Bees On A Hot Afternoon

Today is our first truly hot day this summer. According to the trusty thermometer on my car, the temperature in the driveway is about 100 degrees, and downtown it's in the 90s, even with a little sea breeze. Any gardening that didn't get done before noon will have to wait until tomorrow morning, while some of the garden is still in shade.

The bees also are feeling the heat. Their house is uninsulated, and when it gets hot, they come outside to hang out on the front porch: 


That bar acts like a porch and awning at the same time. Just below its lower edge are the three holes that make the bees' doorways into the hive.

They aren't just hanging out, though. Every worker bee has a specific job, and a lot of these ladies are fanning their little fannies off to keep the hive cool and the humidity just right for honey:


You can see the blur of fanning wings on the bee at the center if you look closely. Lots of bees on that bar and around the entrance are fanning away – so much so that you can hear them from the chicken coop.  

Bees also get thirsty on hot days, so it's a good thing we got our water source set up for them well before they needed it. Here's what it looks like when a honeybee is belly-up to the bar:


We had this in place before it got hot, and I've read that bees stick to their favorite water source pretty loyally. Hopefully this means that they like this watering hole and don't go off in search of the neighbor's swimming pool, which is now up and running. 

If that were to happen, I don't think the kids would forgive us, no matter how much honey we try to bribe them with.

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