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No, they don't get drunk but when they have a tummy full of nectar, they become quite docile. If you see one that looks wobbly it may just be dying or ill - an individual bee may not live very long, and some get diseases. All the male drones get pushed out of the hive to die off at the end of the season. I'm not sure if they actually sleep in the way we do.
Although they can go seven miles, they dont't normally go more than two or three miles from the hive - they'll go for whatever is nearest and most abundant in nectar. If they find any oil-seed rape, they will happily pig out on that and not look any further.
The popular plants with bees in our garden at the moment are various cotoneasters, sage, and the perennial geraniums (cranesbill-type). They bees are practically queuing up to get at the geraniums. The thing I really must get is a flowering shrub called abelia (there's a clue in the name) which bees really love.
My new bees were pretty docile when I checked them out last week. I need to go in again come to think of it to re-arrange the brood frames. But seeing honey was exciting after the rather poor show up until now. I thought this morning we had a wasps nest in the roof, but on closer inspection it seems some bumbles are living there. I seem to be seeing more bumbles in the garden than my honey bees, so I wonder if they scare them off! We have enormous lavender bushes here, and they are the bees favourite - I get quite worried when I have to peg out the washing above the lavender flowers.
Wow sandgroper, really wouldn't like to find that in my garden lol
BB2, why must you re-arrange the frames? Surely that disturbs them?
The brood box was not centralized, and there were two empty frames at one end with very old cells on them, so I shifted frame 1 to position 11, but have had it suggested to me (by my bee guru!) to cut out the old cell structure which is practically black, and replace them in positions 5 and 7 to allow the bees to draw them out again with fresh wax, to consolidate the stores in the brood box before they continue up into the super. As a general point though, one should not go into the hive unless one has a good reason, but at this time of the year a lot can be happening.
Has anyone noticed black bees? We seem to have some bucking in and out of the flowers. I understand that they were the 'original' native bee; one of the bee keepers in the area must have introduced them into his/ her hive.