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Author Topic: Bees on entrance at night  (Read 1770 times)
bonsai
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« on: June 10, 2012, 11:55:56 PM »

I have two packages 1st installed end of April.  Checked two weeks ago there was 6 combs used up.  Saturday's inspection I added a honey super, no exluder, just plunked it on top.  Capped honey, brood, etc. they had started on the last frames.  I did not see queen cells of any type but I may not have pulled every single frame.

2nd package installed 1st week of may.  They are running slightly behind. about 5-6 frames worked up.

I have been feeding sugar water by entrance feeder since each is installed.  Noticed this afternoon they were out so went out (10 pm) thinking I could throw them on.  Package 1 had a lot of the entrance and bottom super covered.  They were not at all keen on me adding the jar.  In general lately there's been more on the entrance when I've checked in the evenings

Other package was not an issue- minor activity around the entrance. 
 
We've been in the 90s here in TX. 

So is this normal behavior or is there concern about swarming with Package 1?  Have I added the super correctly?
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PeeVee
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« Reply #1 on: June 11, 2012, 05:59:10 AM »

I think they are just out catching the cooler evening air. Also moving that air into the hive. At times there may be a larger mass of bees on the bottom box in the evening - called bearding.
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-Paul VanSlyke - Cheers from Deposit,NY
bonsai
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« Reply #2 on: June 11, 2012, 09:10:13 AM »

Thanks,  sounds like what I am seeing.  I wanted to check my logic as the slightly "younger" hive is not doing it so much.  The first one is rather packed hence the additional super.
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Blackwater Bee
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« Reply #3 on: June 11, 2012, 09:15:55 AM »

Yup, what PeeVee said.

With thousands of foragers returning from a days work, sometimes, there's just no room in the hive for them. I have considered
"Bearding" a good sign.  grin
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T Beek
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« Reply #4 on: June 11, 2012, 10:34:56 AM »

My Long Hive colony (a 2011/12 survivor) was bearding a few weeks ago so I took a look see.  They had packed 15 frames filled w/ bees, some honey and pollen.  I added several (at least 10) empty frames between the full ones all the way through, effectively doubling their space.  

Since my smoker went out midway through the inspection (ugh) I was moving quicker than usual and thus 'saw' no queen cells  Wink.

Two day later this colony swarmed into a nearby apple tree two feet from the ground fortunately, which was promptly boxed up and then hived the very next day, and is doing quite well.

Just something to consider when bearding is present, it may not 'always' be due to the heat.  They just might be crowded and preparing to swarm.  Always worth taking a look at a minimum.

t
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bonsai
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« Reply #5 on: June 11, 2012, 12:46:51 PM »

The new super has new waxed plastic foundation... that is what they had on the super that they filled... should I be intermingling frames so they have empty ones below? 

There always seems to be more outside than my other 3 but I can explain each of the others away- this is my "oldest" one.

Heat index is pushing 105 here in H'town so I'm thinking/hoping "heat" 
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sterling
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« Reply #6 on: June 11, 2012, 01:34:37 PM »

If it just the heat making them bunch up on the outside give them an opening at the top. I use migratory tops and will put a small stick under the top on both sides at the front.
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L Daxon
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« Reply #7 on: June 11, 2012, 02:40:16 PM »

I use slated racks on the bottoms of all 3 of my hives and it has reduced bearding down to almost nothing.  The slatted racks give them extra room to hang out down below in the evenings inside the hive instead of out.  Great during the summer.  When it is cooler/cold outside, the slatted racks cut down on drafts hitting the bottom of the brood frames and allows the queen to lay closer to the edge of the frame.
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linda d
T Beek
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« Reply #8 on: June 11, 2012, 05:00:32 PM »

The new super has new waxed plastic foundation... that is what they had on the super that they filled... should I be intermingling frames so they have empty ones below? 

There always seems to be more outside than my other 3 but I can explain each of the others away- this is my "oldest" one.

Heat index is pushing 105 here in H'town so I'm thinking/hoping "heat" 

Introduce 'empty' frames only when they've drawn out 70-80% of frames in existing supers.

(never hurts to take a look to see if its heat or crowding, especially in JUNE).

t
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bonsai
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« Reply #9 on: June 11, 2012, 05:36:42 PM »

Gulf Coast Texas... we're hitting 90's with a 100+ heat index... AND they are about full up- right about the point you cited. 

I added another super.  Is this what you mean by adding frames.. or should it have been in the super they are already in?
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T Beek
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« Reply #10 on: June 11, 2012, 06:22:43 PM »

Simply adding an empty box on top of a booming colony will 'usually' not prove affective.  You need to "open the broodnest' by pulling some full brood frames from the lower supers and placing them in the 'new' supers w/ empties placed between, keeping drone comb/honey/pollen to the sides or above.  The process has many names, such as checkerboarding, KYBO(Keep Your Broodnests Open) but was simply called 'frame manipulation' over 100 years ago, and has many uses for the active beek. 

Example;  say you have a basic 10 frame medium set up that's in two mediums (or a single Deep) and exploding w/ bees and you need to give them some extra room asap.  What do you do? 

Keeping the broodnest open by removing some full broodframes, then placing empty frames between those broodframes (and pulling those up into the top super) helps to prevent crowding and/or swarming and will encourage bees to move upward and 'hopefully' gives them something else to do for at least a little while.

That all said the temps you report could certainly be of concern.  What type of ventilation are you providing in your set up?  Do you use top or bottom entrances?  Have you considered adding a vent box or as suggested above, propping up the top with a shim? 

