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Author Topic: Small bee cluster at hive entrance  (Read 1532 times)

Offline esnipes

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Small bee cluster at hive entrance
« on: July 11, 2009, 07:08:55 PM »
I am a new bee keeper. I started 4 hives this Spring and have noticed a change in behavior of one of the hives.

For the last three or four days a cluster of bees about the size of my fist forms just below the entrance of one of the hives. This cluster has come and gone several times. This morning there were thousands of bees swarming over the hives but in a couple of hours it seemed to be back to business as usual. Later in the day the fist sized cluster formed again. Are these bees preparing to swarm? These are Russian bees.

I put a super on the hive a month or so ago and they have begun drawing out come in some of the frames but have not touched more than two of the new frames. The bottom frames are full and the population is very high as it is in all my hives.

The cluster looks like what you would expect if a queen were in the center, but the small number of bees on the cluster makes me doubt this is a swarm.

Offline JP

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Re: Small bee cluster at hive entrance
« Reply #1 on: July 11, 2009, 10:16:05 PM »
Hard to know for certain without going through the hive and looking for swarm cells. They could be preparing to swarm or perhaps need more ventilation.

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Offline Michael Judd

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Re: Small bee cluster at hive entrance
« Reply #2 on: July 12, 2009, 06:20:52 AM »
This is exactly what happened to me  (See mosquito net thread)

Some one told me it might be swarming - I panicked  hi hi

But actually I turned my top (metal) cover upside down so it was not covering the small separations I had made between the deeps and top board this allowed air to circulate better.  It is apparently not a temp thing per se but a ventilation thing

The result no more little balls of bees instead they are all working away
bless their hearts


Offline esnipes

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Re: Small bee cluster at hive entrance
« Reply #3 on: July 12, 2009, 08:39:19 PM »
Thanks, guys for the advice. I will check the ventilation and see if this makes a difference. I don't think it could be a swarm because they are not proceeding and ventilation makes sense.