Sunday, May 21, 2006

Chewing Through

honeybee chew marksToday was newspaper removal day, time to take a chance on letting Queen Abigail mix freely with her new foster daughters.

Here's a very reassuring picture: the worker bees had already chewed through to mommy. If you look at the picture, you can see how the slit in the paper looked when I placed it in the hive, and above you can see how the worker girls (in a space between frames) got to work on chewing the paper to make a passage.

Bees' mouths don't have any sharp or bite-like parts. Therefore, it's really dumb to talk about getting bitten by a bee. They do, however, have everything necessary for grabbing an edge and chewing. They need to do the latter all the time in order to shape wax flakes into lovely geometric comb.

The workers had made several holes like this, but this one included some of the original cut, so you could see the extent of their work. I particularly like the little yellow stains around the edges, yellow like pollen, liquid like nectar. Basically, bee spit. Bet it's a lot nicer than ours.

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