Ciao! This is Sofia Ligustica, an attendant bee from the Court of the Red Queen, long may she reign! I am the beat reporter for the Daily Buzz, the most popular hive periodical with a readership of over 5,000 (though to be clear I understand it was over 50,000 last summer). When I am not grooming and feeding my lovely Red Queen, I spend my time reporting on the activity of the hive.
Because of my glorious Italian roots, the winters are pretty hard on me and the hive. We get pretty plump over the winter, growing as much as 30%, but who can blame us? There’s little to do beyond eat and sleep as it’s too cold to go outside. We spend our time "shivering" our wing muscles to keep the hive at a constant 92 degrees F. That said, being Italian has many benefits. We’re more friendly, more clean and build the best combs (have Michelangelo to thank for that).
Speaking of food, our forager bees are starting to leave the hive when the tempeture is above 50 degrees F to see whether there is any delicious pollen and nector available. While these brave ladies have gone as far as two miles, we haven’t found anything substantial yet, but it’s not for lack of trying. I sure hope Spring comes soon since we’ve gotten down to only a couple frames to conserve heat. I must say it’s been tight quarters for me and my lady friends.
Meanwhile, the mortuary bees have been complaining of their long hours of work, carrying out the winter dead and helping to make the place clean for new bees (we lost almost 35,000 this winter). The Red Queen has started personally inspecting every single brood cell, and woe betide the poor worker bee that does not meet her high expectations.
Well, the Queen has let me and the other attendants know that her mind is soon to turn to replenishing the hive. I cannot say I understand the magical workings of our hive, but we are all about our Queen and keeping her alive. We are literally lost without her (we will not survive!) That said, duty calls; so I will leave you with wishes for a Happy Valentine’s Day.
Long live the Red Queen!