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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Location
    Eagle River Wisconsin USA
    Posts
    2

    Default Bees Seem to Be Going A Bit Crazy After Adding Boxes Yesterday

    My husband is the beekeeper and this is our first year with two Warre hives. We could see through the observation window that the first box was almost full. He was concerned about swarming and decided to add the third and fourth box. He also did this to the second hive, which doesn't seem near as active and was quite a bit lighter when he picked it up. Well, twice today, from the weaker hive, there was a crazy burst of activity for about twenty minutes with lots of bees flooding out of the hive and acting agitated outside of the entrance. My husband thought he saw quite a few large bees, which he thought were drones on the outside. Does anybody have some opinions of what might be going on ? Are they possibly preparing to swarm?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    collbran, co
    Posts
    506

    Default Re: Bees Seem to Be Going A Bit Crazy After Adding Boxes Yesterday

    most likely they are new drones and new worker bees getting ready to start foraging so they are doing there orientation flights.they should calm down after a little bit mine do that everyday about the same time.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Location
    Elkhorn Wi
    Posts
    31

    Default Re: Bees Seem to Be Going A Bit Crazy After Adding Boxes Yesterday

    I just started beekeeping this year too. I also have 2 Warre hives with windows. So when the bees were outside the hive what exactly were they doing that gave you the impression they were agitated? Sounds to me like they weren't happy with the additions. Don't compare hives. Your weaker hive, was it in need of another box? Were they 2/3rds done building comb in the box above? You should only add one box at a time. Come winter, especially with our Wisconsin winters you don't want to much open spaces in the hives for them to have to keep warm. I would take one box off of at least the weaker hive until it is warranted. Two main reasons for swarming. Overcrowded or poor ventilation. My good hive swarmed last week. It was packed like sardines even with the 4th box on and it was an amazing sight! My weak hive still only 2 boxes. Get familiar with the drones. Google drone pictures. First time I saw one I thought it was the queen till I looked it up! lol They have large eyes and no stingers. My 5 year old grandson can tell the difference and picks them up and play with them! Bees are exciting amazing creatures!
    Last edited by suzyq; 07-08-2014 at 01:56 AM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,827

    Default Re: Bees Seem to Be Going A Bit Crazy After Adding Boxes Yesterday

    Orientation flights are one possibility. Bees returning to the hive get confused when the hive changes size as they often home in on the size to recognize their hive.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Location
    Applegate, Oregon, USA
    Posts
    36

    Default Re: Bees Seem to Be Going A Bit Crazy After Adding Boxes Yesterday

    I would think also, you just gave them a lot more space, they need to get used to it. It would make sense to me that things would be a little hectic for a day or so. Also, why did you add two boxes? Just wondering because I've only added one at a time to let them fill it and catch up before adding a new one. Would it send them into a bit of an overworking state since they now have to keep two more boxes at the right temp and humidity?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Location
    Houston, Texas, USA
    Posts
    12

    Default Re: Bees Seem to Be Going A Bit Crazy After Adding Boxes Yesterday

    Adding two boxes in one go is too much in my opinion. Should have gone with one box when the BOTTOM one is 1/2 to 2/3 full with a good nectar flow. THat approach has worked best with the Warre's I've got here in Houston. Consider also, that we are approaching the end of the season and that in about a month's time the hive will start tossing out the drones. The queen will also slow down on egg laying. Thats a lot of space for the hive to work and fill with comb.

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