Saturday, September 8, 2012

Hanging Chains

I have read with interest that the bees form chains inside the hive to help with comb building.  What I have read, in more than one publication, is that the bees, presumably using internal mathematical equations, design the size, location and alignment of each comb and with that information form these chains, positioning thier bodies to accomplish the task.

Here's an alternative theory:
 As a natural bee keeper, my bees have no frames nor foundation to follow and having observed my bees     ( through the viewing windows) for hours and on many occasions,  have found that the bees really just hang in every which way and build the comb not necessarily in the direction of the hanging chains.  If they did, the hive would have comb running in all directions.  So as I watched, I began to remember another social insect who does the same thing, the ant, and guess what?  they don't build comb.  They build bridges and many other intricate forms (using their bodies en mass) including the chains like that of the honey bee.  What for? For ease of transportation.  With this new thought I watched the bees, and behold, they came through the entrance and ran directly to the bottom of the chain and began crawling straight to the top to deposit their load, once having done so, either ran down the chain or just dropped to the bottom board and ran back out.  No grand design here, just a bee ladder and ingenuity enough to know that the shortest distance between 2 points is a straight line, a bee line I guess.  Later

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