Health Expert de la santé de l’abeille dans le monde

Startled starlings

Turlough, Vita’s Beekeeper Blogger, writes:

Many beekeepers will be all too familiar with what happens when honey bees return after foraging to find that their home has gone. They buzz around and eventually cluster close to where the hive was originally sited — and with no queen around, they get grumpier and grumpier.

So, what happened when the starlings that I featured two weeks ago returned home and found their roosting trees gone?  There was no time to search for a new site as it was getting dark.

I had heard that the trees had just been felled through social media, so I went to the scene at dusk.

Firstly, they gave their usual glorious display (and I had a better camera with me this time):



But when they were ready for bed, they were startled to find that their roosting trees were gone. Fortunately, there were similar trees just across the road, but there weren’t many and they couldn’t all fit in.

Normally they take less than a minute to fly into their roosting trees. Then they squabble about who has taken up too much of the bed and have a noisy gossip, probably about the ‘awesome food’ they had found that day.

This time was different. There just wasn’t enough room. And the video shows what happened. This pattern of activity went on for at least 45 minutes … How it ended I cannot be sure as I had to go, but there must have been a lot of stressed-out starlings using up a lot of energy. Luckily, it is a mild night, so it mightn’t be too bad for those left out in the cold.

Vita’s Guest Beekeeper Blogger


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