Morton Arboretum - Honey Bees

September 10, 2011

Honey Bees at Home - the Bee Hives

The Morton Arboretum had a “bee weekend” on September 10 and 11. Events included lectures in the field about beekeeping and a class on bee photography. I took the photography class. Below are a few of the pictures that I took plus narratives on some of the things that I learned.

Bees have a hierarchical society. The “worker” bees are female. They collect pollen and nectar, as well as tend to the young bees. Thus, when I refer to “she” in the narratives below, I really mean female bee.

Arboretum The beekeeper prepared the smoker. Smoke is used to calm - or perhaps to distract - the bees.
Arboretum The beekeeper smoked the hive. These three hives are part of a group of about 20 hives in this particular field. The Arboretum also has other groups of hives in other fields.
Arboretum The beekeeper removed a frame with honeycomb and bees from the beehive. The bees continued their activities as if the frame was still inside the hive.
Arboretum The entrance to the hive is at the bottom. The bees were bunched up trying to enter the hive.

Honey Bees - Foraging for Nectar and Pollen

After the demonstration at the hives, we photographers adjourned to the prarie to search for and photograph bees in the wild.

Arboretum Bees go from flower to flower, collecting nectar and pollen. I like the way she was sticking her nose into the flower - it looks like she is drilling for oil.
Arboretum She shared the Goldenrod with a Bumble Bee.
Arboretum Notice the sack on her rear leg - she has pockets on each rear leg - somewhat like cargo pants - where she stored pollen.
Arboretum Actually, all sorts of critters were there.