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Author Topic: What are these bees doing?  (Read 5203 times)
Pete
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« on: January 30, 2010, 02:31:10 AM »

Noticed today (37o in Melb today) that we have LOTS o bees on the front of the hive.

The hive is in the afternoon shade, but i suspect they are just trying to keep cool? Can anyone confirm?



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Little John_NC
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« Reply #1 on: January 30, 2010, 07:12:07 AM »

Hey Pete
As you said they are trying to stay cool. Fine box of bees you got there. May need more room mate.
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philinacoma
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« Reply #2 on: January 30, 2010, 05:51:40 PM »

Hmm, I had the same issue before putting an extension on the top of both of my hives. Looks like you've got a mighty fine colony.
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Pete
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« Reply #3 on: January 30, 2010, 06:51:22 PM »

Ta for that Smiley The top ideal super is coming off next weekend and being replaced with 10 frames full sized.

I will split them in spring time...september?

Are they in a different mood when they are doing this? less or more likely to get aggressive...or just the same as normal?
« Last Edit: January 30, 2010, 11:09:05 PM by Pete » Logged
Pete
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« Reply #4 on: January 31, 2010, 12:24:55 AM »

Not sure you can see from my camera phone pics, but, today there is even more...i think its a similar temp here (38ish), but a storm is coming so i guess they will go inside...

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SlickMick
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« Reply #5 on: January 31, 2010, 05:41:26 AM »

I have 3 hives that are side by side and the fronts are just one big wall of bees, covering the sides between the hives and hanging off the stand. I robbed them the other day so they have shallow supers to go into but they seem reluctant to move inside. I am sure that it is the temperatures that have them outside. Robbing them was no more of a problem than at any other time.. a few stings but nothing out of the ordinary.

I am going to split them next week as there is quite a flow going on at the moment and they should have plenty of time before the cooler months to build up their numbers again. Also there is quite an autumn flow here that extends into winter. Meadlover will be the beneficiary of the splits.

Mick

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Meadlover
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« Reply #6 on: February 01, 2010, 12:03:26 AM »

I am going to split them next week as there is quite a flow going on at the moment and they should have plenty of time before the cooler months to build up their numbers again. Also there is quite an autumn flow here that extends into winter. Meadlover will be the beneficiary of the splits.

Mick

and a very appreciative beneficiary too  grin
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kedgel
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« Reply #7 on: February 01, 2010, 08:22:15 PM »

G'day.  Yup, they're "bearding" looks like.  They may be keeping cool  afro, or given the size of your hive, they may be over-crowded and preparing to swarm.  If you see any supersedure queen cells hanging off the frames, I'd expand immediately. I would expand to 10 frame hives with screened bottom board SHB trap bottom with a screened inner cover for better ventilation.  I would also raise them up off the ground, just like your house, mate.

Kelly
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Pete
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« Reply #8 on: February 01, 2010, 11:10:07 PM »

Thanks. Hope its not over crowding, they only did it last weekend when it was hot. The colony is less than 12 months old from when it was originally split. I will be changing the ideal super to full sized with new frames this weekend.

The hive is on bricks then a sheet of plywood...is this high enough?
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mick
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« Reply #9 on: February 02, 2010, 02:28:54 AM »

Yes its over 94 degrees in the hive, mine do that. See that black irrigation line? Sit it on top of the board and let it drip down one side of the hive, the bees will move into the stream of water! Ir replace the bricks with 4x2, bricks are good in winter but not so good in summer.
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Pete
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« Reply #10 on: February 02, 2010, 04:23:50 AM »

Thanks for the tips. I cant do much with that irrigation, its got a bit of pressure. It takes water 60/70m and then connects to a 100m dripper.

I will remove the bricks and put wood.

Can you still get in there and wrangle the bees, remove the honey super etc when theya re doing that? I am bit nervous about walking up and giving them a puff of smoke Smiley
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mick
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« Reply #11 on: February 02, 2010, 04:52:51 AM »

When its that hot, I reckon its best to leave em alone. They are working like buggery to stabilize the temp of the hive. Commercial keepers go in gangbusters, we dont really need to. If youve driven 100k to work hives, the rules are different.

Ive been known to lightly shower those bearding bees with the hose. A lot of them run inside the hive to take the water in. They then move back outside the hive to where they were.

