I love coffee. And these fine September mornings make me want to drink it outside in a flannel shirt. So I took a big thermos for myself and some sugar water for my bees and went out to the apiary to see what they were up to.
Bees who sleep in are often cranky and less productive, so I set my hives facing east. The sunshine on their entrance wakes them up. My bees were working hard and in good spirits by 8:30, which I think is a notable achievement. I watched them return to the hives, laden with goldenrod pollen, water, and nectar.
I watched for the waggle dance, which is a routine of figure eights and other movements in which one bee communicates to the others how to find food. The pace and choreography of the dance spell out directions. Bees might be the only nonhuman animals to communicate through symbols.