Honeybees and Airplanes?!


Like the airplanes in the world’s busiest airports, the forager bees are flying in and out delivering to their hive airports mostly nectar and pollen and sometimes water and propolis. 

In the video, the foragers fly out with the speed of 15-20 mph and return with their heavy loads (carrying up to half of their own weight) with a reduced speed — less than 12 mph. In the video, the honey bees fly above the lilac tree and above the 60 ft high northern pines and maple trees.

 The honeybee foragers fly to the nearby meadows and join other pollinators. 

It’s mid-August, so here in Central Maine we have wildflower meadows with blooming Canada goldenrod and meadowsweet and thistle. 

The bees and many other pollinators love thistle. In the video: Here comes the butterfly! And here’s a hummingbird mimic – a clearwing hummingbird moth. During a single foraging flight, one honeybee keeps visiting only one type of flower and never switches. That’s why when planting for the bees, it’s good to group flowers together. This is the wild yellow primroses and white daisy fleabane; fleabane is the flower that got its name as there used to be a mistaken belief that it repels the fleas. And here’s a different kind of foraging within 300 yards of the apiary: my wife and I are foraging for blueberries and huckleberries right from the kayak along the shores of our forest lake. The place that’s good for the bees is also good for people!