For an upper entrance I slid my 1st super back a bit to create a small opening between the super and the top deep brood box. The bees have really been using the entrance. I have noticed though that their little butts have been up and their heads down at the edge of the entrance, all in a cute little line. It has been a week now and I finally realized what they are doing. They are packing the space between each of the 10 frames and the inner edge of the deep with propolis. I can't wait to try and get those frames out tomorrow!! Is this okay to let them do this. Should I be concerned that these bees filling with propolis could/should be doing something more beneficial and necessary for the hive? If so. what should i do differently??? Thanks, juzzerbee
Re: Propolis added.
I have done the same for upper enterance and extra ventalation and have seen the same thing once in a while as well as putting it around the outter 1" edge of a screened inner cover. A few things to consider in making sense of what they are doing are:
1. What are the day and night temps and weather conditions? If they are getting too cool or wet from rain they could be trying to patch the leaky roof.
2. How strong is the hive? If it is small and having trouble keeping things at the right temp they will close up the smaller draft points. The could also be reducing the areas needed to guard.
3. Do you have a screened bottom board, enterance reducer installed, lower enterance closed and/or screened inner cover for maximum ventilation? All of these options change the amount and quality of airflow through the hive. The bees have an instinctual target goal for the temperature and humidity throughout the hive. They will try to achive and maintain that goal with the "tools & techniques" they have available (clustering, fanning, burr comb, propolis and probably several others I can't think of or humans don't have a clue about).
I have usually seen more propolis like that in the fall/late fall when the temps have cooled off some and I have been slow to close the upper gap in prep for winter.