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Author Topic: Quick help needed  (Read 764 times)

Offline SgtMaj

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Quick help needed
« on: May 03, 2009, 06:50:52 PM »
Something is wrong with my swarm hive and I need your experience to help identify it. 

I was going to the mailbox this afternoon and realized that something is wrong with my new swarm hive that's only 4 or 5 weeks old (I can't remember exactly).  There is at least 3 or 4 times the normal activity at the hive while my established hive seems normal, and many bees are congregating around the crack where the top box (current brood box) meets the box under it, like they don't know where the entrance is.

Background: It has been raining fairly steadily for the past 3 days or so, we should be well into the spring flow.  The rain has subsided this afternoon but it's still threatening to rain.  There's only a bottom entrance on this hive and it is fully opened up.  I have not been feeding them since the second week when they stopped sucking down the food.

My first thought was robbing, but after observing for a while I'm not seeing any fighting.  My next thought was swarming, but I do see lots of bees entering the hive as well.  The ratio is around 3 to 4 bees leaving the hive for every 2 to 3 bees entering the hive.  My final thought was cleansing flights, but it's rained like this before and they were'nt acting like this, also, while some of the bees seem to take off and land again without going anywhere, many appear to be going the same direction as their normal foraging routes. 

It's been three weeks since my last (and initial) inspection of this hive and at that time I did find eggs, and plenty of stores already being put away.  I'm tempted to crack the cover for a quick inspection, but I'm not sure that's a good idea with it being so wet out and threatening to rain.

What do you think is going on?  Do I need to take any quick action like closing up the entrance somewhat or putting a robber screen on?

Offline SgtMaj

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Re: Quick help needed
« Reply #1 on: May 03, 2009, 07:01:02 PM »
Sorry disregard that last message, 5 minutes later they are back to normal.  Im just going to file this under who knows.  It's also possible that one of my neighbor's cats was hiding out from the rain under the hive and I may have startled it and caused it to bump the hive when I went out to the mailbox or something.

Online buzzbee

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Re: Quick help needed
« Reply #2 on: May 03, 2009, 07:02:59 PM »
My guess is orientation flights after being cooped up or evacuation flights.If you were feeding they probably needed to go!

Offline EasternShore

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Re: Quick help needed
« Reply #3 on: May 03, 2009, 08:05:36 PM »
Some days alot of brood hatches and I get huge clouds of them flying...
Anything worth doing is worth doing well.
We are the keepers, it is our duty to preserve life.

Offline Bee-Bop

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Re: Quick help needed
« Reply #4 on: May 03, 2009, 09:18:47 PM »
"
Some days alot of brood hatches and I get huge clouds of them flying...

I thought the brood had to be about 22 days old before it left the hive !

As they say " Live and learn "

Remember to take everything you read on inter-net forums with a grain or two of salt.

Bee-Bop
" If Your not part of the genetic solution of breeding mite-free bees, then You're part of the problem "

Offline doak

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Re: Quick help needed
« Reply #5 on: May 03, 2009, 09:41:47 PM »
Bee-Bop
It is not the newly hatched brood, it is the oldest house bees doing the play flights.
The newly hatched replaces these older house bees. doak :)

Offline SgtMaj

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Re: Quick help needed
« Reply #6 on: May 03, 2009, 10:34:13 PM »
This definately didn't have a normal feel to it... I've never seen the other hive act that way, plus they settled down so fast... which is why I'm leaning toward a cat or something maybe having bumped the hive.