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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Portland, Oregon, USA
    Posts
    7

    Default Bees Fanning at Entrance?

    This is a scenario I see often, yet I am not sure if it's a good one or a bad one...

    I have a TBH. There are several bees positioned backwards on the entrance landing. There heads are pointed in the hive and their tails pointed out. I have seen them with their tails up, but today they have their tails down and they are beating their wings rapidly. My entrance is about 1" deep and 12" wide. There is a cluster of bees fanning at 1/3 of the entrance.

    Sorry no pictures - technologically challenged here.

    Any ideas why this happens?

    Much Thanks,
    Tara

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Evansville, IN
    Posts
    2,230

    Default Re: Bees Fanning at Entrance?

    They are the air conditioning crew. Bees cool the hive by evaporating water, hence the need for air movement.

    Peter

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Portland, Oregon, USA
    Posts
    7

    Default Re: Bees Fanning at Entrance?

    Interesting ... though it doesn't seem to make much sense air conditioning outside of the hive.
    Might they need a larger entrance?

    Or could it be robber scouts (if there is such) fanning to alert their buddies of the location?
    I'm paranoid about my bees getting robbed.

    Tara

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Camas, WA
    Posts
    1,859

    Default Re: Bees Fanning at Entrance?

    The bees pointing their fanning away from the hives are probably on one side of the entrance. Inside there are also bees fanning on the other side of the entrance blowing air the other way (inside the hive). They pick a circulation route and fan to move the air along that route. At night, when the foragers have returned you can hear them circulating air.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Kaysville, Utah, USA
    Posts
    369

    Default Re: Bees Fanning at Entrance?

    I also think they're cooling. My bees do it in warm weather. Based upon my experience, robbing would probably be a lot more dramatic, with hordes trying to get in, bees fighting on the landing board, etc.
    Don't provoke a hive full of angry bees.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Elkton, Giles, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    1,246

    Default Re: Bees Fanning at Entrance?

    Moving air though the hive interior is used both for cooling and curing of nectar during "main flow."
    Walt

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Davie, Florida, USA
    Posts
    531

    Default Re: Bees Fanning at Entrance?

    If you really want to know what is happening???? Seriously...take a small piece of light weight tissue, and hold it in the air in front of the hive entrance. You WILL be amazed at how much air they are moving! It will either be sucked in, or pushed out...but either way, it will happen with force that will amaze you!

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