Thursday, 2 June 2016

Some excitement at the hive

Today was the first of my motorcycles MOT tests, so The Shitter was dragged from the garage and ridden over to the local workshop. 30% made herself and the Audi available to get me home and by quarter past nine we were both sat at our laptops having the most extraordinary fun.

The day rumbled on in the usual fashion and at around three o'clock the missing costs for the escalated project finally arrived. I then spent a happy couple of hours trawling through these to make sure that a) I understood them and b) that they actually added up to what they were supposed to.

They all looked good so my cost model was updated and fired over to the pricing team with a request for this to be turned around as quickly as possible.  I also arranged a call with our Pricer* to talk her through the costs which will, hopefully, ensure a smooth transit through the pricing process.

I had now done everything I possibly could to support the escalated project and wandered out to enjoy the garden. I must have been feeling keen,  as the lawn mower was dragged from the shed and I was soon running up and down trimming the sward. The new turf has grown beautifully, so I raised the height of the blade and ran the mower across the new areas of lawn for the first time. With the lawn looking almost manicured I wandered in for dinner.

That just about covers the day's events apart from a period of excitement in the afternoon ...

... At around two o'clock I looked out at the hive and was amazed at what I saw. There were literally hundreds of bees flying in front of the hive. We are used to the coming and going of the foraging bees that are out seeking nectar and pollen, but this was something completely different.  It didn't look like swarming behaviour and I wondered if the hive was being robbed by another colony. I watched the entrance for a while but I could see nothing that suggested that foreign bees were trying to get in to the hive.
This photo doesn't do justice to the activity actually witnessed
All I could see were hundreds of bees dancing in the air in front of the hive. I wandered back inside and made a quick search on the Internet and discovered that I was most likely witnessing orientation flights. Once a worker bee hatches it initially remains in the hive and carries out "housekeeping" duties such as caring for the Queen, eggs and brood and tending the stores. Later in their short life they emerge from the hive and become foragers.
Foraging workers returning
What I was witnessing was these new foragers taking their first flight and learning the various cues that will allow them to return safely to the hive.
* Little Miss Sunshine: I am certain that I have had a minor rant about this brown nosed, talentless cow who seems to think that she is a couple of grades above her actual position in the organisation. I will re-state that she has neither the intellectual, nor the managerial skills to do her own job let alone the one she seems to think she should have.

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