Keeping bees is fun and good for the environment. With many chemicals on our planet now, the bees have taken a hammering. Bees pollinate 80% of our flowers so you know how important bees are to us. Today i went out to meet a bee keeper by the name of Daniel Sullivan who showed me around his hives and allowed me to capture a short film and soundscape for your enjoyment.
These sounds are from two DPA microphones that were placed at the entrance to the hives. You can hear the change in pitch as each bee arrives to deposit their pollen. Guard bees make sure that there are no impostors or other pillaging bees trying to steel the honey from the hive..
I used 5 different microphones. Outside the Hive i have an MKH 40/30 set-up to record the ambient around the hives and inside i dropped a DPA hydrophone and 2 DPA 4060 microphones between the slats.I will post the Hydrophone sounds here a little later…
THE HONEY BEE
Honey bees represent only a small fraction of the approximately 20,000 known species of bees. Some other types of related bees produce and store honey, but only members of the genus Apis are true honey bees.
THE LIFE CYCLE
As in a few other types of eusocial bees, a colony generally contains one queen bee, a fertile female; seasonally up to a few thousand drone bees or fertile males and a large seasonally variable population of sterile female worker bees. Details vary among the different species of honey bees, but common features include:
Eggs are laid singly in a cell in a wax honeycomb, produced and shaped by the worker bees. Using her spermatheca, the queen actually can choose to fertilise the egg she is laying, usually depending on what cell she is laying in. Drones develop from unfertilised eggs and are haploid, while females (Queens and worker bees) develop from fertilised eggs and are diploid. Larvae are initially fed with royal jelly produced by worker bees, later switching to honey and pollen. The exception is a larva fed solely on royal jelly, which will develop into a queen bee. The larva undergoes several moltings before spinning a cocoon within the cell, and pupating.
Young worker bees clean the hive and feed the larvae. When their royal jelly producing glands begin to atrophy, they begin building comb cells. They progress to other within-colony tasks as they become older, such as receiving nectar and pollen from foragers, and guarding the hive. Later still, a worker takes her first orientation flights and finally leaves the hive and typically spends the remainder of her life as a forager. (Information Wikipedia)
Recordings by Martyn Stewart
Recorder: SD 788
Microphones:DPA 4060 X 2
The following movie can be played at HD by choosing the HD option at the bottom right of the video.
Dan’s website can be found here.