Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Honey, What's for Breakfast?

...



Yesterday and last night were rainy, and when I woke up this morning there were a number of dead bees on the landing board of the Gloriana hive. I'm hoping that these were bees that died of old age, that the "mortician bees" didn't carry away due to the bad weather.

I was pondering this when one of our neighborhood scrub jays flew in. He ate some peanuts from my hand, and then went to investigate the hive. The jays have figured out that the hive is a good food source. I'm not entirely thrilled about seeing the birds eat the bees, but I have to be realistic about the fact that there isn't "good" or "bad" predation. I've planted the garden with an emphasis on food sources for birds and butterflies. I'd be pretty hypocritical if I got upset whenever the jays ate a few bees.




The sound of toenails clicking in the trees. A flutter of blue wings. And suddenly, there are fewer dead bees littering the hive entrance.


10 comments:

Stefaneener said...

Your pictures are so impressive. We have the same thing going on here. Impressive.

Curbstone Valley Farm said...

Seems that scrub Jay decided to help out with a little house cleaning! I assume the Jays are only going after the dead bees?

. . . Lisa and Robb . . . said...

The jays have perfected the art of catching bees on the wing. Then they scrape the bees against a branch, presumably to remove the stinger.

greg said...

This weekend I saw a scrub jay go after a 6' long gopher snake, yes 6' long! The snake was running.

. . . Lisa and Robb . . . said...

Wow. That snake was running as fast as its legs would carry it, huh?

Jeri Landers said...

Oh, I think you are much more adventurous than I am....BEES! I do love em, but I am not yet ready for that.
Any way,it is funny you should ask about the noise made by the peacocks, they spoke today for the first time. One of them honks and the other one whistles.... in unison..... it is really weird.

Susie said...

You had a jay eat a peanut from your hand? Neat!

Carol said...

Your Jays are lovelier and nicer than our Blue Jays that act like terrorists in the garden and bird community. I hope your bees are OK. I lost my wild honey bees this spring ... not sure why... need a tall ladder to get up to where their hive was for many many years now. There is a sadness about the garden due to their absence. I miss them terribly. Only bumble bees about.

noel said...

aloha,

this is the first time visiting your site, i love my time here...i do miss the bay area at this time of the year and look forward to visiting in june...the bee's stories are great, who knew birds eat bees...i'm enjoying your stories and your adventures around the area, look forward to more visits :)

Heidi Rand said...

Very interesting! We have a new hive and no swarm yet, but this is great to know, and I love the pictures. We have a scrub jay couple who eat our peanuts, so I'll be very curious to see how they react to our bees. Thanks! Heidi (from alamedabeekeppers yahoo group)

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