When they beard like that, its a good time to sit and watch. They too hot to bother with you on ya stool with a stubbie.
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Pete
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« Reply #12 on: February 02, 2010, 05:38:46 AM »

Sounds like good advice, i will follow it.

If i knew the hive was full and i had to go in, would it be totally un advisable...or just very disturbing for them as you described?

Should i leave them for days afterwards? eg if they ahev stopped doing it then the next day or the day after is fine to go in?
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kedgel
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« Reply #13 on: February 02, 2010, 06:26:16 PM »

I wouldn't sweat working the hive if you need to.  They generally aren't any more aggressive while bearding than at any other time.  If they are too thick around the lid, or wherever you need to work, a puff of smoke will make them retreat.  If you over do it, they'll take flight and buzz you.  I would think that opening the hive would give them a welcome dose of outside air.  In the absence of a screened inner cover putting the lid slightly askew will help with ventilation, but it opens the door for shbs to enter the hive, so I'd put it down before evening.  SHB's are most active just before dark.  I was checking my hives one evening just before dark and was amazed at the number of shbs flying down and landing on my hives looking for a place to get in. 

Kelly
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cidersabuzzin
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« Reply #14 on: February 05, 2010, 06:51:57 PM »

Noticed today (37o in Melb today) that we have LOTS o bees on the front of the hive.

The hive is in the afternoon shade, but i suspect they are just trying to keep cool? Can anyone confirm?






Are they thinking of decamping?
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Whats good for bees is usually good for mankind. Doesn't that mean sharing?
The Ladies could still teach the Borg a thing or two!....and maybe us too, so long as we don't go too far to the left or right and fall off the edge...
kedgel
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« Reply #15 on: February 06, 2010, 12:56:26 AM »

Thanks. Hope its not over crowding, they only did it last weekend when it was hot. The colony is less than 12 months old from when it was originally split. I will be changing the ideal super to full sized with new frames this weekend.

The hive is on bricks then a sheet of plywood...is this high enough?
Sorry, Pete.  The pic made it look like it was sitting on the ground.  Sounds fine.  You just want to get them off the ground for some air circulation.  Until recently I set mine on cinder blocks, too.
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Col Collyer
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« Reply #16 on: February 09, 2010, 08:35:43 PM »

Hi Pete
  We had a swarm come to us, last November, and it's now 7 ideals high and going gang busters,just last week took about 40lbs of comb from them.   If I were you I'd add another super
 Col in Brandon Park
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Pete
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« Reply #17 on: February 09, 2010, 08:55:29 PM »

Thanks for that tip. I will switching the ideal off to a full sized this weekend. Waiting for good weather - all over cast at weekend.

This week is 32? but i dont get home until 4.30 - i was told to only go in mid morning, 10-11 ? Is this wrong, just go in at 4.30pm ok?

Anyone point me to some tips on what times/weather to go in the hive? For example, is it ok to go in when the heat is up, or later in the day?
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kedgel
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« Reply #18 on: February 09, 2010, 11:16:42 PM »

In my experience, the only caveat on time of day to open hives is when it is cold.  I avoid opening my hives if it is cold, as they work hard to keep the heat in.  Chilling the hive is bad news, but opening it up when it is hot isn't going to cause problems.  I usually work my hives in the evening when it is cooler.  The only potential problem there is that is when the shb are most active in seeking out a new home.  Opening the hive, especially when there is honey in the hive that can be broken open, is ringing the dinner bell.  They can smell it a mile (KM) away and come a-runnin'.  If your hives are in a sunny location and you have sbb's they won't be able to cause too many problems. 

Kelly
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Lone
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« Reply #19 on: February 10, 2010, 06:59:33 AM »

Hello,

I love your very helpful conversion from miles to kilometers on the metric part of the forum, Kedgel!

I was wondering if anyone has noticed bees aclimatise to hot weather?  Obviously we have a lot of 38+ (100F+, Kedgel) days here and warmer weather all year round.  My hives are too weak to be bearding in any case, but I didn't notice nearly so many bees on the outside of my friend's stronger hives in that sort of temperature.

For those who have never suffered Melbourne weather, they say there are four seasons in one day, and in my experience most of those seasons are winter.

Lone
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