Last night I could not sleep so about 4 am I decided I might switch on the computer and test the suggestion that the chipped bees at Floriade, whose data appears on the NSPYRE website, might not be flying far at night – perhaps just doing a little housekeeping or going on cleaning flights.
All went well at first. After almost an hour I started to see some data for those who had been captured when they went out as they returned. they had been out for about 35 minutes – a little shorter than the 40 minutes which seemed typical for many journeys during the day. At 4.36 (UK time) which is 5.36 in the Netherlands, this flow of data seemed to pause – rain, I thought. Confirmed by some weather information near to Venlo.
I decided to wait until some of the bees came home – imagining them sheltering somewhere as some had left the hive only minutes before. The torrential June rain outside made me think it could be similar weather in Northern Europe. I was becoming somewhat exhausted, wondering why I had been mad enough to leave my bed in the first place. After an hour of no new data I decided to wait just 10 minutes more. At least, I thought tomorrow I could check to see those who had left reappeared at some stage.
Sadly, after oversleeping, I found that the logging system was still showing the same information. I might as well have had at least an hour’s more sleep. Oh well, the life of a beekeeper is unpredictable. I spent about 7 hours chasing a swarm yesterday and so another hour here or there is hardly a great matter.