Bearding, swarming, robbing or hive intruder?? (pic and video)
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Location
    San Francisco, CA
    Posts
    5

    Default Bearding, swarming, robbing or hive intruder?? (pic and video)

    Picture and video

    Went out to my hive this afternoon and a good amount of bees were bearding under the alighting board. I thought it was due to heat and ventilation so I removed a removable plex-glass sheet under my screened bottom board.

    Then I started wondering if yellow jackets had tried to enter the hive and had been balled up. But the beard has seemed pretty relaxed since the first time I saw it. There were 5-10 dead bees in front of the hive, a few dead bees on the screened bottom board and at least one was torn in two. I also saw two bees fighting, stingers out.

    I'm also wondering if another hive is taking over and moving in.

    I checked on them at about 11:30 pm, quite cool outside now, 7 hours later and they're still bearding. There are a handful of bees walking around the entrance which I've never seen at this hour.

    Any thoughts on what might be happening or anything I can/should do would be much appreciated.


    Thanks so much everyone!!!

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  3. #2

    Default Re: Bearding, swarming, robbing or hive intruder?? (pic and video)

    Open it up and you will be able to see what's happening inside.
    Let me never fall into the vulgar mistake of dreaming that I am persecuted whenever I am contradicted. - Emerson

  4. #3
    Join Date
    May 2016
    Location
    Parrottsville TN
    Posts
    252

    Default Re: Bearding, swarming, robbing or hive intruder?? (pic and video)

    It doesn't look like the bearding I am used to seeing where they are all over the front of the box, not hanging off the landing board. The only time I, in my limited experience, have seen bees clustered together like that was in a swarm.

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Denver, Colorado, U.S.A.
    Posts
    2,660

    Default Re: Bearding, swarming, robbing or hive intruder?? (pic and video)

    I am not sure what to say about the apparent bearding, but, looking through the entrance your hive has too much light inside. It is practically as bright as the day in there.
    --shinbone
    (1975-1980, and now since 2011; maintain about 10 hives; Zone 5b; 15" rain; 5500')

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Location
    Deerfield, Illinois
    Posts
    406

    Default Re: Bearding, swarming, robbing or hive intruder?? (pic and video)

    Not certain what happening. I agree with Beemandan look inside your hive and see what's is going on. Also it looks like your hive is about to slide off of your stand. Seems too far to the left. Also is it possible your feeder is leaking. It is rather late in the year to be feeding. Suggest next year you switch to an internal or top feeder.

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Santa barbara, CA
    Posts
    779

    Default Re: Bearding, swarming, robbing or hive intruder?? (pic and video)

    The more open a hive is does not necessarily make it cooler. When I started out I had very open screened inner covers, along with a lot of ventilation under the cover. The bees would constantly close off the screens with propolis. I don't see any signs of robbing but dead bees below the landing could be a sign of this. I hope you only put water in that boardman feeder. Syrup, especially with Honey-B-Healthy would invite robbing. If defending a hive is a goal you could close down that entrance to 3/4" to 1" or so without causing much problem with congestion. As far as that persistent bearding could be a swarm looking for a new home or perhaps you've cast a hesitant swarm that's not ready to completely depart. Here's a pic of a swarm that landed on the front of one of mine. I think these were trying to usurp the hive though.
    If you only have a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail.
    Abraham Maslow

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Location
    San Francisco, CA
    Posts
    5

    Default Re: Bearding, swarming, robbing or hive intruder?? (pic and video)

    When I opened the hive yesterday, everything seemed normal inside. I'm starting to think it's a swarm. The more I look at the beard, the more I think they're different bees than mine. I'm restricting the entrance to a couple inches.

    It's so bright in the hive because i was using just a screened bottom board, so lots of light coming in. And the feeder is there to restrict the entrance. Haven't feed them syrup in a while. Definitely nothing in the feeder when the beard showed up.

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Location
    San Francisco, CA
    Posts
    5

    Default Re: Bearding, swarming, robbing or hive intruder?? (pic and video)

    Just went to check on them. Beard is gone. I think they flew off. Pretty sure it was a little swarm.

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Alexandria, MN
    Posts
    723

    Default Re: Bearding, swarming, robbing or hive intruder?? (pic and video)

    While I'm no expert the video to me looked like a small beard. My gut tells me that it wasn't a swarm.
    Not Michael Bush. My name is Dan. Sorry for the confusion.

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