In this week's blog post we learn from Chris a surprising skill that bees have... Predicting the weather!
It is an overcast, Autumn day here in the Bay of Islands and the weather has been frequently changing. While Chris is tending to his hives, checking on the queen and the health and happiness of the colony we notice a swarm of bees coming up the hill, weaving between the Manuka trees and returning to their hives - it has turned into a highway for bees. Chris pauses, looking up at the sky and exclaims It is going to start raining! Sure enough, moments later drizzles fall from the sky and we are amongst a rain shower. Chris laughs, The little critter doesn't lie! Bees can sense when bad weather, rain and wind, are coming. They seek shelter before it arrives so they aren't caught in it - they literally can't be out in high wind and rain so need to be safely inside before it arrives.
Other news articles have reported this same behaviour and suggested bees may be able to detect changes in atmospheric pressures. Another article also suggested they may even forage more before a storm hits so to stock up on food supplies. A study carried out at Jiangxi Agricultural University in Nanchang, China also looked at this behaviour of bees and found promising indicators that bees work harder before a rainy day.
We always knew bees were clever and hard-working, but this goes to show these busy bees are even more remarkable.
Thanks for tuning into A Sweet Experience. It is through these blog posts that we hope we can give you an insight into the life and experiences here in New Zealand. From hive, to shelf, to you.
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Take care and kia kaha,
The Aotea Team