Bees all over outside of hive
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  1. #1
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    Mar 2014
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    Macon Co., Alabama, USA
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    Default Bees all over outside of hive

    Have 6 hives, all about the same strength. All have the same configuration of 2 deeps with 8 frames and a honey super on top. All entrances on bottom are still on smallest opening. I have upper entrances on 3 of my more busy hives. Hive 1 has had bees all over the sides of it each day for just more than a week. I have checked and not found any queen cells.

    After a hard freeze we lost most of our early nectar and pollen production. It's starting to pick back up again. I just don't know why hive 1 is getting covered with bees each day. I thought about opening the entrance reducer a bit more today. Any other suggestions?

    Hive 1.jpg

    Thanks!

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    Greenville, SC USA
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    Default Re: Bees all over outside of hive

    I have a hive (one of my two) that always has more bees on the outside. It's normally simply due to a larger population. I do see that your Hive 1 is at the end of your stand. I've heard (and seen for myself) that the end hives are often the strongest. I suspect it's due to drifting or shortcutting. Have you noticed if the majority of your bee traffic is in the direction of Hive 1? As in do the bees leaving the other hives fly past Hive 1 and vice versa on their return? If so, perhaps bees are dropping their goods in the first available hive. That increases # of foragers on it, increases incoming stores, and thus may increase queen output.

  4. #3
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    Mar 2014
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    Macon Co., Alabama, USA
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    Default Re: Bees all over outside of hive

    That is a possibility. It seems the end hive has always been the strongest over the last 3 years.

  5. #4
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    May 2015
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    Greenville, SC USA
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    Default Re: Bees all over outside of hive

    You could test by swapping another hive into that location. Give it a few weeks and see if the same thing occurs at that location.

  6. #5
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    Mar 2014
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    Macon Co., Alabama, USA
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    Default Re: Bees all over outside of hive

    I would need to make a two person hive moving tool to try that theory.

  7. #6
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    Feb 2012
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    Colorado Springs, CO United States
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    Default Re: Bees all over outside of hive

    My thoughts are congestion, I would open the entrance reducer to the largest setting. It will become worse, especially if/when drones become part of the congestion
    Please excuse me, I am now free to go manage & treat ;)
    my ladies the best way I know how.

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2015
    Location
    Vineland, nj
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    42

    Default Re: Bees all over outside of hive

    IMG_1645.jpgIMG_1645.jpg

    I have the same thing going on in my two hives. It seems to happen when the temperature goes above 60-65 degrees.
    Last edited by Quad1993; 03-29-2017 at 02:24 PM.

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Location
    Bellflower, Montgomery,Mo,USA
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    629

    Default Re: Bees all over outside of hive

    Cadence,

    Unless you have the boxes stapled together you don't need to move the whole hive at once. You can move the boxes off one at a time then move the bottom board and reassemble in another place.

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
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    Colorado Springs, CO United States
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    1,441

    Default Re: Bees all over outside of hive

    Why go through the extra work, when you can just open there entrances? Has the weather prermiited to look in on the inside?
    Please excuse me, I am now free to go manage & treat ;)
    my ladies the best way I know how.

  11. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Alexandria, Virginia
    Posts
    810

    Default Re: Bees all over outside of hive

    swarm behavior more than likely....what does this hive look like in the inside-forget the outside. WAC everywhere, queen cells bees out the ying-yang if you have one LOL.....get your swarm retrieval stuff ready......man if they all swarm-you're in a heap of trouble boy!!
    Quote Originally Posted by Cadence View Post
    Have 6 hives, all about the same strength. All have the same configuration of 2 deeps with 8 frames and a honey super on top. All entrances on bottom are still on smallest opening. I have upper entrances on 3 of my more busy hives. Hive 1 has had bees all over the sides of it each day for just more than a week. I have checked and not found any queen cells.

    After a hard freeze we lost most of our early nectar and pollen production. It's starting to pick back up again. I just don't know why hive 1 is getting covered with bees each day. I thought about opening the entrance reducer a bit more today. Any other suggestions?

