I too have a small cluster of bees on the landing board. They look like they are trying to clean the board. They scratch with their front feet, back up a little and then seem to lick it.
I started with a nuc on July 1st which is awfully late but I live in a neighborhood with lots of flower gardens and they seemed to quickly bring in quite a bit of nectar and pollen. I had one brood super on and when I checked after two weeks it seemed to be full. I added another, checked four days later and had very little interest with just a few bees on the bottom of the second super frames. I added a Miller feeder on top and fed a gallon that was gone in five days. Now the top super has comb being drawn. Should I continue feeding. I want to go into winter with a strong hive and do not plan to harvest any honey from them this year.
Thanks, Alex in Kentucky
Feed, Feed, Feed, to get them built up and have enough stores to get them through the coming winter. Good Luck with the Bees.
Feed them until they are blue in the face.
2 parts sugar, 1 part water.
What about the backing up and licking the entrance board is it just what it seems, cleaning? 1 of my hives does this constantly.
I just posted the very same question as you did before I saw yours. Hope we can get an answer.
I only know I've seen them do it and I assume they are keeping the entryway clean. Maybe not everyone wipes their feet or they do and they don't want it tracked in. Most of the time when there are a lot of bees on the landing board they are fanning the entrance to ventilate the hive.
Greetings . . .
Is this called "washboarding"?
Sounds like what has been described at: www.beesource.com/ubb/Forum1/HTML/000474.html www.beesource.com/ubb/Forum2/HTML/000255.html
My bees fan, but when they do, they are always facing inwards and lined up. I've noticed in the past few days they are doing this backward-and-forward, skittery-type movement, where it appears they are cleaning or something. I don't see anything for them to clean. From a distance, it appears as if the mass of bees is just vibrating in place.
I'm noticing the same behavior. I can say in my area it could be from lack of foraging to do as there is absolutely nothing around. I have two new hives and they are eating about a 1/2 gallon of syrup a day each.
This is the wash - boarding behavior. My bees are doing it at the upper entrance I've provided by pushing back the supers a bit.
At the EAS convention I noticed they will be talking about this and other unusual bee behaviors. I have a friend attending this year-maybe I can talk him into attending this portion and he can report back to me and I can pass on the info. I've always wondered what they are doing too.