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Selwyn Times: September 26, 2017

32 Tuesday

32 Tuesday September 26 2017 Latest Christchurch news at www.star.kiwi SELWYN TIMES MASSIVE CLEARANCE SALE ASX XLS Diesel 4WD $31,990 SAVE $10,500 Lancer GSR Sedan $24,990 SAVE $8,500 *BL Model SALE MUST END 30 TH SEPTEMBER *Savings are based on RRP and includes On Road Costs. Outlander LS 2WD Triton GLX-R 2WD Manual $32,990 SAVE $8,500 $29,990 SAVE $15,500 cnr Montreal & St Asaph Streets, Christchurch www.christchurchmitsubishi.co.nz Sales, Service, Parts & Finance: 03 379 0588 *Conditions apply, offer ends October 31st 2017

SELWYN TIMES Latest Christchurch news at www.star.kiwi Tuesday September 26 2017 33 Editorial supplied by Gardening www.gardener.kiwi Bee on guard Rebecca Lees says you don’t have to be a beekeeper to witness the wonders of guard bees. SIT AND watch a hive from close by, and you’ll witness behaviours you may have never seen. The entrance to a bee colony is a hive of activity. There’s a lot going on, but you have to be quick to see it. Bees work at a rapid pace. The more you watch, the more fascinating their behaviour becomes. In very cold weather you may only glimpse a few heads poking out. Make a little noise, and more will appear. The curious little bees we see at the entrance are doing an important job. They’re guarding the hive. Watching the ins and outs of the place, and it’s up to them who’s granted access. Usually around two to three weeks old, these young worker bees take turns on patrol. At times when nectar flow is high and plenty of bees take to their air – guarding decreases. During cooler weather, when their population is low and nectar not flowing freely, the guards are out in force. They have to be, their hive is at risk. Any creature can enter a hive, as long as it fits through the entrance. Mice squeeze through with ease. Wasps have no problem. Even bumblebees, larger than life, will fit. It’s the guard’s job to make sure this doesn’t happen. But when it does – and it will – they’ll defend their family and, if need be, fight to the death. Guards will often stand with their forelegs raised and antennae forward. The bigger the entrance to the hive, the more bees on guard. They’re on high alert to carry out regular inspections of incoming bees. As a bee approaches a hive it flies in a particular way. Bees which belong to the hive they’re visiting have a more direct and consistent flying pattern. Foreign bees approach the hive differently. They’re checking things out. Searching for the entrance. Depending on the species, they’ll hover more or dart this way and that trying to find a way in. This flying pattern alerts the guards to take a closer look, and inspect the intruder. Each colony of bees has a unique odour, made of a mix of chemicals. Guards use this odour as a recognition mechanism. If the odour is foreign, as detected by the guard bee’s antennae, the intruder is chased away from the hive. The intruder may make a quick getaway and get off scot-free, but there are those who are really desperate to get in, and they’ll keep trying. This is when a battle takes place. A guard will fight with the intruder. If need be (and if the fight works in the bee’s favour), the intruder will be stung. That’s when the real alarm bells ring. On stinging the intruder the guard bee releases alarm pheromones. These pheromones are another concoction of chemical substances. They’re an important communication mechanism on which the colony depends for its survival. As the pheromone is released other worker bees pick up on the alarm signal. It gets their attention and changes their behaviour. They come out of the hive and join the battle. This form of SOS often works well. The more intruders stung, the more alarm pheromones released. And the bigger the army of bees Urban who fight. Section •More gardening, pages 34 & 35 Urban Section PROTECTIVE: Guard bees inspect incoming foragers. 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