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Author Topic: New Strange Behavior Part II UPDATED TODAY*** PiX INCLUDED  (Read 1919 times)
Ocean
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Location: Bergen County New Jersey


« on: September 14, 2005, 06:34:40 PM »

Hey everyone, i started feeding my bees 2:1 solution for the winter... well lately they've been acting strange ( this new behavior is very noticeble and strange.. started after feeding started) .. here are some things they have been doing...

1. They fly around backyard ( they never did that , they would just fly to their destination and come back.. but now they are in search of something...)  , and now if anyone steps in the backyard, they would follow the person... Not Sting him/her but just follow them around... maybe? asking for something?

2. In the front entrance of each hive, i see many little fights.. By fights i mean.. 2 or 3 bees ganging up on One bee, and doing something to it, looks like a little brawl... than they are throwing them down to the grass, and fly away...

3. Some bees on both entrances laying around dead... ( iam thinking its the intruder bees that got killed by the hive soldiers/guards )...

4. Also they started using the water much more... i had to provide them with 2 little bowls of water, since they've been crowding the first one that they had.....

5. When me or my dad go out in the front to get into our cars.. they would bunch up around the car and us,, same thing when you come back.. they would just surround the car ...


What is going on?
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #1 on: September 14, 2005, 06:55:15 PM »

>1. They fly around backyard ( they never did that , they would just fly to their destination and come back.. but now they are in search of something...) , and now if anyone steps in the backyard, they would follow the person... Not Sting him/her but just follow them around... maybe? asking for something?

Your feed has convinced them that there is nectar out there somewhere.  They are looking for other sources.

>2. In the front entrance of each hive, i see many little fights.. By fights i mean.. 2 or 3 bees ganging up on One bee, and doing something to it, looks like a little brawl... than they are throwing them down to the grass, and fly away...

You have robbing going on.  Do something quickly.  If it gets out of hand you will lose the hives being robbed.

>3. Some bees on both entrances laying around dead... ( iam thinking its the intruder bees that got killed by the hive soldiers/guards )...

Robbing.

>4. Also they started using the water much more... i had to provide them with 2 little bowls of water, since they've been crowding the first one that they had.....

They are using the syrup to feed young and need to dilute it or the weather is hot.

>5. When me or my dad go out in the front to get into our cars.. they would bunch up around the car and us,, same thing when you come back.. they would just surround the car ...

Robbing is putting them in a bad mood.

Robber screens.  Reduced entrances.  Close the hives you think are being robbed off at night and wait until midday to open them up.

Take the top off of the hive you think is DOING the robbing and wait for them to reorient.  They will start nasanoving and the field bees will gather for a conference.
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Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
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"Everything works if you let it."--Rick Nielsen
Ocean
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« Reply #2 on: September 15, 2005, 12:02:32 AM »

On the point, i think you are right, iam going to use the entrance reducer asap Smiley

Thanx alot, i will keep you posted...

oo and ye... u think its ok if the entrance dramatically will become small? out of nowhere...

meaning... Right now its fully open... if i put the entrance reducer + the feeder.. the hole will be really small ( 2 inches? if not less )..... you think thats appropriate?
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bassman1977
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« Reply #3 on: September 15, 2005, 08:29:08 AM »

That will be fine.  I had to cut my reducer by about 2 or so inches to fit in the entrance while using an entrance feeder.
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #4 on: September 15, 2005, 09:55:02 AM »

If the weather is hot there, and you don't have a SBB you might want to close it with screen or hardware cloth instead of solid wood so they can ventilate, but I'd reduce it to 3/4" by 3/8" or even 1/2" by 1/4".  A traffic jam is a GOOD thing when they are being robbed.
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Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
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"Everything works if you let it."--Rick Nielsen
Ocean
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« Reply #5 on: September 15, 2005, 01:23:50 PM »

Ok here is the update:

Yesterday Night i decided to put one of the entrance reducers on the first Hive... Today in the Mourning you see they formed a Cluster outside ...

