We were treated to beautiful, warm, sunny skies today. Wonderful day to be outside. I filled the bird and suet feeders in the morning, and a few hours later went out to hang a load of wash. I expected the chickadees to fly close by as they usually do. Not only did they not fly near me, i heard no bird chirping at all.
I looked at the bird feeder and saw it teeming with honey bees. They were picking out the bits of cracked corn, and i wondered at first if they thought it was pollen. There were also a number of them on the ground buzzing around the seed i throw on the ground for the ground feeders.
The feeder is nothing special, it looks like a little wooden rectangular house with clear plastic on the larger sides. I then wondered if these bees were looking for somewhere to make a nest and thought this a great location once they got the seed cleared out.
The only bee keeper listed in the phone book has a disconnected phone number. I talked to a local merchant to see if she sold local honey. She didn't, and i checked at another shop and found two local bee keepers; one had his phone number on the jar, the other only an address.
I came home, called the first and got no answer, so looked up the other's number and called. Success! He patiently explained that they were looking for pollen. Once they went through the seed and realised there wasn't any to be had, they'd move on.
I thanked him for answering my question, because i wanted to do the right thing, only i didn't know what that was.
Sure enough, once the seed was emptied from the feeder, most of the bees flew away. It wasn't a huge swarm, but there were 35 or so.
The raccoons have been eating the seeds on the ground at night, so they'll be glad to see the extra that are there that the bees scattered for them.