Sunday, 15 May 2011

Bee aware

With so many different species of flowers here in the fynbos, the busy bees have a hard task at hand making sure they all get pollinated. We are lucky in the Cape to have a special kind of honey bee – Apis mellifera capensis - a milder version of the aggressive African Honey Bee. Peak honey production time for these bees is winter – when most of the fynbos species are flowering. 

It is also when older queens up and leave their hives which have been taken over by young-upcoming queens. The other day we stumbled upon such a swarm – an incredible sight – a living ball of bees. The bees are all fairly docile as they are saving their energy to get to their new hive location. Where we are many hives are located in the cliffs and caves between quartzites and the ancient African landsurface (or oervlakte) 

Bees on bees - literally a stalactite of bees - all clustered around the queen

There are few, if any, deciduous species of fynbos. So when you see autumn colours like these you know you're looking at an exotic tree – in this case a pear tree.

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