A few days ago the boys were outside playing when I noticed the sound of rocks hitting the side of the apartment building. I knew they were up to something they probably needed to stop doing, so I stepped outside and sure enough they were throwing rocks at the wall, trying to take down a little bee hive that was hanging near our door. This is a favorite summer pastime of my boys. It seems they like to tempt fate. This was an active hive (their favorite kind, of course), so I told them to cut it out and that they would probably get stung and dad will take care of it later. Oh these boys!! Not a minute later I heard one more clank of a rock (isn’t it wonderful how they comply with my instructions immediately? sigh…) and I saw them all running and ducking. The hive came down and the bees scattered, too. Usually when this happens a few bees stick around for a while, confused I suppose. The coast was clear and the boys came back (the girls quickly got in the action once they knew the bees were gone) and we ended up studying this little hive.
We noticed a bee larva on the ground that had fallen from the hive. It was small and squishy and wiggly. We decided to search online for info about the life cycle of bees.
Looking closely, we discovered that there were all stages of life in our hive! We saw eggs, larva, and pupa nearly ready to hatch. If you look really closely in the next photo you can see a large, almost ready to hatch adult pupa peeking out of a cell.
There were more pupa still enclosed, and we could see them wiggling around. It was pretty cool and slightly creepy at the same time. We put our hive into a container hoping that we could witness them hatch. They did, in fact, hatch within a few hours but we were not home to see it. By the time I had a minute to grab my camera and document our new little residents, they had already met their untimely end. Someone had left the container outside and the heat promptly killed them.
Although I won’t be giving the boys a green light on throwing rocks at hives, everything worked out alright this time. For us, I guess. Not so much for the bees.