Silicon Valley Nature Cam




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Happening Now:

Our bonded pair of barn owls have returned to their owl house for the 2018 season.


Watch them live here:

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Honey Bees

Honey bees have been getting a lot of attention lately. Honey bee numbers have been decreasing significantly for many years, which affects our ecosystem, and people are finally taking notice and investigating the causes. It turns out there isn't just one cause, but instead a plethora of pathogens, pests and decreasing habitat. Our world is not the friendliest place for bees to live at the moment! The good news is that people all over the world are uniting to help these wonderful and essential little creatures.


Swarming is essentially how bees reproduce. Thousands to tens-of-thousands of worker bees and a queen bee leave their existing hive to form a new colony. The original hive continues their work with a new queen and her worker bees. So as you can see, the one honey bee colony has now multiplied into two honey bee colonies.

If you are lucky enough to see the honey bees swarming mid-air or clumped together hanging on a branch, they may appear intimidating, but rest-assured that their intentions are harmless, as the swarm has just begun their journey to locate their new home. To prepare for their journey, they've consumed enough food (honey) to last them about four days. Full honey bees typically don't sting, and unless provoked or threatened, they will simply focus on locating their new nest site. So, if you see a swarm, it is important to keep your distance. Do not attempt to move or destroy the bees. The swarm may stay around for a couple of days while the scout bees locate their new home, but they will, eventually, be on their way. If the swarm is in an inconvenient location or appears to have taken up residence in an unwanted location, please contact your local bee removal company or your fire department typically has local contact numbers.

Below is a video of an arriving swarm. The video is taken in real-time, and it has not been sped up.