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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2016
    Location
    Franklin, IN, USA
    Posts
    4

    Default Why are my bees flying all over the ground?

    This is only my second year beekeeping, so I really need some help. I just went outside to feed our horses, and I noticed that there are bees all over the ground. Not just right outside the hive, but 30-40 feet away near the horses, in the garden, in the yard, all over. They look like they're investigating the depressions in the dirt. I thought maybe mites, but I was under the impression that if they had mites they wouldn't be able to fly. I watched several of them and they seem to be able to fly still. I haven't opened the hive yet because it's only mid-March and it's barely 50 degrees out. Do you know what's going on? I treated them in the fall for varroa mites (major infestation), and I also had issues with SHB last year. Please help!

    Also, I may be opening a can of worms here, but is there a standard treatment plan that most people use to prevent mites and other pests and diseases? Like do I treat in the spring for certain things and the fall for others. Should I only treat when there's a definite problem? I thought originally that I didn't want to use chemicals and stuff on the bees and just keep things natural. I lost that delusion last year with the varroa mite and SHB issues, so lay it on me. Thanks!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    9,461

    Default Re: Why are my bees flying all over the ground?

    Probably collecting 'moisture' from the depressions in the dirt.

    Bees may be using that collected 'moisture' to dilute stored honey, and quite possibly needing fairly large volumes to do that because they are raising brood.

    Bees seem to prefer 'scented' water to what we consider 'clean' water. If there are horses in that area, that moisture may be ... uhh ... horse pee.
    Graham
    USDA Zone 7A Elevation 1400 ft

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Suffolk, NY, USA
    Posts
    2,793

    Default Re: Why are my bees flying all over the ground?

    regarding the bees all over the ground: if it's moist ground the bees may be taking up minerals/moisture they need. I'm assuming they are not piled up in a mass but on the ground in a 1 bee layer. I've seen them all over the wet mud on the farm especially in the spring. Maybe
    you can get down low and see if they are sucking up moisture, you'll see their tongues extended into the wetness. Make sure you have some kind of
    water source nearby for the bees.

    as far as mites: I suggest you start a new thread asking about suggested treatment plans, it may get lost in this thread.

    what rader said.
    "Drink deep, or taste not the Pierian spring:........" Alexander Pope 1709

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Location
    Rosebud Missouri
    Posts
    1,300

    Default Re: Why are my bees flying all over the ground?

    Mine have been all over the ground for weeks. You even have to watch where you step and sometime pretty far from the hive and usually not more then one bee in one little area. I was pretty sure they were getting water because on top of one of my long langs where there is some wet plywood, they are sucking on that pretty hard also. I didn't know either but was taking it as sort of normal.
    Cheers
    gww
    zone 5b

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Lexington, VA, USA
    Posts
    306

    Default Re: Why are my bees flying all over the ground?

    If you have a mineral/salt block out for your horses they may also visit that, and they may also be getting minerals from the soil.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    Scott county, Arkansas, Usa
    Posts
    698

    Default Re: Why are my bees flying all over the ground?

    My bees were working the Redbud trees before this last cold spell hit. The next day when it started warming they were all over the ground, not in the trees. It took about three days for the Redbuds to recover and begin to produce nectar. Then, the bees returned to the trees and I didn't see them on the ground again.

    So, to make a long story short, I agree with Rader.

    Alex
    Ten years of Beekeeping before varroa. Started again spring of 2014.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2016
    Location
    Franklin, IN, USA
    Posts
    4

    Default Re: Why are my bees flying all over the ground?

    Thanks so much! That makes me feel so much better!
    Last edited by slperry; 03-19-2017 at 06:19 PM. Reason: spelling

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    hinesville ga usa
    Posts
    713

    Default Re: Why are my bees flying all over the ground?

    I have a salt water pool so I have to pour out a bag of salt near my apiary to keep the bees from going to the pool as much. Lately I've noticed they cover the ground where I placed the salt last year, so as Billabell suggested it could be they are after the minerals.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    Lassen, California, USA
    Posts
    490

    Default Re: Why are my bees flying all over the ground?

    And, in my area I've noticed, the plants that flower first are close to the ground.
    Some days it's not even worth chewing through the restraints.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
    Location
    Bedford County, PA USA
    Posts
    203

    Default Re: Why are my bees flying all over the ground?

    Mine were all over my compost pile a few weeks back. Conclusion: moisture and maybe minerals.
    Local Carniolan Bees. All medium configuration.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    Champaign, Illinois
    Posts
    1,850

    Default Re: Why are my bees flying all over the ground?

    My bees were getting water from melting snow last week.
    Internet credibility is an oxymoron

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    JACKSON OHIO
    Posts
    534

    Default Re: Why are my bees flying all over the ground?

    The are after urine

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