Behavior of Mason bees right before a rainstorm

in The Pollen Flow2 months ago

We had a rainstorm come in during the peak of this solitary bee season. The little bees up till the rain started were still foraging for pollen, nectar and mud. But once the rain picked up they all flew back home to the boards I made for them. This video is about three hours long, so we can see pre-storm during and post storm how they react.

During the spring time in Georgia we get alot of downpours, so its something these bees need to work around as they are out and about from February through May. As one of storms is on the horizon I plan to set up my camera to watch them.

We start off before the storm has arrived, I can feel the humidity and pressure change but the bees seem not to mind until the rain starts falling. Even a light rain will not stop them from building their homes. But if a downpour shows up they will indeed stop while its going on.

In the upper middle frame a single bee is popping its head out to observe the state of the weather.

Kind of hard to see it, so heres a second capture. Same spot, the bee is just hanging around waiting for the weather to improve.

One of the bees return and hangs out by the outside of the home for a few moments before retreating into its home.

By the end of the storm the Mason bees emerge and get back to work, the day is only half way over so its time to get back to collecting pollen, nectar and mud for their larva and homes. These bees rarely take a break, but when its too cold, or too wet they will wait around until the weather becomes more fair.

Observing these bees and comparing them to a colony of bees they act quite differently. I checked on my bee hives on a cold windy day right before the night would dip into the 20s. All of the bees were taking cover in the hive many hours before the freezing weather arrived. So seems you can forecast weather by watching the behavior of honey bees it would seem. The solitary bees seem to react directly to bad weather, only stopping when it becomes too hard to forage. Unlike honey bees that take a day off when bad weather is on the way.

YouTube Video Link

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This is great - thank you!

I'm so grateful for your posts as bee keeping is a dream of mine 😍

Annabelle.