I have to admit that it has been hot and dry here for the last few weeks. The days are especially humid and it only takes seconds to break a sweat once you leave the comfort of your air conditioned house or car.
Thing is, the nights are much better. They're a lot less humid and much cooler with the temperatures in the upper 60s, the kind of weather made for sitting on the front porch and reflecting on life.
I can easily see my bee hive from the kitchen window, and the amber colored mercury vapor security light I have in my yard really lights the entire area at night. So tonight, about 11 o'clock, I go to get a drink of water at the sink and noticed something while peering out of the window. I could see some sort of dark blob on the front of the hive, to the right side of the entrance, but couldn't make out what it was. We've had several bears spotted in the Triad area recently, but I knew it wasn't that unless it was mighty small. And I went outside a few nights ago and could smell a skunk that must have been hit by a car or startled in some way...it was really smelling up the entire area. Based on what I've read, I know skunks are fond of honey and brood, so I sprank into action with my flashlight to see what was going on.
I have to admit that I was pleasantly surprised. When I got there with the flashlight, I would see that there was absolutely nothing going on...well...except my girls were relaxing in the cool night air. I've read in several books and online that on some hot nights, you'll see the honeybees "beard" or cover the entrance to get cool air, and that's what was apparently happening in this case. They were not excited or moving...they were just motionless and obviously enjoying the late July evening air. I guess after a hard day of foraging and tending to the house and looking after those bee babies, these ladies needed a night off. And that's just what they were doing...taking the night off. Who could blame them?
I have a two-week inspection set up for this weekend so maybe they'll be as docile then as they were tonight. I can hope anyway.