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Author Topic: Little excitement today! (Picture intensive, but please view)  (Read 2513 times)
reinbeau
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« on: April 22, 2008, 08:10:53 PM »

We don't know if these came out of the hive or came to the hive.  These three packages were installed on 4/13.  All were placed on drawn comb, with the feeder full of syrup, yadda, yadda, yadda.  Today Greg was out building the chicken coop, which is right near the hives, when he suddenly realized there were way too many bees swarming around Hive #1.  At first he thought they were getting robbed, but when he was able to get close to them, he realized they were engourged, and weren't robbing or aggressive, but almost looked like they were swarming.  The sound was incredibly loud:



We don't know if these bees came from the hive (maybe the queen wandered out for some reason) or if there was another swarm that settled there  huh  He took a movie of it, you can hear it, I don't know if the link will stream the video or if you have to download it, but here it is  Any thoughts on the situation would be greatly appreciated!

He did call a fellow beek who said he was stumped, but suggested that Greg take the reducer off, in case they were just too crowded.  When he did that, he saw bees flying out and fighting at the entrance.



He added another super (also suggested by said fellow beek) and closed the hive up.  After a couple hours they settled down to a dull roar:



But there was a noticeable difference between that hive and the other two that were installed on the same date.  Much more action than the other two.  Greg thinks more bees moved into the hive somehow, but isn't sure.

When I came home at 3:30, this is what I found:



A close up of the upper cluster was very interesting, they were all lined up in rows, I've never seen anything like it!



The lower cluster was a little drupe, a hanging ball. 



Within the hour all were settled back into the hive, but very noisy.

We're still puzzling over what may have happened, but it was fun watching.

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- Ann, A Gardening Beek -  ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ

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Gerald in Ga
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« Reply #1 on: April 22, 2008, 08:32:39 PM »

Howdy Reinbeau,
   I've had the same thing happen a week ago. Mine only had about half as many bees as yours  bearding. They were lined up just like yours at the same place on the box. I also had some clustered on the ground in front of the hive. About 20 or so. I checked for the queen but did not see one. I hope someone will shed some light on this subject if possible.
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JP
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« Reply #2 on: April 22, 2008, 10:49:33 PM »

My gut tells me they are about to swarm. I would go in and check them and possibly make a split or two if that is indeed what is going on.

Oh, and I didn't see a video, but I heard the bees roar. Sounds like swarm to me.


...JP
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« Reply #3 on: April 22, 2008, 11:11:43 PM »

Hey Anne!
 I dont have anything to tell you of any importance to this situation. I can say that this was a GREAT report and awesome pics. You got so much across with so few words! I'm also curious to know what was going on!..Cant wait till theres more replies on this for you!

your friend,
john
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tillie
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« Reply #4 on: April 22, 2008, 11:35:49 PM »

The video was something else!  I loved listening to them, but if they were my bees, I'd be panicked!

Good luck,

Linda T in Atlanta
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reinbeau
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« Reply #5 on: April 23, 2008, 06:12:03 AM »

A package that's been installed for less than ten days could swarm?  huh 

There are way more bees in that box now than there were.  Is it possible a swarm took up residence in that hive?  That's what seems to have happened - I'll post updates as things progress.
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #6 on: April 23, 2008, 06:22:25 AM »

Could be a swarm.  Could be a queen going on a mating flight...
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JP
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« Reply #7 on: April 23, 2008, 08:27:23 AM »

A package that's been installed for less than ten days could swarm?  huh 

There are way more bees in that box now than there were.  Is it possible a swarm took up residence in that hive?  That's what seems to have happened - I'll post updates as things progress.

Ann, sorry, I didn't pay attention to your post when I responded, it was late when I read it. So this is a package install from 10 days ago? Wow!!!

It would amost appear a usurpation, do Europeans do that Michael?

Haven't seen a mating flight that I'm aware of, how does it differ from a swarm? I would assume coming and going of some type, correct?


