Please support Friends of the Bees to keep this forum free to use.

Natural Beekeeping International Forum
low-cost, low-impact, balanced beekeeping for everyone

 Forum FAQFAQ   SearchSearch   MemberlistMemberlist   UsergroupsUsergroups   RegisterRegister 
 ProfileYour Profile   Log in to check your private messagesLog in to check your private messages   Log inLog in 

Please Read The Rules before posting.



(country selected automatically - UK/USA/CA/AU)
Odd Bee Behaviour

 
Post new topic   Reply to topic    beekeeping forum -> Environmental issues, GM, pesticides and campaigning
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
J Smith
Foraging Bee


Joined: 13 Jan 2014
Posts: 169
Location: New Zealand, South Island, Southland, Riversdale.

PostPosted: Sun Nov 02, 2014 1:29 am    Post subject: Odd Bee Behaviour Reply with quote

Not sure where to post this, could be environmental, could be wild bee, could go under lots of headings and please, mods, feel free to shift to where you see fit.

Yesterday I went trout fishing, nothing odd about that, I do so a lot in the NZ Spring/Summer. Whilst walking up a paddock (field for most of you) adjacent to the river to get to where I was going, I witnessed some bee behaviour I have never seen the like of.
In a small depression in the ground there was the well past its use by date dead calf. Well decayed, mostly bones and skin with some putrid semi liquid "stuff" and the odd maggot. There were hoof mark depressions in what was once mud around the remains and these had filled with "water" mixed with that semi fluid putrid stuff. Enough of the gore- I bet you all get the idea, bit sickly and very smelly, no place for honey bees right?
Wrong, there were around 30-50 honey bees landing both on the remains and the hoof puddles and looked to be "eating".
Now, also around the general area were some empty bags of a glucose remedy often given to ailing calves in cold weather if they "go down", blood sugar boost help get them up and back feeding off mum.

Now, is there a chance some of the "remedy" had not broken down and there was a sugar content to this mess? Or is there some other answer?
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Barbara
Site Admin


Joined: 27 Jul 2011
Posts: 1581
Location: England/Co.Durham/Ebchester

PostPosted: Sun Nov 02, 2014 12:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bees forage for lots more than pollen, nectar, water and resin and they forage in places that we would probably really rather they didn't.

Your account is probably the most unpleasant I have heard of so far but it doesn't exactly surprise me. My bees regularly visit my pile of urine soiled horse bedding, I've been told by someone who worked there that he often saw them on the filtration beds at the sewerage works and others have documented them visiting latrine run off and blood from gutted animals/fish.

I think they probably get minerals and/or microbes from such sites. I certainly don't think the sugar from the supplement would be available at that stage of decay.

Very interesting though and you have to wonder at the amazing instinct that nature gives creatures to seek out what they need.... sad that we have mostly lost it ...... although also relieved that I don't have an instinct to seek out and lick up the decomposing fluids from a dead calf! Shocked

Are they likely to be bees from your own hives and does it make you feel any differently about the honey they produce? Ignorance is such bliss!!!

Regards

Barbara
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message MSN Messenger
J Smith
Foraging Bee


Joined: 13 Jan 2014
Posts: 169
Location: New Zealand, South Island, Southland, Riversdale.

PostPosted: Sun Nov 02, 2014 7:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

No, not my bees and most likely (given the locality) a feral tree dwelling colony.
A heifer dairy calf is an expensive commodity in this neck of the woods, so it is likely the glucose was not the only thing poked down the throat of this sick beast. This in turn made me think there may be possibility the bees are self medicating if all of the injected drugs had not broken down fully.
Was disappointing the carcass was not picked up and disposed of properly- as it should have been by law, but had it been I may never have witnessed this behaviour.

Do I feel any different toward the honey they might produce? No. We no not where our bees have been during the course of the day, nor what they have been up to- given your other accounts, perhaps it is best not to! But then what ever they were after in that mire may never enter the honey side of things as a raw product and may be something like an enzyme they need in their own gut to function well- kind of pro biotic in a foul way.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Che Guebuddha
Golden Bee


Joined: 31 Jan 2012
Posts: 1549
Location: Hårlev, Stevns Kommune, Denmark

PostPosted: Mon Nov 03, 2014 8:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

When I fish for Pike and after cleaning it on my out table I have seen my bees feeding on the fish blood. I'm sure they are going for the mineral salts in the blood.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
NewForester
Nurse Bee


Joined: 23 Jul 2010
Posts: 26
Location: New Forest, Hampshire, UK

PostPosted: Mon Nov 03, 2014 3:02 pm    Post subject: Re: Odd Bee Behaviour Reply with quote

I am sure that I read somewhere that in times gone by, it was thought that bees were born out of dead cows. Perhaps that thinking was related to this kind of behavior.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
madasafish
Silver Bee


Joined: 29 Apr 2009
Posts: 880
Location: Stoke On Trent

PostPosted: Mon Nov 03, 2014 3:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You obviously don't know the story of the lion in the Book of Judges in the Bible.. and the well known image of Tate and Lyall..

The tin bears a picture of the rotting carcass of a lion with a swarm of bees, and the slogan "Out of the strong came forth sweetness". This is a reference to the Biblical story in chapter 14 of the Book of Judges in which Samson was travelling to the land of the Philistines in search of a wife. During the journey he killed a lion, and when he passed the same spot on his return he noticed that a swarm of bees had formed a comb of honey in the carcass. Samson later turned this into a riddle at a wedding: "Out of the eater came forth meat and out of the strong came forth sweetness".[4]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Golden_syrup
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
NewForester
Nurse Bee


Joined: 23 Jul 2010
Posts: 26
Location: New Forest, Hampshire, UK

PostPosted: Tue Nov 04, 2014 9:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

No, I am afraid that I didn't know the Bible story or the background to the Tate and Lyle image. Thank you.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    beekeeping forum -> Environmental issues, GM, pesticides and campaigning All times are GMT
Page 1 of 1

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum

SPECIAL OFFER FOR UK FORUM MEMBERS - Buy your protective clothing here and get a special 15% discount! (use the code BAREFOOTBEEKEEPER at checkout and be sure to 'update basket')



Are the big energy companies bleeding you dry?


Is way too much of your hard-earned family income going up in smoke?

Are you worried about what could happen if the ageing grid system fails?

You need to watch this short video NOW to find out how YOU can cut your energy bills TO THE BONE within 30 days!

WATCH THE VIDEO NOW



(country selected automatically - UK/USA/CA/AU)

Conserving wild bees

Research suggests that bumble bee boxes have a very low success rate in actually attracting bees into them. We find that if you create an environment where first of all you can attract mice inside, such as a pile of stones, a drystone wall, paving slabs with intentionally made cavities underneath, this will increase the success rate.

Most bumble bee species need a dry space about the size a football, with a narrow entrance tunnel approximately 2cm in diameter and 20 cm long. Most species nest underground along the base of a linear feature such as a hedge or wall. Sites need to be sheltered and out of direct sunlight.

There is a spectacular display of wild bee hotels here

More about bumblebees and solitary bees here

Information about the Tree Bumblebee (Bombus hypnorum)

Barefoot Beekeeper Podcast



Now available from Lulu.com


Now available from Lulu.com


Now available from Lulu.com


4th Edition paperback now available from Lulu.com

See beekeeping books for details and links to ebook versions.
site map
php. BB © 2001, 2005 php. BB Group

View topic - Odd Bee Behaviour - Natural Beekeeping Network Forum