Friday, September 9, 2011

Day #332 Hatch-Out

Look what happens when a whole slew of baby bees all hatch out on the same day:

On Tuesday I happened to look out the bay window and was, quite frankly terrified, thinking that something awful had happened to my bees. There were thousands of them boiling out of the entrance holes and circling the hives – both hives.

I called my mentor, Tommy Bailey, in a panic, but he calmly informed me that since I’d started giving them sugar water three or so weeks ago, the first eggs were all hatching right about now. Remember? the bees were starving and the queens weren't laying any eggs -- until I started feeding them.

I blogged about feeding them sugar water on Day #311 (Friday, August 19th). The queen probably started laying a few eggs at that time, but she really went into production five days later on August 24th. How do I know that? Well, as I explained in blog # 209, there’s a 3-6-12 rule in beekeeping.


·         The brand new egg stays an egg for 3 days.

·         Then it hatches into a larva and stays like that, growing constantly, for 6 days.

·         Next the nurse bees pack that larval cell with lots of food and cap it over. The larva is now considered a pupa. It stays a pupa for 12 days.

As soon as a baby bee emerges from her cell, she lets her wings dry a bit, turns around and cleans out the cell she just came out of, and then heads for the front door to take a GPS flight, better known as an orienting flight. That happens 21 days after the egg was laid.

VoilĂ ! 21 days after that first major egg-laying, I saw the


That’s when each little bee sets its internal GPS system so it will always recognize home. It only lasted about 15 minutes, and then it was over and everybody settled down to normal. I wonder if there will be another one tomorrow for the eggs she laid just a couple of days later?

Hatch-outs occur pretty much every day during the summer, especially when there’s been a strong honey-flow, but because so many foragers were coming and going from the hive, it never looked like anything special. Little did I know. It took a drought to teach me a bee-lesson. 

Isn’t this amazing?

BEEattitude for Day # 332:
       Blessed are those who recognize the small miracles of life, for they shall live in wonder.

Green as a Garden Hose, the 3rd Biscuit McKee Mystery,
is now available in mass market paperback
from World Wide Mystery, a division of Harlequin.
(Go to and search for Fran Stewart)

Get Your Dog in My Next Book!
From now through the end of September, anyone who donates $10 to WAG, also known as the Walton Animal Guild, will be automatically entered in a drawing.
If you win, your dog will be in my next Biscuit McKee mystery!
The donate button is right on their home page
Every $10 donation is automatically entered in the drawing
See Blog #324 for the details.

 Please forward this blog post to your friends!


AggiePete said...

That is so neat! God love them - nature is so amazing! Each little fuzzie is so precious - thank you for making my morning so happy already!!!

Fran Stewart said...

Yes, they are precious. Today everybody's back in the hive, but I'm going to keep a lookout each afternoon, just in case there's another one.

The Cat Bastet said...

It really IS amazing! I hope you have many more happy, healthy baby bees!

Cathy AJ