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Author Topic: Bees doing the "Two Step"  (Read 1325 times)

Offline Tucker1

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Bees doing the "Two Step"
« on: June 29, 2009, 05:23:34 PM »
This last week I've noticed some odd behavior from my girls. I often find 5 or 6 bees on the landing board doing a "Two Step". They will move straight forward about two steps and then immediately move straight back two steps. They will keep doing this for a good 10 minutes before they get bored. The entire set of moments takes about a second to take place. It's almost as if they are rocking forward and back on their legs to a rhythm. It's a very consistent set of movements. I also have a small entrance hole higher up on the hive and I find girls behaving the same way around the entrance hole. 

Any idea as to what this might be?

I notice some girls (Carnies) in front of the hive entrance fanning outwards, so I raised the inter-cover at the back of the hive about 1/4" to give them a little extra ventilation. I don't believe this rocking motion is related to the heat, but I might be wrong.

Regards,
Rich
He who would gather honey must bear the sting of the bees.

Offline Natalie

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Re: Bees doing the "Two Step"
« Reply #1 on: June 29, 2009, 07:26:30 PM »
That two step you describe sounds like what others describe as washboarding.

Offline Tucker1

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Re: Bees doing the "Two Step"
« Reply #2 on: June 29, 2009, 07:56:58 PM »
Natalie:  What is wash boarding?

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Tucker1
He who would gather honey must bear the sting of the bees.

Offline Cheryl

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Re: Bees doing the "Two Step"
« Reply #3 on: June 29, 2009, 07:58:24 PM »
I love watching my bees washboarding. They're so serious, but it makes me giggle.

I just googled "bees washboarding" and came up with one of Robo's videos!

We are what we repeatedly do.
Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.

~ Aristotle

Offline Natalie

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Re: Bees doing the "Two Step"
« Reply #4 on: June 29, 2009, 09:54:26 PM »
Looks like Cheryl beat me to it. Isn't it amazing the things they do and we can only ever guess the reasons behind it?
Just like when they festoon, which I love to watch, there are so much speculation why they do it, but only they know.

Offline Nathen

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Re: Bees doing the "Two Step"
« Reply #5 on: June 29, 2009, 10:03:47 PM »
Right at the end of that video when the two bees meet up face to face and one sticks out its little tongue thingy (yeah, yeah, I know, that's a scientific term) to the other, what are they doing?
-Nathen

Offline Cheryl

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Re: Bees doing the "Two Step"
« Reply #6 on: June 29, 2009, 10:09:12 PM »
Could be the first one got hungry (low on fuel) and the other fed it a little nectar.

They actually vibrate their thorax muscles at a certain frequency "begging signals" when they need food (eg. a sample taste from a dancing return forager).
We are what we repeatedly do.
Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.

~ Aristotle

Offline Natalie

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Re: Bees doing the "Two Step"
« Reply #7 on: June 29, 2009, 10:13:39 PM »
They will put out their probiscus to share food with eachother and it also spreads the queens phermones throughtout the hive when they make contact.

Offline luvin honey

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Re: Bees doing the "Two Step"
« Reply #8 on: June 29, 2009, 11:15:59 PM »
When mine do that, I figure they are scrubbing the front porch and tell them, "You go, girls!"
The pedigree of honey
Does not concern the bee;
A clover, any time, to him
Is aristocracy.
---Emily Dickinson

Offline livz2hunt

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Re: Bees doing the "Two Step"
« Reply #9 on: June 30, 2009, 12:00:09 AM »
Mine do the same thing, and they cover the entire front face of a deep. I'm talking 100's of bees. They look like they are the pom-pom squad or maybe cheerleaders. Someone said they are on welfare. Hee! Hee!

Offline Vibe

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Re: Bees doing the "Two Step"
« Reply #10 on: June 30, 2009, 12:21:36 AM »
Mine do the same thing, and they cover the entire front face of a deep. I'm talking 100's of bees. They look like they are the pom-pom squad or maybe cheerleaders. Someone said they are on welfare. Hee! Hee!
At least I'm not the only one in AR with a hie that's doing this. But only one hive does it. At times it's looked like another swarm hanging on the front of the deep and the super - other times it's the 1000 bee washboarding party. They've been doing it all year so far.
The opinion of 10,000 men is of no value if none of them know anything about the subject.
- Marcus Aurelius -

Offline Bee Happy

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Re: Bees doing the "Two Step"
« Reply #11 on: June 30, 2009, 02:09:21 AM »
begging signals? who named that - they couldn't call it a demand signal, or request signal? - not sure what that says about the person who named the behavior. Anyway maybe the washboarding mystery will be solved one day - although they could be reserve guards; I'm sure they would respond if duty called.
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