In the last weeks I spent a lot of time to upgrade my system for recording infrared videos. I replaced the old 0.4MP camera with a 3MP camera with a wide-angle lens. The illumination is now via 9 infrared LEDs (previously one LED) and is now recorded at a frame rate of 60fps (previously 25fps).
A bee tries to free itself from a Varroa mite for minutes, with powerful and very fast shaking movements. Presumably she cannot distinguish the mite from disturbing pollen residues at all, I have often been able to observe this shaking movements. Often bypassing bees then take these shaking movements to help the troubled bee, just as here at the end of the video (social or mutual grooming). In this case, however, the mite has already been thrown off. In a shaking phase with a very high frequency it obviously can no longer hold. Maybe she’ll fall to the ground and be received by book scorpions 🙂
You can see the grooming several times a day in my video recordings. Sometimes “Grooming Bees” appear and work off one bee after the other. However, grooming is usually started without planning. Shaking and cleaning movements of a bee (that wants to free itself from pollen/parasites) are apparently the trigger. Under Videos I have already published both versions.
Replacing the infrared lamps in the beehive results in a more uniform illumination and thus sharper images. I want to present two new recordings right here:
Grooming: Here a bee is trying to free itself from something. Again and again she is supported by other bees.
In the following video you can see a bee grooming 4 bees in a row. Obviously, there are bees that have exactly this job. The behaviour is therefore apparently not only triggered by the perception of pollen remnants or parasites on other bees. Well, I guess there are real “Grooming bees”. More Videos here.
Viewing the infrared videos is a time-consuming process. Because there are always new exciting behaviors to discover, that I didn’t see before. In the following video you see two bees who transfer honey.
Bees sleep several times a day. Partially they go to empty cells for this reason. Their sleep lasts for a few minutes to a maximum of half an hour. In the following video a bee retreats into a cell for 5 minutes.
Current IR video out of the beehive shows meticulously mutual grooming of the bees. The groomed bee is waiting patiently and lifts the wings.
In this IR video a book scorpion checks up a bee on parasits. The book scorpion shows no fear and the bee does not resist!