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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Suffolk, New York, USA
    Posts
    11

    Default Bees gathering outside of hive

    Hello from Long Island,

    I am newbee as fresh as they come. I just installed my first package today but I am starting to worry about the girls. They seem to have pushed aside the grass I used to plug the entrance, and are now gathering on the outside the hive. I am not sure if this is normal and l am panicking over nothing, or if they are getting ready to abscond. I am also not sure if I should replug the entrance, or if already too many bees are on the outside.

    Thanks in advance,
    Bill

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Lyndhurst, va
    Posts
    143

    Default Re: Bees gathering outside of hive

    Quote Originally Posted by Billswitz View Post
    are now gathering on the outside the hive.
    How many are gathering outside? I often have bees gathering outside especially if it is hot.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Evansville, IN
    Posts
    2,540

    Default Re: Bees gathering outside of hive

    Is your queen in good shape and is the screen in the cage exposed to the bees? If not, they are queenless and will do all sorts of cranky things.

    If the bees cannot get to the screen on the cage, you should re-hang it so they can. If your queen is dead, you may have a virgin queen in the package, it happens.

    Peter

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Suffolk, New York, USA
    Posts
    11

    Default Re: Bees gathering outside of hive

    The queen is in good shape. I hung her between two frames candy facing up, screen exposed. The behavior seems to have died down, but theres probably 40% of the front face of the hive covered in bees. Thats down from 80% with a five bee layer close to the top of the hive. I think they may have been bearding got up to around 88 today.

    Thanks again for the assistance.
    Bill

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Suffolk, NY, USA
    Posts
    658

    Default Re: Bees gathering outside of hive

    Bill, I'm nearby and the bees have been on the outside of the hive boxes for the last few hot days. I opened the tops a bit with ice cream sticks for more ventilation
    yesterday and today there were noticeably fewer on the outsides.
    Maybe put a few drops of Lemongrass oil in the hive as some claim it keeps new bees in the boxes.
    By the way, what type of hive and are they on drawn combs?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Suffolk, New York, USA
    Posts
    11

    Default Re: Bees gathering outside of hive

    Thanks, I think I will try the Lemongrass oil if they continue to go on the outside of the hive box. Right now theres only a few of them clustered on the hive box near the entrance. Its a langstroth with foundation; no drawn comb. I know its a little late in the season but I plan on feeding for a while and I definitely don't plan on harvesting this year.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Suffolk, NY, USA
    Posts
    658

    Default Re: Bees gathering outside of hive

    Feeding is necessary so they build comb for the queen to lay in. 1:1 sugar to water, as much as they will take.
    Our flow is on now so there is additional food stuffs, pollen and nectar, available to them but they will take the sugar syrup and quite a bit too. A quart a day is not too much.
    The lemongrass oil is a scent they supposedly like and there are claims it helps keep them from absconding. I have used it to establish new hives from packages and they didn't leave- LGO, I don't know if it helped but it sure didn't hurt any.

    I think it's a good practice to leave them be for a week or so except for feeding. The less they are interrupted now the better as they have a lot to do. You can keep an eye on them from watching the entrance as far as whether they are coming and going from the hive and if they are bringing in pollen. Are they in one 10 frame box? Don't want to give them too much room early on.

    BTW I run langs as well, currently 4 hives behind my shop in Bay Shore. Where are you located?
    Seems to be a good year thus far.
    Feel free to contact me if it's necessary.
    Last edited by clyderoad; 06-02-2013 at 08:02 PM. Reason: typo

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Suffolk, New York, USA
    Posts
    11

    Default Re: Bees gathering outside of hive

    I have one 10 frame deep in Huntington. I plan on leaving them alone for a week until I do my first inspection. I think it must have been the heat that drew them to the outside of the hive because besides for the usual activity by the entrance the bees have stayed on the inside of the hive today. I have been feeding 2:1 sugar water, but I think I will change to 1:1.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Suffolk, New York, USA
    Posts
    11

    Default Re: Bees gathering outside of hive

    Hello everyone,

    Just to update it has been a week now and I have not seen them outside on the hive since last Sunday when it was particularly hot weather. I just did a hive inspection and they started drawing three frames. The problem is I could not find any eggs or brood on these frames nor could I find a queen. I am unsure if I should go ahead and order a queen or if I should wait and confirm my suspicions. Any advice would be appreciated.

    Thanks again,
    Bill
    Last edited by Billswitz; 06-09-2013 at 08:01 PM.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Suffolk, NY, USA
    Posts
    658

    Default Re: Bees gathering outside of hive

    Good to hear that the bees stayed put.

    Eggs are hard to see. Figure it takes a few days or more to draw the comb to the point it could be laid into. Could be the eggs were just laid and very small.
    Now not finding the queen could be an issue. Might want to look real good to make sure if she is or isn't present in the hive. If you can't find her after a good frame by frame examination (they like to hide and will move to the downside of the frame that you're looking at) maybe you could get a hold of a queen locally. But you need to be sure the original queen is gone before investing in a replacement as the bees will probably kill the new queen. I feel you'll need a mated queen if it comes to getting a new one as there will need to be brood in the hive sooner rather than later for hive population purposes.

    If you do find the original queen, I think it's still too early to toss in the towel on her. Chances are if she is there, eggs etc. will follow. Give her some time.
    Is she wing clipped? what type of bee?

