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Musical Bees!

Did you know that bees make music?  Perfect pitch, rhythm, and everything.  It’s true, and simply fascinating!

One way they do specifically is called “piping”.  Piping describes a noise made by virgin and mated queen bees during certain times of the virgin queens’ development. Fully developed virgin queens communicate through vibratory signals: “quacking” from virgin queens in their queen cells and “tooting” from queens free in the colony, collectively known as piping. A virgin queen may frequently pipe before she emerges from her cell and for a brief time afterwards. Mated queens may briefly pipe after being released in a hive.

Piping is most common when there is more than one queen in a hive. It is postulated that the piping is a form of battle cry announcing to competing queens and the workers their willingness to fight. It may also be a signal to the worker bees which queen is the most worthwhile to support.

The piping sound is a G (aka A). The adult queen pipes for a two-second pulse followed by a series of quarter-second toots. The queens of Africanized bees produce more vigorous and frequent bouts of piping.  Pretty amazing isn’t it?

In another segment I’ll write about how and why bumblebees often produce a perfect “Middle C” note and what it’s used for.

Click here for a video of what this sounds like when a queen bee is piping!

Flower Power!

flagstaff-mountain-flowers
If you haven’t gotten out and about into the local Flagstaff countryside, what are you waiting for? The wildflowers here in Northern Arizona are in full bloom everywhere you go. And you know what that means? LOTS of bee activity! We have been getting lots of requests for bee swarm removal, which means our bee buddies are growing and splitting and creating new colonies. Good for the local flowering plants, fruits, and vegetables!

I recently went out to a local community garden in Parks where we have one of our hives nearby. They requested one for pollinating their garden. Without adequate bee pollination, they have been hand-pollinating with q-tips! We freely placed a rescued hive out there and the ladies are doing great! So great in fact that I had to add a third deep hive box on top of the two brood boxes, dedicated to filling with honey and beeswax. That means we will soon have local honey collected from the Parks area to sell there at the community garden on Saturday! If you’re out in that area stop by and see all they grow there, and pick up some locally-made organic wildflower honey! Many people swear by it for helping their seasonal allergies.

If you have a bee swarm here in Flagstaff, Parks, or anywhere within the area let us know and we’ll come rescue them and put them to good use!

We will be closed December 20th-26th for the holiday season. Merry Christmas! Dismiss