Before i put the reducer, i decided to modify it a little.. here are the pictures so you guys can get a closer look on what i did...

Please feel free to comment... and give me advice.. Remember this is my first year beekeeping.. so i need all the advice i can get Wink

here you see i modified the entrance reducer and made the hole a little bigger, when i put the feeder... Smiley





Here are 2of my hives.. in the middle you see a chair.. thats where i sit and observe my hives every mourning Smiley As you can see hive on the right formed a cluster outside, since i put a entrance reducer last night..

These pictures are from today in the mourning..




Here are the close up pictures of that cluster iam talking about.





Here as you can see i put the second entrance reducer about 1 hour ago...
and you can see some bees are little confused on where to go..



Than i added the feeder and here is how it looks:







and here is the close up of a hard worker who just returned back home, not knowing where to enter Smiley lol .. he found his way eventually...

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Ocean
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« Reply #6 on: September 15, 2005, 01:27:21 PM »

O and ye , iam plannin to do an inspection on both my hives, in about 30 min.. what do you guys think? i would like to see how they are doing after i started feeding them...

i havent opened both hives in about 2 weeks already....


LAST UPDATE!!!

I was observing both hives, and the one with the cluster, i dont know they are still kinda confused or something, but the second one... is doing pretty good because i see all these bees coming back with all this pollen baskets on their feet... maybe out of 10 bees that would return, 5 would bring back the pollen with them..
different colors, white orange, yellow, grey, violet.. its beutifull Smiley

My little bees Wink
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bassman1977
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« Reply #7 on: September 15, 2005, 02:37:23 PM »

My bees seemed kind of confused when I put my reducer on.  Things cleared up after a day or two.  I also did an inspection the day after I put the reducer, on so I wouldn't think you would have a problem doing an inspection also.
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Ocean
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« Reply #8 on: September 15, 2005, 11:48:34 PM »

lol, i thought the first hive was acting weird the first night after i installed the entrance reducer... well check out the 2nd hive lol...

here they are both:





Hive 1:





Hive 2:







lol i guess they are doing well.. but tomorrow i definately want to go in the hive and check out how they are doing.. maybe i'll add another super...
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jefftck
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« Reply #9 on: September 16, 2005, 08:28:30 AM »

They look as if the are trying to keep the hive cooled and the use of water helps them to do this, when they evaporate the water in the hive it cools it down, they are outside the hive to allow better ventilation since you installed the entrance reducers.
 Have you tried a top hive ventilation? there are several threads that talk about it.

All I did was prop up the top cover on my hives to allow some air flow and not allow the bees an entrance thru the top, that way they can't get robbed thru another entrance and wouldn't need to post guards there.
 I live in Arkansas and it get hot here, and since I've done this they haven't been bearding, I noticed when they need to close the entrance down in the evenings they just bunch up in the opening to restrict the ventilation.

As for them fighting this is normal when there isn't a nector flow on and they start to guard from robbing, there are several thousand bees in a colony and everyday some are dying and new ones emerging, a few dead bees is normal I would think, after all any battle has it's casualties.

This is my first year beekeeping also, but, I've been given the advantage of being able to work with a 40 year + beekeeper, I have asked him hundreds of questions, and read on this forum everyday, about every new topic,  every new post. It goes with my coffee in the mornings, LOL

This is just my opinions from what I've learned here and in the field
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Joseph Clemens
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« Reply #10 on: September 16, 2005, 10:53:45 AM »

I'm down here in Tucson, Arizona, summers are quite warm (over 100F almost every day) and usually very dry. Beginning in spring my bees had always formed large beards on and near their bottom entrances, like the ones shown in your photos. However, this year I converted many of my entrances to SBB (screened bottom boards) and propped the tops with popsicle sticks --- almost immediately the beards shrank and dissapeared as the bees were now able to enter the hives at night without causing the interiors to overheat. I really appreciate SBBs, especially here in the desert southwest.
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