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Sunday, December 5, 2010

The Wagtail Dance

My Brand
A jeweler friend of mine Mary and her blacksmith husband Nick me a brand for my hives.The last thing I do, before I coat the hive with a mixture of pure raw linseed oil and bees wax, is fire up the brazier, heat up the brand and make my mark. Its such a wonderful finish to the day and to the hive.

The brand depicts the infamous wagtail dance of the honey bee.This dance is the method in which the bees are able to communicate to each other the direction and distance of nectar.When a bee returns from sourcing nectar it performs this dance on the comb shaking its body as it runs around in a figure 8.When it completes the dance it either runs up the centre of the 8 to indicate that the nectar flow is towards the sun or down the comb to inform the bees to seek away from the sun and as the sun changes position throughout the day so does the axis of the dance.The faster the waggle the closer the nectar flow the slower the waggle the further the nectar flow.The dancing bee will stop at some point in the dance and feed nectar to the worker bees to indicate what type of nectar to search for.Hooly Dooly.

Bees and new comb

Old School.Photo from "La Cucina; The Regional Cooking of Italy" - Rizzoli

I love the way this beekeeper has used an old hollowed out log to house a colony of bees by adding a plastic busket to the inside to make it easy to remove honey comb with out destroying the hive.


  1. Hi Martin,

    Welcome to blogosphere. I like the blog. Keep it rolling.


  2. This is lovely! Thanks for spreading the bee gospel down under....and your hives are gorgeous.


  3. I love your blog - when will you post again? How are your girls? (bees)

  4. Your logo is fascinating! I never knew that about bees! Amazing!