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Thread: Washboarding

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2009
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    Covington, Ga, USA
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    1,548

    Default Washboarding

    I finally am getting to witness washboarding. Its really cool to watch. Almost like they are cleaning the hive......

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2009
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    Covington, Ga, USA
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    1,548

    Default Re: Washboarding

    Ive been watching these guys for an hr now. I have watched them up and move granuales of dirt, sugar and anything else laying around on the landing board. Has anyone else watched them do this. I swear it looks like they are cleaning......

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    OKC, OK USA
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    2,869

    Default Re: Washboarding

    My bees are going crazy WBing this year....not sure why.
    Mike Forbes
    Red Dirt Apiaries

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    VENTURA, California, USA
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    3,648

    Default Re: Washboarding

    here is some data about Washboarding or rocking:
    Tuesday, 1 August 2006
    443
    Understanding “washboarding” behavior in the honey bee
    Katie Bohrer and Jeffery S. Pettis. USDA-ARS Bee Research Laboratory, Bldg. 476 BARC-E, Beltsville, MD 20705

    Worker honey bees exhibit a “group” activity known as rocking or washboarding on the internal and external surfaces of the hive. This behavior is believed to be associated with general cleaning activities but virtually nothing is known as to the age of worker engaged in the behavior, under what circumstances workers washboard and the function of the behavior. We investigated the frequency of washboarding behavior in relation to worker age, time of day and surface texture. Marked worker bees began washboarding when 13 days of age, with a peak in washboarding occurring when workers were 15-25 days of age. Washboarding behavior increased from 8:00am to 2:00pm and remained elevated until 8:00pm and was even noted to continue past dark at 9:00pm. We presented workers with a panel containing three textures, unpainted wood, slate and glass on hives that were washboarding. Comparisons of washboarding behavior on the three textures revealed that washboarding increased from glass to wood to slate but these differences were not significant. Washboarding behavior appears to be age dependant with bees most likely to washboard between 15-25 days of age. Washboarding increases during the day and peaks through the afternoon. Workers may respond to rough texture and washboard more on those surfaces as we found an increase in the behavior from bees on glass, wood, and slate but further testing is needed to confirm this. The function of this behavior remains to be elucidated.



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    Ernie
    Ernie
    My websitehttp://bees4u.com/

  5. #5

    Default Re: Washboarding

    I evidently had the same thing going on and posted about the same time. Folks refered me to your thread so I'll link to my thread that has pictures.

    http://www.beesource.com/forums/showthread.php?t=230669
    Just because something doesn't do what you planned it to do doesn't mean it's useless.
    Thomas A. Edison

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Covington, Ga, USA
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    1,548

    Default Re: Washboarding

    Just for giggles i threw just a little red clay on the landing board....they cleaned it off VERY quickly. Its cool to watch i think.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Mtn. View, Arkansas, USA
    Posts
    2,253

    Default Re: Washboarding

    I never see washboarding on my colonies until the nectar flow is ending. It must be one of those things they do when they are not busy with other duties.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Claremont, NH, USA
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    783

    Default Re: Washboarding

    I wonder if there is a link between washboarding and hygienic behavior? If so, the former could be another indicator to be used for breeding the latter.

    Bill
    “If you want to gather honey, don't kick over the beehive.” - Dale Carnegie

  9. #9

    Default Re: Washboarding

    With my bees, I thought they were initially taking water off, because we've had sooooo much rain. However, after they stayed in the same spot for hours I posted on here to get some help. What's funny is the hive right beside of it, has not shown that characteristic yet.

    I did see yesterday evening thought that there were a lot of foragers coming in with yellow pollen so we're still having a flow of some sort. The washboarders were making it difficult for the heavy foragers trying to enter though.
    Just because something doesn't do what you planned it to do doesn't mean it's useless.
    Thomas A. Edison

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Springfield, TN.
    Posts
    51

    Default Re: Washboarding

    I've been paying attention lately to the varying amounts of washboarding between the three hives I'm looking after. The strongest one has maybe 20-30 workers washboarding. This hive continues to forage strongly, presumably on the white clover blooming in the area. The next strongest has about 200 workers washboarding. They cover the entire landing board and part of the front the lower hive body. Their foraging is only so-so right now, with probably half the number of bees coming and going as the stronger hive. The weakest hive has fewer than 20 bees washboarding, and last week they had none. Their field force seems to be picking up steadily. It's remarkable how different each hive is, like they have their own collective personality, something which I've noticed in other ways as well. For example, two of the three hives really use lots of very sticky propolis. My fingers are stained brownish yellow every time I work with them. The third (the strongest) barely uses any at all.

    Tony

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Mahoning/Columbiana County OH
    Posts
    31

    Default Re: Washboarding

    NewbeeNnc I have five other hives within 10 feet of this one and none of them were doing it either.
    We get one life. I'm using all of mine.

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