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Kris^
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« on: October 03, 2004, 05:36:18 AM »

Hey, it's me with drama again . . . my bees won't go back into their box.

After "winterizing" my colony Friday afternoon, all was fine with the hive, and they all went inside that evening.  But after a very active Saturday, where the temps didn't raise much beyond the mid-70s and it rained off and on all day, they seemed to be bearding a LOT outside in the evening.  Actually, it was more of a clump right outside the entrance.  I checked at 5 am this morning -- 56 degrees, light breeze, and I saw the same.  They were still clumped up outside the entrance.  Here is a picture:



The bees are alive; they aren't just a clumped-up pile of cold, dead bees.   Many of them were wiggling and vibrating last evening, and as I shine a flashlight on them this morning, they start rustling around.  Can menthol treatment cause bees to stay out of their box?  The menthol and Apistan strips are the only thing I actually put into the hive.  I know that the number of bees hanging outside the box is but a small fraction of the total colony size.  But I don't believe that removing the honey super crowded them so much that they don't have anywhere to go, either.  Besides, they all fit in Friday night.

Does anyone have any ideas?

-- Kris
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Kris^
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« Reply #1 on: October 03, 2004, 05:53:16 AM »

Incidentally, I also changed out their empty syrup bottle this morning, and there were scores of bees jammed into the entrance feeder device, overflowing out when I pulled it.  They're still chugging away, very active doing a third shift.

Takin' care of bee-zness,
It's all right!
Takin' care of bee-zness,
And working through the night.
All night!

(It really is early out here on the east coast . . .)

-- Kris
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Robo
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« Reply #2 on: October 03, 2004, 08:33:54 AM »

It's the menthol, they hate it.   They'll eventually go back in.
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BigRog
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« Reply #3 on: October 03, 2004, 10:12:47 AM »

The guy I bought my menthol from said to use half the bag, because of this prob. Thats what they do around here and for that very reason. The menthol burns their eyes using less keeps it tolerable for them and still potects from the trachcial mites
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"Lurch my good man,…what did you mean when you said just now that 'You've got better things to do than run my petty little errands'…….?"
Kris^
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« Reply #4 on: October 03, 2004, 01:29:51 PM »

That's a relief -- thanks for the info.  I've watched the discussions here about late-season swarms and was concerned.  I know that menthol is strong.  When it was delivered, the postman set it outside on our front stoop and it warmed in the sun until I got home.  Even though it was in a sealed plastic bag, when I opened the cardboard box, the scent about knocked me over, and surely dried my sinuses out for the evening!

-- Kris
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Finman
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« Reply #5 on: October 03, 2004, 03:50:17 PM »

Quote from: Kris^
Hey, it's me with drama again . . . my bees won't go back into their box.

After "winterizing" my colony Friday afternoon, all was fine with the hive, and they all went inside that evening.  But after a very active Saturday, where the temps didn't raise much beyond the mid-70s and it rained off and on all day, they seemed to be bearding a LOT outside in the evening.  


If they do so, they have too tight or they have too much humidity in the hive. I suppose, hive is too tight.
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leominsterbeeman
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« Reply #6 on: October 03, 2004, 05:50:08 PM »

Kris.  

Robo is right -  it's the menthol.

It doesn't look like you have an entrace reducer.


I would take out the menthol.

The bees will go back inside

Put on the entrace reducer.

Put the emnthol back in.

The entrance reducer, helps keep the menthol in the hive, the bees don't like it, but eventually get use to it.


MPK
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Kris^
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« Reply #7 on: October 03, 2004, 06:20:07 PM »

I will say, the bees have become VERY active.  They act like it's the middle of summer, seeing them coming and going.  Plus, they've been drinking from the bird bath by the dozens, like they never have before.  They've also become pretty defensive, too, unusually so, and they've been dragging lots of drones, dead bees and pupae out of the hive.  It's like they were lethargic for the past month and then came back to life.  There's just so much going on around the hive that I don't know what is significant and what is not.  But I'll take the steps that you all have suggested, and see if that changes things.

-- Kris
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« Reply #8 on: October 03, 2004, 09:05:10 PM »

Of course, tonight, all the girls tucked themselves snugly -- and properly -- into their hive.  Go figure.

-- Kris
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Finman
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« Reply #9 on: October 04, 2004, 01:56:48 AM »

Quote from: Kris^
...... they've been dragging lots of drones, dead bees and pupae out of the hive. ..........
-- Kris


Do you have had cold nights? Cold starts drone killing.
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Anonymous
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« Reply #10 on: October 04, 2004, 06:31:40 AM »

Quote from: Finman
Do you have had cold nights? Cold starts drone killing.


Absolutely . . . some overnight lows in the lower 40s(F) recently.  But daytime temperatures remain in the 70s.  I did not know what riggered the "clearing out" activity, though.

-- Kris
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