Tuesday, November 15, 2011
We recently visited a wild hive of honeybees (Apis mellifera scutellata) nestled in a crack in lava cliffs just a ten minute walk from our house in Phoenix. Although we are warned that these bees are most likely “Africanized” and thus aggressive, I have never been chased or stung in the nine years that I’ve been observing this hive. Then again, I have never tried to steal their honey or poke the hive with a stick. These same bees are most likely the ones that are at work daily in the neighborhood, gathering nectar and pollen from our landscaping plants. Maybe they just recognize me as one of the friendly neighbors whose garden they come down to forage in every day!
Orion prefers to keep his distance from the bees. The dark cleft in the cliff is where the hive is hidden.