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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Daleville, AL
    Posts
    172

    Default Bees in a bunch under the hive (and how it differs from a swarm)

    So I got home today, knowing I had a hive that I probably should have added a super to on Friday, but didn't. Sure enough, it was bearded. As in all over the front and sides. No worries, I thought, I'll wait til the sun dips and the temps with it, and I'll go add a new box and checker some foundationless frames into it.

    Then came the thunderstorms. Lots of rain. I stepped out to make sure my bees were smart enough to go back inside the hive, only to see what looked like 2 swarms, one under the lid, and one under the bottom board. So I figgered it was high time to get that box added. It was not raining, except the occasional drop, but I figured that was nothing compared to the thousand or more bees that were hanging there, drenched. So I dove in without smoke (but a jacket and pants!), and started re-arranging everything.

    Got them all set, then decided I'd lift all those suffering bees and set them in the top box. Here's where the lesson comes in... wet bees on the bottom of a hive are NOT as docile as a swarm, though they appear the same. They sting. Yes, they do. Fortunately only a couple got thru my nitrile gloves, but many more were trying. So I switched to my hive tool to carry them to the top, and got the majority of them inside to dry off. Hopefully they will make it.
    Three swarms, one queen added to brood from each of two purchased nucs (in deeps) for a total of 6 hives

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Littlerock, California, USA
    Posts
    951

    Default Re: Bees in a bunch under the hive (and how it differs from a swarm)

    This time of year my hives see 100*+ outside temperatures and the beard up good. Sometimes covering the front of the hive as well. They wait until after dark sometimes to go inside. With evening temps on the mid 70*s I do not think there is a concern. Rain would concern me though. In my area I have see usurpation swarms come in and set up shop under the bottom board, do you think you may have a usurpation swarm?
    “Everything will be all right in the end... if it's not all right then it's not yet the end”

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Daleville, AL
    Posts
    172

    Default Re: Bees in a bunch under the hive (and how it differs from a swarm)

    Not sure, hadn't thought of that. At any rate, most are in the hive now, so hopefully they will live.
    Three swarms, one queen added to brood from each of two purchased nucs (in deeps) for a total of 6 hives

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Great Falls Montana
    Posts
    4,264

    Default Re: Bees in a bunch under the hive (and how it differs from a swarm)

    Chances are you have a Screened bottom board on and the bees get confused and caught on the wrong side of it. Sometimes a queen gets on the wrong side of one. Fine religious artifacts but do the bees no good that I have seen.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Daleville, AL
    Posts
    172

    Default Re: Bees in a bunch under the hive (and how it differs from a swarm)

    Nope. Solid BB.

    Quote Originally Posted by Vance G View Post
    Chances are you have a Screened bottom board on and the bees get confused and caught on the wrong side of it. Sometimes a queen gets on the wrong side of one. Fine religious artifacts but do the bees no good that I have seen.
    Three swarms, one queen added to brood from each of two purchased nucs (in deeps) for a total of 6 hives

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Littlerock, California, USA
    Posts
    951

    Default Re: Bees in a bunch under the hive (and how it differs from a swarm)

    Quote Originally Posted by F6Hawk View Post
    At any rate, most are in the hive now, so hopefully they will live.
    Good news! The bees seem to work things out without our intervention.
    “Everything will be all right in the end... if it's not all right then it's not yet the end”

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