    I have new world carniolan and italians. Italian bees swarmed last week but I was able to catch the swarm and hive them in a 10 frame medium lang. Thinking of pulling some honey this weekend so I'll know what condition 2 of my hives are in regarding queen cells etc. If you're in a fix for a queen I might be able to help after this weekends examination.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Suffolk, NY, USA
    Posts
    658

    Default Re: Bees gathering outside of hive

    anyone else with input please feel free. and correct me if i'm leading Bill down the wrong road.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,584

    Default Re: Bees gathering outside of hive

    >he problem is I could not find any eggs or brood on these frames nor could I find a queen.

    http://bushfarms.com/beespanacea.htm

    Give them a frame of eggs and young brood and let them sort things out...
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Suffolk, New York, USA
    Posts
    11

    Default Re: Bees gathering outside of hive

    Thank you to everyone for your help. I really appreciate the assistance for the newbee. They are Italian bees. I am going to do another inspection either Monday or Tuesday as I am not home right now. Thank you for your generous offer Clyder I will keep you posted.

    Bill

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Lake County Ill
    Posts
    443

    Default Re: Bees gathering outside of hive

    Perhaps I do not understand, but why are you trying to block the entrance?

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Cache, Utah, USA
    Posts
    61

    Default Re: Bees gathering outside of hive

    Hello everybody, I'm brand new as well. Caught my first swarm Wednesday. It was huge I'm told, 7-8 lbs of bees. Anyway, I don't want to steal this thread but I just wanted to tell Clyderoad and Billswitz that I lived in Bay Shore and Huntington for a short while back in 95'. Nice place. Thanks for all your help on this forum for us new guys.
    Quote Originally Posted by clyderoad View Post
    Feeding is necessary so they build comb for the queen to lay in. 1:1 sugar to water, as much as they will take.
    Our flow is on now so there is additional food stuffs, pollen and nectar, available to them but they will take the sugar syrup and quite a bit too. A quart a day is not too much.
    The lemongrass oil is a scent they supposedly like and there are claims it helps keep them from absconding. I have used it to establish new hives from packages and they didn't leave- LGO, I don't know if it helped but it sure didn't hurt any.

    I think it's a good practice to leave them be for a week or so except for feeding. The less they are interrupted now the better as they have a lot to do. You can keep an eye on them from watching the entrance as far as whether they are coming and going from the hive and if they are bringing in pollen. Are they in one 10 frame box? Don't want to give them too much room early on.

    BTW I run langs as well, currently 4 hives behind my shop in Bay Shore. Where are you located?
    Seems to be a good year thus far.
    Feel free to contact me if it's necessary.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Suffolk, NY, USA
    Posts
    658

    Default Re: Bees gathering outside of hive

    Talvez, big change, LI to Utah, eh? traveled through Utah a number of years ago- did the National Park circuit with a couple of side trips to some ghost towns. Even swam/floated in the Great Salt Lake. Always wanted to do that and I was the only one in the water. Cool stuff. Enjoyed Salt Lake City too, very manageable compared to the East coast cities.
    Good luck with your bees in the beehive state!

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Suffolk, New York, USA
    Posts
    11

    Default Re: Bees gathering outside of hive

    Woodedareas, I read somewhere that when hiving your supposed to block the entrance for 24 hours and at the time I posted it I thought It was essential to everything going smoothly, but now looking back at it I don't think it was actually that essential. If anyone thinks blocking the entrance is necessary feel free to correct me.
    Hi, Talvez welcome to the thread. I have also been to Utah, mostly southern Utah, never as far as The Great Salt Lake. That does sound like a big swarm my package that I hived was about half as big. Good luck with them.
    Its raining here now so Ill try to get an inspection in either later today or tomorrow.
    Last edited by Billswitz; 06-18-2013 at 09:08 PM.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Rupert, Idaho
    Posts
    140

    Default Re: Bees gathering outside of hive

    Make sure when you are looking for the queen that you really concentrate on the bees and not so much on the brood and eggs. When you concentrate on the bees the queen seems to stand out more. Now I'm not saying to not check for brood and eggs, just when you start looking for the queen really concentrate on the bees. Good luck.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Davie, Florida, USA
    Posts
    826

    Default Re: Bees gathering outside of hive

    Luv2...Why do you feel the need to be so focused on finding the queen, as opposed to all the evidence she gives us that she is laying...ie brood, larvae, eggs...??? When I inspect, as long as I see all 3, I know enough to know the queen is there and laying, and don't risk possible injury to her with further inspection. Not criticizing in any way...we all have different approaches...just curious. Thanks!

    Billswitz...I hope you found all was well! It sometimes takes time for the queen to start laying, plus t takes time to develop your "I see larvae and eggs eyes"...I hope all is well! Keep us posted.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Rupert, Idaho
    Posts
    140

    Default Re: Bees gathering outside of hive

    Clyder's quote
    "Now not finding the queen could be an issue. Might want to look real good to make sure if she is or isn't present in the hive. If you can't find her after a good frame by frame examination (they like to hide and will move to the downside of the frame that you're looking at) maybe you could get a hold of a queen locally. But you need to be sure the original queen is gone before investing in a replacement as the bees will probably kill the new queen."
    I guess the reason I am focused so much on finding the queen is of the comments clyder made. I don't always go looking for the queen. Evidently Billswitz would like to see the queen and I was just giving him an easier way to find her that works for me. When I find good frames of larve and eggs I stop going any further unless I see something that warrants more inspection. In my post you will see that I said, "Now I'm not saying to not check for brood and eggs, just when you start looking for the queen really concentrate on the bees". Every new bee keeper wants to see the queen, not a problem, this is only my 4th year of keeping bees so I am no expert by any means, don't claim to be, just giving a suggestion to something that works for me. In the comments from Billswitz, he does not have the other evidence, so he goes looking for the queen. Now I know it is still early in the game for his queen to be laying depending on when she was released. But with no eggs, larve or capped brood you then move on to looking for the queen. Just my 2 cents worth.
    Last edited by Luv2beekeep; 06-19-2013 at 07:32 AM. Reason: add on.

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