A bee frenzy

I was under the impression that the bees were slowing down for winter. Forage has just about dried up, the queen has stopped laying and the male bees are soon to be booted out  the hive. But there has been a bit of a frenzy going on at my hives. 

At midday on Monday my heart sank as I looked at the Beehaaus. It's entrance was covered with bees, much like when they swarmed earlier this year. However, when I approached I saw the same was happening on the other side. Then I noticed the massive amounts of pollen coming in - bright yellow and orange. The ivy is out, and there is loads in the neighbourhood, so the bees must be making the most of the last of the year's forage. 

Here are some photos I took over the past three days. 

Look at that entrance! No wonder I thought they were trying to swarm.
A closer look.
The other side was the same - lots of frantic flying in and out.
Look at those bright yellow pollen sacs. Is that ivy?
The next day I removed the reduced 'wasp' entrance so that the bees can more easily get in and out
A couple of bees nosing around the entrance, which I placed on the floor outside the hive 
I love this photo. An inquisitive bee.
I brought out the hive floor and noticed this bee with dark grey, almost black pollen sacs. What plant does that come from I wonder?
The 'tree bee' hive was in a frenzy too but I decided not to remove their entrance block as there is quite a few wasps around.
Here is just such a wasp, which was eating a decapitated bee. I have to admit that I whacked it with a rolled up magazine shortly after I took this photo.
There is loads of ivy on the back fence and I managed to catch a bee coming in to land.
It seems that it's not just the bees that like the ivy.
Then walking towards the house I noticed a mummified bee in a spider's web. You can't really tell from this photo but it really wasn't pretty. Poor bee :(


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