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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Seward, Alaska
    Posts
    33

    Default Unexpected behavior

    This is my first time trying to overwinter bees. I have a strong hive from a package last spring. They do not have enough stores for the winter (I believe) so last week I went out and gave them a pollen patty and some dry sugar. They got on it right away. I checked them tonight and they were crowding the top entrance and the bottom enterance and were out on the front of the hive. It is about 25 degrees here and I expected them to be clustered but they were acting defensive and flying quite a bit. There were a lot more dead bees than last week so removed the reduced bottom enterence thinking may be trying to cleanse and couldn't get back in. They have two deeps with blue board insulation but it almost seemed like they didn't have enough room. Is this normal winter behavior or is something wrong?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Beldenville,Wisconsin,USA
    Posts
    58

    Default Re: Unexpected behavior

    sounds like they are being visited by a preditor. try to fence around them or put boards with nails in them around the hive. it has worked for me.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Seward, Alaska
    Posts
    33

    Default Re: Unexpected behavior

    I don't think it's a predator. The hive is on the roof of my wood shed and there are not tracks in the snow. I was wondering how they act when their queen dies, could that be the problem?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Bristol,MA,USA
    Posts
    733

    Default Re: Unexpected behavior

    Am wondering if they have mice inside the hive.... ? They broke cluster for a reason at those temps. OMTCW

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Beldenville,Wisconsin,USA
    Posts
    58

    Default Re: Unexpected behavior

    it doesnt sound like a queen issue. something is in the hive or trying to get into the hive. thats what it sounds like to me.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Littlerock, California, USA
    Posts
    951

    Default Re: Unexpected behavior

    Cedar Hill,
    What is OMTCW? Its been killing me!
    “Everything will be all right in the end... if it's not all right then it's not yet the end”

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Bristol,MA,USA
    Posts
    733

    Default Re: Unexpected behavior

    OMTCW = Only My Two Cents Worth

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Bönan Gästrikland Sweden
    Posts
    32

    Default Re: Unexpected behavior

    Maybee some birds have decided that your hive is a fly in.

    They some times land on the front of the hive and knock on the door til a bee answers , when the bee looks outside to see whats happening the bird eats them.
    kind of like a bird bee feeding machine

    mvh edward

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Massillon, Ohio
    Posts
    3,472

    Default Re: Unexpected behavior

    They should not be breaking cluster and flying at 25 deg. I would do a very quick inspection and see whats going on inside. Don't pull any frames initially, just remove each box and stand up on the end. Look up through the bottom of the frames and see if there are any signs of a rodent inside. A very quick non-intrusive inspection will not hurt the bees, but if there is a mouse inside you need to get it out asap.
    To everything there is a season....

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Columbia county, New York, USA
    Posts
    1,535

    Default Re: Unexpected behavior

    Have you applied any mite treatments or other chemicals in the past few weeks? Maybe they are trying to get away from the miticide/pesticide residue?
    The little bee returns with evening's gloom,
    To join her comrades in the braided hive... -Tennyson

  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Seward, Alaska
    Posts
    33

    Default Re: Unexpected behavior

    There have been some blue jays around the hive. Maybe they are bothering the bees. I added some hardware cloth over the top enterance just in case it is a mouse.

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