Here is some video of bees bearding. This is often confused with a “swarm”. The bees are trying to stay cool outside the hive. This is a new nuc that I have not moved to my box because I wanted them to get very strong.
Recently, I saw a video on the science behind buzzing from the New York Times on the matter and that I found it informative. I think the science behind bee behavior is interesting. I happened to take some new photos of bumble bees s at Park Heights garden the other day.
I thought that this post would be a good way to distinguish the two. Bumble or Mason Bees (pictured above) do not make honey but are very helpful pollinators. The Bumble bee lives in smaller numbers and they also do not produce wax and other by products. They are much larger and they are pretty harmless. Like most bees, if you don’t bother them, they won’t bother you.
Interesting Fact: “When bumblebees vibrate flowers to release pollen, the corresponding buzz is quite loud. Honeybees (genus Apis) are incapable of buzz-pollination and are usually quiet when foraging on flowers. As an aside, some flowers are adapted to pollination by pollinators capable of “buzz-pollination.” Tomatoes, green peppers and blueberries all have tubular anthers with the pollen inside the tube. When the bee vibrates the flower, the pollen falls out of the tubular anther onto the bee. Consequently, bumblebees pollinate these crops much more efficiently than honeybees do.” [Source Scientific American: Why do bees buzz?]
So be kind to the humble bumble bee! They are effective pollinators.