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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Manitoba Canada
    Posts
    6,602

    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
    2,901

    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
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Jacksonville, NC
    Posts
    253

    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.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
    Posts
    28,276

    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
    The answers are the end. The questions are the journey. Journey on.



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Grosse Ile, Michigan, USA
    Posts
    2,901

    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

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Manitoba Canada
    Posts
    6,602

    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

  7. #7

    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

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Yuba City, Ca
    Posts
    128

    Default Re: Bees Polishing Hive Frount

    That's a ton of bees wash boarding. I had 150-200 bees doing the same earlier this year during the first hot week. After I pulled the entrance reducer and the sticky board out (mite check), they stopped. I'm not sure if there was any relation, but it makes me wonder. There was no pollen or nectar coming in at the time.
    Zone 9b. Second year newb.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Northfield,MN
    Posts
    109

    Default Re: Bees Polishing Hive Frount

    strong hive, hot weather, full sun, not much flow. give em room!

  10. #10

    Default Re: Bees Polishing Hive Frount

    Quote Originally Posted by MNbees View Post
    strong hive, hot weather, full sun, not much flow. give em room!
    This is different. In my case I have any number of other hives that have the usual bee beards hanging at the entrance but this one hive they are spread evenly across the face of the hive and are in a constant washboard motion.
    Dan www.boogerhillbee.com
    Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards

  11. #11

    Default Re: Bees Polishing Hive Frount

    It was a bit overcast yesterday…about 85 degrees. There were a few small, ordinary beards like this one.




    In this yard, if you look to the hives at the right side of the pic, you will see the hive in question.



    And a closeup. The girls are all washboarding....the entire front.

    Dan www.boogerhillbee.com
    Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards

  12. #12

    Default Re: Bees Polishing Hive Frount

    Here is a short video…..

    http://youtu.be/WZPlY0G3AV0
    Dan www.boogerhillbee.com
    Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Quincy, Illinois, USA
    Posts
    288

    Default Re: Bees Polishing Hive Frount

    My two hives have been washboarding the last two days. One hive weak, the other strong. On the weak hive I have an empty medium on top, with a boardman feeder setup to feed at the hole in the inner cover. When I popped the top to see how much syrup they had taken during the day, they were in there washboarding on the top of the inner cover. So they're "dancing" inside and out.

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