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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Oconee County, SC
    Posts
    21

    Default bees clustering on outside

    Last Saturday I shook the queen and several frames of bees from a lang hive into a tbh box with 2 frames of drawn comb and sugar water. The last two nights they have clustered on the outside of the box. Anybody know what this means?? Evenings are cool still cool here so I don't think it is heat related - plus the hive is well ventilated.

    Thanks,
    Drake

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Lindley, NY,USA
    Posts
    194

    Default Re: bees clustering on outside

    Quote Originally Posted by dmacmtb View Post
    ... I shook the queen .. from a lang hive into a tbh box.
    That doesn't sound real encouraging. Any sign of q activity on the frames or are these bees just wonder what the.....? Where'd my hive go?
    Fred

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Dalkeith, Ont, Canada
    Posts
    206

    Default Re: bees clustering on outside

    Quote Originally Posted by dmacmtb View Post
    Last Saturday I shook the queen and several frames of bees from a lang hive into a tbh box with 2 frames of drawn comb and sugar water. The last two nights they have clustered on the outside of the box. Anybody know what this means?? Evenings are cool still cool here so I don't think it is heat related - plus the hive is well ventilated.

    Thanks,
    Drake
    Do they have enough ventilation? It's weird when they clump in cool weather and I was just wondering if some of that is dampness in the hive itself, just a theory mind you.

    Sam.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Murfreesboro, TN, USA
    Posts
    16

    Default Re: bees clustering on outside

    Quote Originally Posted by dmacmtb View Post
    Last Saturday I shook the queen and several frames of bees from a lang hive into a tbh box with 2 frames of drawn comb and sugar water. The last two nights they have clustered on the outside of the box. Anybody know what this means?? Evenings are cool still cool here so I don't think it is heat related - plus the hive is well ventilated.

    Thanks,
    Drake
    Did you ever find an answer to this clustering? I started my TBH the same way a week and a half ago. I still have a huge cluster on the outside, although about half of the bees are inside. Did they finally move in and get to work? Thx.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Oconee County, SC
    Posts
    21

    Default Re: bees clustering on outside

    They absconded within a day or two.
    Had a screened bb, maybe too much ventilation.

  6. #6

    Default Re: bees clustering on outside

    it isn't too much ventillation, it is too much light
    the bees don't understand the concept of screen and they think the bottom is indefensible.

    close up the SBB and that solves the problem.

    Once the hive is established you can open it if you want, but be aware that it makes the bees nervous. I leave mine shut 100% of the time.
    might as well not have SBB on my TBH

    (not the case in my Langs, I've got SBB on all and 95% are open all the time including nucs and also including nucs in winter)
    Erin Forbes, EAS Master Beekeeper
    overlandhoney.com

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Murfreesboro, TN, USA
    Posts
    318

    Default Re: bees clustering on outside

    I started my TBH exactly the same way on July 2nd. They clustered outside day and night for about four days before they moved inside and went to work. Yesterday, I opened it up and had seven bars of comb with lots of eggs and a few larvae. Found the queen and she was working away. It took seventeen days for them to get this far. I'm feeding 1:1 sugar water inside the hive. But the best advice I got was "Give them some time!".

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Tooele, Utah
    Posts
    12

    Default Re: bees clustering on outside

    Quote Originally Posted by dmacmtb View Post
    They absconded within a day or two.
    Had a screened bb, maybe too much ventilation.
    Same thing happened to me. They went to my neighbors yard and I recaptured them. See my post: http://www.beesource.com/forums/showthread.php?t=240284

    I've been struggling with them, but I think things are getting better.

    Good luck,

    John

  9. #9

    Default Re: bees clustering on outside

    not the case in my Langs, I've got SBB on all and 95% are open all the time including nucs and also including nucs in winter)
    SBB on langs are part of the bottom board though so the light issue isn't the same.

    I don't bother with sbb on my tbh's at all either. they do fine without them.

    Big Bear
    No, I am NOT a bee "Keeper". Anything I post is just my opinion. Take it easy and think for yourself.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Findlay, Ohio
    Posts
    524

    Default Re: bees clustering on outside

    What I did for my first two top bar hives was to place a board on the inside of the hive blocking about 2/3 of the space when using 8 top bars. This worked very well. A third hive absconded which didn't have a blocked bottom, just a screened bottom. However, I installed a swarm into the same hive and they built right up. A 4th hive did ok with a fully open bottom, this is more or less a tbh nuc as it is only 2 feet long.

    My 5th hive (actually number 3 in my logs) has a solid bottom and has been doing very well. It is shaded during the hottest times of the day. If I did not have a way to shade it, I do believe I would have problems with comb breaking off.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    powell wy
    Posts
    99

    Default Re: bees clustering on outside

    hhhhmmm, my tbh's are totally screened across the bottom, it's hinged so i can simply let it lay open all summer and i can close it up in the winter. the hives do very well and might as well not have any screen at all, but i know how these girls can get if we have a dearth and they start robbing. heck when i start a package in one of these i even leave the inspection window uncovered and they could care less. i do cover it up after a while simply to keep the sun from melting the comb inside thou.


    i suspect it is not too much ventilation or to much light. quite often they simply don't like their new diggs and will decide to move on. was their any lemon grass oil in the hive or any old comb ?? that may very well help them decide to stay.

    bee biker

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