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Author Topic: Bees doing the "Two Step"  (Read 1275 times)
Tucker1
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"The Morning Breaks, The Shadows Flee.....


« on: June 29, 2009, 04:23:34 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
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Natalie
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« Reply #1 on: June 29, 2009, 06:26:30 PM »

That two step you describe sounds like what others describe as washboarding.
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Tucker1
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« Reply #2 on: June 29, 2009, 06:56:58 PM »

Natalie:  What is wash boarding?

Regards,
Tucker1
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Cheryl
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« Reply #3 on: June 29, 2009, 06:58:24 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!

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Natalie
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« Reply #4 on: June 29, 2009, 08:54:26 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.
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Nathen
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« Reply #5 on: June 29, 2009, 09:03:47 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?
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-Nathen
Cheryl
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« Reply #6 on: June 29, 2009, 09:09:12 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).
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We are what we repeatedly do.
Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.

~ Aristotle
Natalie
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« Reply #7 on: June 29, 2009, 09:13:39 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.
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luvin honey
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« Reply #8 on: June 29, 2009, 10:15:59 PM »

When mine do that, I figure they are scrubbing the front porch and tell them, "You go, girls!"
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livz2hunt
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« Reply #9 on: June 29, 2009, 11:00:09 PM »

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!
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Vibe
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« Reply #10 on: June 29, 2009, 11:21:36 PM »

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.
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Bee Happy
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« Reply #11 on: June 30, 2009, 01:09:21 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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