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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Silver Spring, MD USA
    Posts
    25

    Default Bees hanging around entrance moving back and forth. What's up?

    Hi, All,

    I've noticed on my second hive, a good number of bees are hanging out at the entrance, day and night. They seem to just be walking forward and backward. There are still foragers going out and returning, but I'm not sure what these bees are doing. It's not hot here (under 90 the last few days, which has been great), and they aren't fanning.

    I took a video and you can see this most clearly on the right of the frame. Any ideas? I'm ready to do a general inspection of that hive, but want to look for anything that should concern me.

    http://youtu.be/Vn8FA9n3LuU

    Thanks!
    Jen

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Pittsburgh Pa USA
    Posts
    139

    Default Re: Bees hanging around entrance moving back and forth. What's up?

    washboarding, perfectly normal

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Silver Spring, MD USA
    Posts
    25

    Default Re: Bees hanging around entrance moving back and forth. What's up?

    Ooh - awesome. Thanks!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Harrisburg, PA
    Posts
    69

    Default Re: Bees hanging around entrance moving back and forth. What's up?

    There are some really good YouTube videos of washboarding. Take a look at those and see if that is what they are doing. I find washboarding amazing. I think it's such an odd behavior that no one really has an explanation for.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Winhall, VT
    Posts
    1,066

    Default Re: Bees hanging around entrance moving back and forth. What's up?

    Washboarding . . .

    Raising Vermont Bees one mistake at a time.
    USDA Zone 5A

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Chickamauga, Walker County, Georgia
    Posts
    357

    Default Re: Bees hanging around entrance moving back and forth. What's up?

    This is variously called "washboarding" or "bearding," and many newbeeks confuse it with an impending swarm. Have no fear... It is not.

    When bees are swarming, there are a lot of bees in the air and there's a lot of noise. But in this case, you notice that they are quiet and they are landed. They might be standing around on the hive surface, or even literally hanging beneath it.

    It's probably a hot, muggy summer day. There's no air conditioning (of course...) in a beehive, so they're doing what any sensible insect would do: hanging around outside, tryin' their best to keep cool, sipping some mint juleps or sweet iced tea, and maybe grousing about "the hot weather we've been having 'round here lately."

    (Phew! Can't say as I blame 'em... Please, is it Fall yet?)

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