Welcome to the Bee Cam Livestream

Welcome to our Bee Cam Livestream!

On November 5, 2023 we opened up the hive as we were sure it had left. Sure enough the bees had decided to leave due to queen failure. It happened some 4 months prior to our opening the hive. We have made the decision to not put a new hive on the webcam until the spring. If we placed one there now with winter approaching the bees could get confused when they left for elimination flights on warm winter days. We placed a mouse guard on the hive and it is still worthwhile to watch what happens to a hive when the bees leave. Today we see wasps and ants looking to take what is left of the honey. It hurts us to watch this but it truly is nature at work.

Watch as long as you like! We kindly ask that you turn off the livestream when not watching it, to conserve bandwidth. Thank you!

Web Cam Reporting Ideas

When watching the webcam, you will notice different bee behaviors or hear different bee “buzzing” levels. Here are some ideas on what to observe and note in your comments. You can send as many as you want, once a day, once a week, whatever works for you. We value your observations and analysis. The items below are just some possible ideas, there are no rules. We take all of your observation records and analyze them. We then use that information as data for our research and work to help the bees.

Spring –Summer- Fall Observations to Record and Send

  1. When you watch the bees, what do you see? Describe even the most minor detail. Everything could matter. How busy is the entrance? Do they have a landing and takeoff area, or is it disorganized?
  2. How would you describe their mood? Are they slowly walking around the entrance, or are they rapidly getting to work?
  3. What color is the pollen on their legs? What does that tell you about what flowers they may be visiting?
  4. Are there any other insects at the entrance or on the board? For example, are the bees fighting with other bees? If so, what could this mean?
  5. When you see a cluster of bees on the outside, this could mean a swarm, robbing behavior or the bees could be leaving. It could also mean it’s too hot inside for all of the bees to stay calm.
  6. Do you see drones on the landing board? What could they be doing?
  7. When do they start or finish their day? Is there activity at night? If so, what do you think they are doing?
  8. Do you observe bees fanning their wings on different parts of the entrance? What could this mean?
  9. When there is a full moon, do bees go out at night to find food?
  10. Do you see wasps at the entrance? Please describe the type and what you see them doing.
  11. Certain bees may be at the entrance but not looking very healthy. Make sure you describe what you see and think could be going on.

Winter Observations

While you won’t see a lot of activity in the winter as the bees are clustering, when the temperature hits 9-10 C, they will often go out for a bathroom break. Keep track of the weather forecast here in Blenheim, Ontario, and have a look during those days. Also, check periodically to ensure the entrance isn’t covered with snow so that the bees can quickly enter and leave. Finally, note and report any activity you see at the entrance during the winter.

We are launching a hive with primarily Buckfast genetics with some Carniolian mix of species. This hive survived the killer winter of 2021-22. We are lucky to have them.

Thank you for observing, writing, and adding to our database. The bees, thank you. Hank

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