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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Coopersville,Michigan
    Posts
    35

    Default Frenzy at hive entrance

    Something unusual seems to be going on with my lone hive today. Seems to be a abnormal amount of action at the entrance with fighting and what I could only describe as a small frenzy. Gut feeling is a robbing situation possibly happening. My bee's in general have been pretty gentle. I am able to be around hive while working in garden with no problems on a daily basis. Only when working in the hive do I wear protective equiptment. Well today with the seemingly frenzy happening they seem quite a bit more aggressive witha few trying to get into my hair and also got stung in the ass crack lmao. Go ahead laugh it is pretty funny.

    Im seeing for the first time a few dead bee's as well within this frenzy. First thing this morning I thought they were cleaning out dead bees that might have died in the hive due to natural cycle or something. I didnt notice the frenzy at this time but midafternoon is when frenzy and fighting started.

    Any ideas? TIA

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Pilot Hill, Northern CA.
    Posts
    809

    Default

    Mid-afternoon is usually when orientation flights occur and sometimes that can seem like a frenzy but if you're seeing actual bee fighting then it might be a smallish robber situation. If there are not hundreds of fighting bees then a robber screen works well, check Michael Bush's web site for an example of one you can build yourself. If there are hundreds of fighting bees, then you may need to throw a wet sheet over the hive for a day or two.
    Once you see the bandwagon, it's too late.
    www.goldfinch-acres.com

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Coopersville,Michigan
    Posts
    35

    Default

    Hey thx for the response. I added my second deep super a couple weeks ago and havnt been in the hive since. After posting this I did read Mikes thread on robbing. Seems to have calmed down quite a bit. I opened hive and inspected frames queen seems to be doing well. Lots and lots of capped brood everything seems to be dong really well. I did however reduce the entrance from the long slot to the small square opening just in case.

    I saw a bunch of dead bee's piled in the front corner of hive on the bottom board on the entrance end. Wonder why they havnt cleaned them out of the hive totally? I did brush them out of the hive however.

    Thx again for the reply have a great day!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Boone, NC
    Posts
    39

    Default

    They may just be taking advantage of a nice day. If mine are cooped up for a couple of days they go crazy the next sunny afternoon. There may be more dead bees than normal because they haven't been able to do much housekeeping.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Coopersville,Michigan
    Posts
    35

    Default

    There were some pretty good wresting and scrapping going on. My neighbor has 2 hives as well but doesnt care for them quite as well as I have been trying with mine.

    His hives are probably around 1/16 of a mile away or so. Not super close but in range where his bees could visit.

    I might try and close up my hive tonight and see if there are alot of bee's there in the morning to see if it was a robbing situation.

    Thx again for the replys!

    Best Wishes!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Campobello, SC, USA
    Posts
    195

    Default

    MichiganBee- I have noticed the same around my hives, along with aggresive behavior and a few dead bees,the last couple of weeks, I keep the bees on family land near my garden. I watched along time Saturday to see if they were being robbed or what was going on. This is what I observed.
    - They were robbing each other.
    - They were fighting yellowjackets
    - They were fighting carpenter bees.
    - They were being robbed by ants.

    All the time there were hundreds of bees flying and alot of bees guarding the entrance. The bees observed robbing each other had an entrance feeder with syrup. (I think I have encouraged this behavior by offering an open feeeder all year for the bees along with entrance feeders, then when I found out I was also feeding every other kind of bee within miles, I cut out all feeding except entrance feeders.)

    This may not apply to your situation, but what you explained sounds exactly like my hives.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    hamburg, new york, usa
    Posts
    440

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Troutsqueezer View Post
    Mid-afternoon is usually when orientation flights occur and sometimes that can seem like a frenzy
    What do you mean by orientation flights? Which bees need those flights?

    I also observed same yesterday mid afternoon. But bees were gentle. I was in the middle of the storm taking a pic without veil. Many were leaving and many arriving. I also observed couple wasps which I promptly killed.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Tucson, Arizona, USA
    Posts
    5,291

    Default

    Mid-afternoon is when young bees becoming old enough to shift to field forager duties, take their first flights and begin learning how to find their way back home once they've gone out to forage and need to find their way home again.
    48 years - 50 hives - TF
    Joseph Clemens -- Website Under Constructioni

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    hamburg, new york, usa
    Posts
    440

    Default

    Joseph thank you for explanation.
    Here is a pic I took with my iPhone.

    http://s335.photobucket.com/albums/m...rent=storm.jpg
    Last edited by pcelar; 07-15-2008 at 07:37 PM.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,271

    Default

    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  11. #11

    Default

    Pcelar,

    Looks like pretty normal activity to me, no bees fighting. Your entrances are reduced so they'll be ok.

    Michiganbee,

    Your situation sounds like robbing. Reducing entrances is the best way to prevent it. Also, closing up the hive at night and then observing in the morning is best way to determine if robbing is occuring from all I've read- they'll be bees at entrance if it is.

    *(Just reread and saw that you mentioned that)

    Also, feeding with a closed in hive-top feeder would be better.
    Last edited by gingerbee; 07-20-2008 at 11:56 AM.
    Try to learn something new every day and give thanks for all your blessings.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Azle Texas USA
    Posts
    369

    Default

    Yea, orentation flights. Looks bad at first but if you stand and watch it's quite interesting I stand or sit and watch. Takes about 30 to 45 min. then it's back to normal. They leave circling in all direstions then come back in like dive bommers. Must be a real rush for them.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    hamburg, new york, usa
    Posts
    440

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by gingerbee View Post
    Pcelar,

    Looks like pretty normal activity to me, no bees fighting. Your entrances are reduced so they'll be ok.
    Yes gingerbee. You are right. No violence. Just excessive number of bees leaving and arriving for about 1/2 hr. Thank you for your time and observation.

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