Tuesday, November 3, 2009
Pheromones Protect the Bee Hive
Click on today’s photo to see guard worker bees posed on the inner cover of a bee hive with their abdomens in the air and their stings exposed. With the sting exposed, the bees fan air across a small drip of alarm pheromone. Other bees in the hive detect the pheromone odor and immediately prepare to defend the hive. When the beekeeper sees the guard bees with their stings exposed, he or she should be aware that the colony is unsettled and defensive. Usually, the bees can be calmed with a little smoke, which interferes with the detection of the alarm pheromone. At other times it is advisable to close the hive and wait till another day to open the bee hive.