    Hive 1.jpg

    Thanks!

  12. #11
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Alexandria, Virginia
    Posts
    810

    Default Re: Bees all over outside of hive

    Quote Originally Posted by Quad1993 View Post
    IMG_1645.jpgIMG_1645.jpg

    I have the same thing going on in my two hives. It seems to happen when the temperature goes above 60-65 degrees.

    more like every time spring rolls around....look inside these hives and tell us what you see? WAC? Queen cells? LOTSA bees? there's nothing you can do except watch where they go....April 14 will come sooner this year...We call it National Bee Swarm Day LOL

  13. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
    Location
    North Florida
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    325

    Default Re: Bees all over outside of hive

    Cadence, Im in north Florida and mine are bearding and hanging on the hives too. Down here it is due to the heat in the hive. Mine do it late afternoon when they all come home and crowd the hive so it gets hot inside and they hang out side to cool off I guess.

  14. #13
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
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    Alexandria, Virginia
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    810

    Default Re: Bees all over outside of hive

    jax?
    Quote Originally Posted by GSkip View Post
    Cadence, Im in north Florida and mine are bearding and hanging on the hives too. Down here it is due to the heat in the hive. Mine do it late afternoon when they all come home and crowd the hive so it gets hot inside and they hang out side to cool off I guess.

  15. #14
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    Mar 2014
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    Macon Co., Alabama, USA
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    Default Re: Bees all over outside of hive

    [I]You can move the boxes off one at a time then move the bottom board and reassemble in another place.

    Yes I could do that, I was just hoping of not disturbing them that much.

    vdotmatrix, I don't know what WAC stands for?

    I'm sure I'm due for a swarm any day now. All the hives are brimming with bees. Between full time work, weather, and life's other duties the bees fit into my schedule as much as possible. There is nothing like marveling at one of God's great creations!

    I will open the bottom entrance to the next size up.
    Last edited by Cadence; 03-30-2017 at 06:04 AM. Reason: insert quote

  16. #15
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    Apr 2014
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    Alexandria, Virginia
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    810

    Default Re: Bees all over outside of hive

    Wild Ass Comb, as in burr or wild comb...I made up the term.WAC. Hey man , in the spring, or whenever, the worse thing you can do is not go in and know exactly what is going on with your hives. They aren't going to stop talking to you if you disturb them....a few days can mean the difference between in loosing your hive or your honey crop or both.
    Quote Originally Posted by Cadence View Post
    [I]You can move the boxes off one at a time then move the bottom board and reassemble in another place.

    Yes I could do that, I was just hoping of not disturbing them that much.

    vdotmatrix, I don't know what WAC stands for?

    I'm sure I'm due for a swarm any day now. All the hives are brimming with bees. Between full time work, weather, and life's other duties the bees fit into my schedule as much as possible. There is nothing like marveling at one of God's great creations!

    I will open the bottom entrance to the next size up.

  17. #16
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Kirksville, Missouri USA
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    1,768

    Default Re: Bees all over outside of hive

    Quote Originally Posted by Cadence View Post
    [I]You can move the boxes off one at a time then move the bottom board and reassemble in another place.

    Yes I could do that, I was just hoping of not disturbing them that much.

    vdotmatrix, I don't know what WAC stands for?

    I'm sure I'm due for a swarm any day now. All the hives are brimming with bees. Between full time work, weather, and life's other duties the bees fit into my schedule as much as possible. There is nothing like marveling at one of God's great creations!

    I will open the bottom entrance to the next size up.
    I don't see a reason to switch hives, unless you have a weak hive that needs help. That hive position may always be stronger. You should inspect and look for swarm prep evidence. Back filling the brood nest is a good one. Swarm cells are just the last step and by the time you find swarm cells you have a few days before a possible swarm. Give them space and open up the entrance more if they are packed with bees and they are filling with excess nectar. If they are prepping for a swarm, open up the brood nest as well.

  18. #17
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
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    Macon Co., Alabama, USA
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    169

    Default Re: Bees all over outside of hive

    Thank you for your advice Daniel

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