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Author Topic: Festooning OUTSIDE the hive  (Read 1244 times)

Offline HomeSteadDreamer

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Festooning OUTSIDE the hive
« on: May 20, 2013, 05:38:56 PM »
So on Saturday, I had a ball of bees outside the hive on the hive body.  Some were definately festooning, holding on making chains of bees.  I went in the hive Saturday.  I had a lovely center brood area, found the queen and had pollen and honey on the outside frames.  14 frames equivalent to 18 medium langs.  They are working on building more and have plenty of empty space to do it in.  There were no queen cells at the time and the brood pattern was excellent very tightly clustered and lots of capped brood.  Some capped honey.

They stopped festooning when it got cloudy and acted like it was going to rain.

Today I come home and there are three small (about a lemon size) clusters of festooning bees outside again.  It is warm here about 90 degrees but their box is in the shade right now.

So is this a swarm?  even though yesterday there was not queen cells two days ago?

I had some empty comb also (though it might have had eggs in it as I couldn't see them well.

Online iddee

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Re: Festooning OUTSIDE the hive
« Reply #1 on: May 20, 2013, 05:57:20 PM »
 It is called bearding. It's a good thing if they have room to expand in the hive. They are only controlling the temp by getting warm bodies outside. Do a search on bearding for more info.

PS. Please put your location in your profile. We cannot give you accurate info if we don't know where you are.
"Listen to the mustn'ts, child. Listen to the don'ts. Listen to the shouldn'ts, the impossibles, the won'ts. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me . . . Anything can happen, child. Anything can be"

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Offline HomeSteadDreamer

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Re: Festooning OUTSIDE the hive
« Reply #2 on: May 20, 2013, 06:21:00 PM »
While I am new and so appreciate your thoughts.  Most of the bearding stuff I've seen are a single layer of bees outside the hive making like a blanket.  There were 3 balls and many are hanging onto the legs of the other bees.   I went out to get a picture and they had already greatly reduced their gathering.

The bees on the left though are still hanging on to one another.  There were about 20 times more bees per ball before.  I guess they just don't like having their picture taken.

Bearding would worry me too as they shouldn't be hot yet and my hive is kinda crowded so it would probably mean they are out of space for all my bees.  But at least that doesn't mean swarm yet.

I tried to post a picture but I don't have enough posts yet.

Offline Bush_84

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Re: Festooning OUTSIDE the hive
« Reply #3 on: May 20, 2013, 06:32:02 PM »
Google bearding bees.  You will see some impressive beards.  

Edit-one thing this 3 year beek has found that helps is to nadir an empty box.  You would likely find relief to the bearding.
Keeping bees since 2011.

Also please excuse the typos.  My iPad autocorrect can be brutal.

Online iddee

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Re: Festooning OUTSIDE the hive
« Reply #4 on: May 20, 2013, 06:36:36 PM »
This is what I call bearding. I wouldn't call it a one layer blanket.



"Listen to the mustn'ts, child. Listen to the don'ts. Listen to the shouldn'ts, the impossibles, the won'ts. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me . . . Anything can happen, child. Anything can be"

*Shel Silverstein*