I have had so much fun this week watching the baby barn swallows.
They have grown so big that they no longer all fit in the nest.
Mama and Papa Swallow spend their entire day flying in and out
bringing food to their hungry brood.
I seriously don't know how they keep up the pace!
All. Day. Long.
Back and forth they fly...
outside to catch flying insects and then back into the barn to give their catch
to little Manny, Moe, Jack....
With both parents working simultaneously, how do they remember who's turn it is for the food?
Do the babies take turns, or is it each bird for himself?
So many questions.....
These little helicopter birds are very territorial,
spending most of the day trying to keep everyone else away from the food.
We keep our feeders filled with 1:4 part sugar:water mixture.
(Store-bought hummingbird nectar has red dye additives that are not necessary or healthy.)
For the past two summers we have only had one active beehive.
This hive is quite productive this summer
and should give us a good honey harvest.
The outside of the beehive is a great indicator of the temperature.
The warmer it gets, the more bees cling to the outside of the hive.
There is always a flurry of activity at the hive,
with bees laden with pollen and nectar arriving,
as other bees take off in search of the same.
Several bees will be doing an intricate dance designed to direct their sisters to nectar sources.
Did you know that it is just the female bees who make honey?
The bulk of the bees in the hive are female, as they do every bit of necessary work.
The males have only one purpose...
to mate with the queen.
(And this mating is done once in a queen's lifetime...
during her one and only flight away from the hive!)
Then back to the hive she goes and spends the rest of her life laying eggs.
Bees are quite fascinating...