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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Manitoba Canada
    Posts
    5,487

    Default Bees Polishing Hive Frount

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rkdvr...ature=youtu.be

    I see this occasionally but not very often, are these guys just over performers and love a clean house? or what the heck are they doing?
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Grosse Ile, Michigan, USA
    Posts
    2,768

    Default Re: Bees Polishing Hive Frount

    I know the books call it the washboard dance, but even the experts can't say for sure what its all about, there are a few guesses though. I seem to see it in advance of a hive preparing to swarm, and also they will do it when there is not much yielding in the fields either because of a slowing honey flow, or bad weather that keeps them from flying much. Those are my observations, would be interesting hear others comments on it. John

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
    Posts
    24,494

    Default Re: Bees Polishing Hive Frount

    According to The Encyclopedia of Beekeeping this behavior occurs on the inside of the hive also. Even though thge reason why is unknown it may be a type of cleaning behavior done by young bees. The description is of as many as 100 bees lined up on the front of a hive, heads oriented downward, second and third pairs of legs firmly planted, the front legs "stepping" forwards and back, and their mandibles sliding over the surface.

    Yup, "Line Dancing". And most of the bee experts only recognize two Bee Dances. HA!

    Hyperactive Obsesive Compulsive Bees?
    Mark Berninghausen "Ships at a distance have every man's wish on board." Zora Neale Hurston

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Grosse Ile, Michigan, USA
    Posts
    2,768

    Default Re: Bees Polishing Hive Frount

    I do know that especially this year I have noticed them doing it on my strongest hives only, so it very well could be that there are lots of young bees with nothing to do considering the lousy weather we have been having during the main flow. Also, these same hives are the only ones that have constructed some queen cells and tried to swarm on me. John

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Manitoba Canada
    Posts
    5,487

    Default Re: Bees Polishing Hive Frount

    Hyperactive Obsessive Compulsive Bees, ha ya

    there are lots of bees in this hive and the flow is just starting. I dont see this very often but I do see it from time to time. My first reaction is of a hygienic hive, but then I have never heard of this as being a marker for that trait

    That back and fourth motion kind of mesmerizes me lol,
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

  6. #6

    Default Re: Bees Polishing Hive Frount

    I have one hive doing this as well. Many of my hives are 'washboarding' the landing boards but only this one that covers the entire front with an eye catching, undulating rhythmic motion across the entire face of the hive.
    We are at the beginning of our summer dearth.
    Dan www.boogerhillbee.com
    Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Jacksonville, NC
    Posts
    201

    Default Re: Bees Polishing Hive Frount

    Cool...washboarding behavior in bees.
    Mine all do it, as soon as the flow slows down, and all that brood that emerges, sort of gets "bored" in the hive. The more populous the hive, the more bees will be on the front of the hive doing this washboarding thing. I would also think, that by being outside of the hive, they play into thermo regulating the hive. Love to watch them.

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