...JP
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Cindi
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« Reply #8 on: April 23, 2008, 09:16:09 AM »

Ann, I tried to download the movie, Firefox said it downloaded, but I can't find it, eeks!!!  It is somewhere on my computer.  Nice pictures, by the way.

I think that what you are seeing is bearding, especially when I see by the picture last, that the hive had pretty much calmed down.  Too many bees for that box to be comfortable, good that Greg put on another box.  I don't think that it was a swarm, nor a swarm coming to that box.

When the queen goes out on a mating flight, yes, she can have attendants fly with her, but I don't think that half the hive goes with her, maybe I am wrong.

I think that they basically were just hot and overcrowded.  It will be interesting to hear what more has happened, it is rather a curious thing, considering that you got them this month, weird.  You may hear more good comments.  Have the best of this beautiful and wonderful day, Cindi
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« Reply #9 on: April 23, 2008, 10:15:56 AM »

After hiving a swarm, I noticed this same type of behavior approx 10 days after the hiving.  I was shocked, and worried that they were once again swarming, but they all went back inside...funny bees!
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reinbeau
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« Reply #10 on: April 23, 2008, 12:59:14 PM »

Cindi, I know bearding, this was not bearding.  Remember those packages were installed less than 10 days ago (actually today it is ten days).  There were waaaaaay more bees than what was in the original package.  Something very strange was going on, definitely.  Now that hive is as active as our hive #4 that overwintered from last year.  Very strange indeed!

As for it being an orientation flight, you could only hope to have a queen lay eggs and produce that many offspring in nine days!  shocked
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DennisB
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« Reply #11 on: April 23, 2008, 01:45:38 PM »

HI,
Is there a possibility that it was a swarm from your overwintered hive that decided to just wander a short distance? Does the #4 hive look ok with about the same number of bees in it? Just a thought. Great pics and video!

Dennis
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reinbeau
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« Reply #12 on: April 23, 2008, 02:44:14 PM »

Hive #4, the overwintered hive, is fine.  However, Greg just checked hive #2, one of the packages (right next to hive #1, imagine that  tongue) and it's pretty much empty.  It looks as though hive #2 didn't like the accommodations and decided they'd like hive #1.  Anyone ever experienced that?
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- Ann, A Gardening Beek -  ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ

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Michael Bush
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« Reply #13 on: April 23, 2008, 09:32:41 PM »

>It would amost appear a usurpation, do Europeans do that Michael?

Sometimes.  Not as often as AHB.
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Michael Bush
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Cindi
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« Reply #14 on: April 24, 2008, 12:01:03 AM »

Ann, oh that is so weird.  I am wondering if the 2nd package lost its queen and they needed to follow the scent of the queen, and they found these pheromones that they must have (they are like addicts!!!!) so they moved in next door.  That is the wierdest thing, eh?  Beautiful and most wonderful day, Cindi
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« Reply #15 on: April 24, 2008, 12:53:01 AM »

The other possibility is more than 1 queen to the package.  Those multiple clusters tend to make me think each held a virgin queen.  The confusion rampant in a package, and shortly after release could have delayed a swarm as well as weather conditions.
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reinbeau
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« Reply #16 on: April 24, 2008, 06:31:07 AM »

We are going to go into hive #2 today and see if there's still a queen.  If there is, we'll swap the location of hive #2 with hive#1 to gather the field bees and see what happens from there.  Ya just never know what's going to happen in a beeyard!  Wink  Some of the beeks at the meeting last night thought it might be because these bees were all from the same hive at Wilbanks, the packages were all stuck together (they come 5 to a group, they just cut off two of them to give us three).  In the future I'm going to ask that they give us separate packages - that is, if we ever go the package route again.

Ok, updated today - there are absolutely no bees whatsoever in hive #2.  I guess they didn't like the accommodations!  So, we're down to three hives in the backyard, which is ok, life in the beeyard goes on. 
« Last Edit: April 24, 2008, 10:13:01 PM by reinbeau » Logged


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