Saturday, March 14, 2009

Pears in Bloom

Pear trees burst into bloom. In late winter, the pear trees are covered with bright blossoms. The honey bees are attracted to the fruit trees for pollen and nectar. As we zoom in for a close look, we see that many of the honey bees have a shiny abdomen. These bees have lost much of the fine hair covering their bodies. Aging bees, like aging beekeepers, start to lose their hair. These are bees that were born last September and October. Fall bees have a slightly different physiology from summer bees. Fall bees are equipped to live up to six months while their summertime sisters live but six weeks. These fall bees survived the winter in a warm cluster of bees inside the hive. Now their task is to bring in food to rear a large population of bees to take advantage of spring’s flower bounty.

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