Dwarf Honey Bee: 3. Bees have absconded

posted in: Bees and wasps | 2

Dwarf Honey Bee: 1. Colony; 2. What happens when it rains?”.

Single comb viewed from below.

Less than a week after the colony of Dwarf Honey Bee (Apis andreniformis) colony was detected on a branch of the Golden Penda (Xanthostemon chrysanthus) tree LINK, the bees suddenly disappeared in the morning, leaving the single honeycomb exposed (above, below).

Single comb viewed from the side.

The curtains of bees hanging from the top of the honeycomb, totally covering it, were gone. Only the main light brownish portion and the white upper and lower portions of the comb were left (above, below). There were a few bees left crawling around the honeycomb.

These bees usually abandon the nest when threatened by predators or because of scarcity of food. No Oriental Honey-buzzard (Pernis ptilorhyncus) was sighted, after all the honeycomb was intact. It was possible that food scarcity was the reason. The flowering of the Yellow Penda trees was, after all, on the decline. Furthermore, it had been raining for a few days that may have prevented the bees from foraging LINK.

Newly emerged Dwarf Honey Bee from cell.

For the next few days the bees did not return, leaving the honeycomb unprotected. Obviously, the swarm was building another colony elsewhere.

Newly emerged Dwarf Honey Bee. Scale in mm.

YC Wee
8th October 2018

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