All things to think about.

t
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bonsai
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« Reply #11 on: June 12, 2012, 09:15:53 AM »

t

Thanks for all the help, now if you'll humor me a bit more...   Smiley

BTW please forgive any incorrect terminology... just jumping into all this.

I propped the lids on all my hives.  This one in particular has no inner cover, solid bottom entrance board.  The addition of the medium super seems to have lessened the bearding effect.   I'll know tonight what affect the propping had.

I did some reading on checkerboarding, etc.  This seems to be applied in the Spring, to established hives?  Or is this basic though process applied whenever you are adding- which would be interesting because my third hive was purchased off an "experienced" local bee keeper and it was not like this.  Also he said basically he hardly ever  goes in the brood box once its going strong.

Also, as is the practice in my area, I have one brood super and just added a medium honey super...this is not another brood super- I was told to go with one of each as we have basically 2 months out of the year that there's not SOMETHING in bloom...

Is this applicable to my situation- new package, early TX summer?  You would introduce frames with brood to a honey super?

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T Beek
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« Reply #12 on: June 12, 2012, 12:09:56 PM »

At this time of the year (swarm season, although they will swarm up through September up here) bees get crowded pretty fast so 'keeping your broodnests open' is essential IMO, or you're inviting a swarm due to overcrowding.  

I actively keep my broodnests open all summer w/ regular frame manipulations depending on hive strength and do the reverse as fall/winter approaches, squeezing them down into as small a space as needed for winter survival.

Admittedly we do things somewhat different in Northern Wisconsin when compared w/ Texas, but the concept is the same.  My near constant mantra is; LOCAL BEES RULE!  That said, local methods likely rule too  Wink.  And THAT said; each colony is different  cool  

There have been many names given to 'Frame Manipulations' (as you've already noticed), and there are very likely many more methods of its use.

Since I use all mediums and depending on the size of the colony, bees could be filling from one (a small colony or NUC) to four (a boomer colony) supers mostly w/ brood and a little honey and pollen as well, BEFORE I place a honey super (in my case just another medium but painted yellow).  I only take honey from boomer colonies, those w/ 3 or more supers (but that's just me).  

In order to 'lure bees into a honey super' I'll usually place ONE mostly empty broodcomb into the honey super and once they started drawing out the others I'll return it below, but when I'm simply trying to expand/open the broodnest I'll pull bottom broodframes and place them above, separated by empty frames as already mentioned.  I don't use excluders when placing honey supers.  Hope this helps.

t
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bonsai
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« Reply #13 on: June 12, 2012, 01:00:33 PM »

How does this sound-

I have another issue I'm working through- collected an external hive on June 2.  No idea if I got the queen or not.  

here's the link:

beemaster.com/index.php/topic,37904.0.html

Checked this past Saturday (6/9) saw larvae, capped brood... but no sign of queen cells nor eggs.  I'm thinking I need to go in and re-confirm since I've read a bit more, but don't think much is happening.

Considering moving a frame of brood/eggs from the crowded one to this collected hive...  

Would this kill two birds with one stone?
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T Beek
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« Reply #14 on: June 12, 2012, 03:33:34 PM »

Since you saw larva and capped brood there was a queen at one time, another look might be worthwhile. 

If there's no eggs and you've got frames to spare from the other it sounds like a great idea to give them some eggs from a strong colony. 

One, it will hopefully slow them down a bit by creating room for your boomer hive and two, you'll have some eggs to turn into a queen if the weaker hive is lacking one or slacking.  Just make certain its a frame with eggs in the majority.  It takes eggs to make a queen, the more the better when transferring them to a weak colony in order to create queen.  Good luck.

t
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bonsai
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« Reply #15 on: June 12, 2012, 08:31:03 PM »

Wellll..... that basaically sucked.  Should have known better- storms around houston tonight adn well... its evening...

The captured hive has nothing but sealed brood and no signs of a queen.  They are pretty docile- no "storm" sound- but still no sign of a queen.  So... I went into my crowded hive.

Boy were they ticked probably still touchy from Saturday's inspection- they are in the box I added at least. 

One nailed me in the thumb as soon as I started touching frames.  One or more up my jean leg (good thing my hives are secluded) One wiggled its way into my hood and nailed me on the head. 

I had to wave the white flag for a while.  Left all my tools just to stay away from them so they'll calm down.

The frames are all pretty much capped- either honey or brood no eggs?!?  huh  If I had to guess- drone cells as the tops were slightly rounded.  Took one and installed it anyway - hoping the pheremone will be enough to prevent any queenless problems, feeding workers will keep them occupied.  One bee rode the whole way betweeen hives trying to nail me through my sleeve then he got ticked and flew at my face trying to get me through the mesh.


Guess I'll be buying a queen.

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T Beek
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« Reply #16 on: June 13, 2012, 10:03:09 AM »

Ahh, Texas bees  Wink.  You might want to find, kill and replace the queen from the testy hive as well.  They won't stop their nasty behavoir until you do.  You do use smoke, right?

t
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bonsai
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« Reply #17 on: June 13, 2012, 11:14:33 AM »

Yes, these are a RWeaver bees... the source of the queen I was goign to requeen with..... hmmm maybe need to look further away... the "guards" are really persistent- they'll buzz you, trying to get into your hood for a good 100'! 

I did smoke them...  maybe they need smoking with some good Jamaican smoker fuel...  afro
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T Beek
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« Reply #18 on: June 13, 2012, 04:04:23 PM »

 cool
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qa33010
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« Reply #19 on: June 15, 2012, 06:36:19 PM »

   See brooding a lot during summer and with well populated hives...
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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)
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