Bee grooming at the hive entrance
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2018
    Location
    PNW
    Posts
    36

    Default Bee grooming at the hive entrance

    Over and over I see at my hives one or a couple bees grooming another. Some times they groom a drone. Some times there could be some resistance from the groomed bee, but more often that bee just stands still while other bee(s) just picking through her body, every square micron of it.
    What is it? Robing? Any ideas?

    Thanks!

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2015
    Location
    Anon, Anonymous
    Posts
    135

    Default Re: Bee grooming at the hive entrance

    Well I'm not an expert. I was hoping others would answer this.

    The bees have certain jobs they do. One of them is a cleaner. But another job is receiving the foragers 'payloads'. I'm not sure which you are describing; depending on how it looked it could have been either I suppose?

    The fact that they have jobs they do is completely amazing. But I hope one of the others speaks up on it more because others are more qualified on this to talk about it.

  4. #3
    Join Date
    May 2018
    Location
    PNW
    Posts
    36

    Default Re: Bee grooming at the hive entrance

    The other days it was warm enough and bees were flying so I made a couple clips to show what I was talking about.
    https://youtu.be/-QJ19DsZgL4
    https://youtu.be/Kc5oFuz4vHg

  5. #4
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Grand Rapids MI USA
    Posts
    1,649

    Default Re: Bee grooming at the hive entrance

    I’ve seen that activity before and always took it as the guard bees doing their thing. As in “you don’t have the right smell, you sure you belong here?”
    Rod

  6. #5
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Algoma District Northern Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    5,493

    Default Re: Bee grooming at the hive entrance

    I noticed it quite a few years ago and initially took it to be robbing defense; it looked so aggressive. Sometimes two or three bees going at one and even hauling the victim upside down. It is called allogrooming and there is even a request for grooming waggle dance. Hey I got an itch, come and scratch me.

    There are varying degrees of inclination to engage in this behavior. It can be selectively bred for. My bees were quite handy at it! Watching this behavior can be an indicator that you better get after the mites.

    Do a google on bees allogrooming and it will take you to more info and video.
    Last edited by crofter; 01-25-2020 at 10:17 AM.
    Frank

  7. #6
    Join Date
    May 2018
    Location
    PNW
    Posts
    36

    Default Re: Bee grooming at the hive entrance

    Wow, how interesting. Thank you for the information!

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