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Author Topic: what is this behavior?  (Read 768 times)

Offline Bee Happy

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what is this behavior?
« on: May 17, 2009, 10:44:14 PM »
I'm posting this twice, I can't even find my old question.
I have 2 hives in the picture, the one on the left is a vacant topbar I put together a couple weeks ago in case I run into a swarm.
the one I'm concerned about is on the right. I'm saving coffee cans(bulk food cans, really) for the legs, to make an ant trap - just don't have enough yet.
The queen excluder is sideways; I read somewhere on someone's association enews that the queen usually sticks to the core of the hive, and to help the bees get used to the excluder turning it sideways gives them free access at the ends of the frames.
the honey super was made active last week by removing the syrup feeder and adding foundation-less frames with 3/4 starters cut from wax foundation.
(the 1/4" gap at the bottom of the honey super was a carpentry mistake - I didn't glue a 1/4'' strip in to see if the girls wanted it for an alternate entrance)
My question is this: the girls hanging out on the left side of the porch are like that pretty much all the time, full sun, cloudy - like it is in the pic.- or otherwise. I know that what they are doing there is called 'washboarding' but - what doest it mean? are they about to swarm? not enough work to do? - what does it mean?


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Offline pollenchucker

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Re: what is this behavior?
« Reply #1 on: May 17, 2009, 10:53:19 PM »
Oh washboarding huh?  I didn't know there was a term for it.  My bees do it too.  I just began noticing it about 2 or 3 days ago.  Its kind of a front to back motion like t hey are cleaning which ever surface they are standing on?  But then after a couple minutes or so they fly away and another takes its place.  I don't have a clue what it means.  But my bees aren't swarming I can tell you they are working hard on building out the new medium super I put on last week and already built out the deep super and have been laying eggs and deposition honey stores in it.  The bottom deep super has been done for about a month almost.  No I think its just some kind of communication about new nectar sources and how to get there, but honestly I'm just guessing.
-pc

Offline JP

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Re: what is this behavior?
« Reply #2 on: May 17, 2009, 11:05:54 PM »
It may be a way for them to get rid of nervous energy, who knows, some say its a cleaning thing, perhaps they are gathering their thoughts. One thing for certain is I notice it on very warm, sunny days.

Nothing to worry about, and enjoyable to watch.


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Offline qa33010

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Re: what is this behavior?
« Reply #3 on: May 18, 2009, 01:18:57 AM »
    I've had older beeks tell me it's anything from cleaning to just plain happy healthy hives.  I guess it's a happy dance.  I haven't a clue though.
Everyone said it couldn't be done. But he with a chuckle replied, "I won't be one to say it is so, until I give it a try."  So he buckled right in with a trace of a grin.  If he had a worry he hid it and he started to sing as he tackled that thing that couldn't be done, and he did it.  (unknown)

Offline RayMarler

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Re: what is this behavior?
« Reply #4 on: May 18, 2009, 01:29:34 AM »
maybe they are doing warm-ups before take off? :) Maybe like me, they need to stretch and flex some before going to work!
Sitting in the shade, drinking lemon aid.
Enjoying the breeze while counting the bees.

Offline Bee Happy

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Re: what is this behavior?
« Reply #5 on: May 18, 2009, 02:27:05 AM »
thanks, it's good to know it's a sign of normalcy and maybe even contentment.
long as they aren't sitting about grumbling about needing a 'new queen' or something.
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