A few months ago I noticed a group of bees hanging out either on the platform or on the hive body.As time went on it grew worse.At first I thought they were crowded or hot so I gave them more room and more air.Nothing doing1It just got worse.I put up a topic here but did not get many in depth responses so I began to check around in my area(Western North Carolina)for help. Keep in mind that our sourwood bloom was a bust and most other blooms have been the same.The explanation I was given was that these bees were field bees with absolutely nothing to do because of the poor bloom.I removed the top super(no comb)and the excluder as I was instructed.I was also told that I should take advantage of the fall goldenrod flow if the rain ever stops.
I thought this topic might be of use to any other new beekeepers havung a similar problem. I would welcome any other comments.
On a hot day a lot of bees hang out on the outside of the hive. Lack of ventilation will make it worse. Lack of room will make it worse. It's most noticible on a really hot afternoon or a really hot night. Even with adequate ventilation and room some will hang on the outside of the hive. Without adequae room and ventilation the outside of the front of the hive will be covered with clumps of hanging bees.
I'm interested and several of us have experienced the same issue. Something I don't quite get is what role removing the top super/excluder plays? I have empty shallows on top of both of my hives making it easier to bag feed. On one hive they hang out rellgiously, the other never.
The one they do hang out on has considerably more bees in it, but there is ample room within the hive to accomodate them all.
I guess it that you are talking about them hanging in the afternoon?
This is normal this time of the year.they seem to do it regardless of room.the front of my hives is black with them in the late afternoon.
I built a top with holes & sceened them with wire for more vent-& put them on 1 of the hive's ,But can't tell any diff-.
I think some time it has more to do with the humidty than the temp that cause them to hang.>>>>Mark
I don't say this as science or bee biology or anything else and as I've said in earlier posts.....
I put tree bark in the plates with the sugar water tea on it and they come religiously to feast in late afternoon. "I swear, I believe they know when it's time to have there tea on the porch".
Just this afternoon, I was sitting on the porch and here they come, buzzin around me, crawling all over me, licking me and plain ole pestering me to death.... I finally broke down and gave them some sugar water in a plate full of tree bark. ( they have the same solution at each of their hives.)
Then later on, the dish ran out of sugar water, and I was hanging out in a nearby flower garden because some of my wildflowers are starting to go to seed.... so I'm pokin around in it when one of the bees came up to me (many feet away from the porch) and buzzed quickly back and forth in my face.
Call me crazy but I said to it, "Oh all right, I'll get some more sugar water".
All the best advise tells us not to do this, It fosters robbing and according to them, spreads diseases. Well, it may foster robbing but if there are diseases in the beeyard, it should be treated or done with whatever needs to be done. I haven't noticed robbing behaviors.... But if I did, I'd reduce the entrances on the weaker hives.....
Anyway, the worker bees seem to be content when they can come to the porch to collect the same thing that sits at each of their hives.... They are sooo funny.... LOL
Some nectar sources are the same way. They only have nectar at a certain time of day. So maybe the bees know how to tune into that.
Also if the food source is relatively far away, then I think the robbing insinct is curtailed a bit. It feels like foraging if you have to travel to get there. Anecdotally speaking of course.
Scott-kinda like going out to dinner in a neighboring town, just so you feel like you've "gone out"?