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Burlington, MA. Langs
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Back story and FLF=Foundation-less Frame
Nuc installed on May3 into 10 frame deep, with 3 FLF in with them near the ends. Next day added Med super with 3 small bins for syrup. It has been cloudy, cool and rainy the past 2 weeks so been checking top here and there and adding syrup for them.
Thursday I check frames and move around so the 2 med brood frames I got in the Nuc will go to the sides so I can swap them for deeps when the brood emerges and back fills with nectar. 2 of the 3 FLF were drawn out completely, one about 1/4 - 1/2 drawn.

Friday the 15th @ 3:30pm I go to add some syrup and Holy Bee-ness ! There are SO MANY BEES ! It was very warm that day, many bees coming and going with pollen and such. They were brimming all over inside the hive and that was with many out foraging. I thought they might be out of room or they filled all the comb with the syrup. I didn't want them to Swarm thinking they had no room. So I added another Deep to make sure Queen had room to lay. In that extra Deep were 3 used frames of empty comb, 2 had the top corners with old honey. These were sandwiched between FLF in the center of the deep and the sides got FLF to fill the 10 with frames. SO it went FLF, FLF, Old comb, FLF, Old Comb, FLF, Old comb, FLF, FLF, FLF. I then put the Med Super on with syrup. I also switched the entrance reducer from the small to the larger opening (1.5" to 3" ? size) thinking they might need more room & ventilation with so many bees and 70º weather for the next week.

Saturday was so nice out, sunny and 70º I sat out front of the hive to watch and watched them on and off all day. Lots of bees coming out to forage and lots of Pollen coming in, some even bright Orange color. In the morning around 10am I even lightly mowed the small back yard (patchy pieces of grass and compacted dirt:waiting:) with my electric mower. Actually I didn't even have to get that close, maybe 5 feet in front. They didn't care at all, no more/less activity and the guard bees didn't even look my way. I went and sat next to the hive (no suit on like usual) on my milk crate for 20 min to watch.... I think it's a Mom thing, I did that when I had Hens too.

Murphy's Law found me at 3:30pm as I was about to leave for work (4pm-1am) I thought there was either Robbing or Swarm happening. :eek: Total Freak out !!! :ws: Great I have to leave at 4:55 to be at work (yeah it is right down the road lucky me).
Don the Suit frantically to go put my face at the entrance to see for sure what is happening. I don't see fighting so I was a bit relieved but maybe I am not seeing the truth since I am new. Bees coming with Pollen and going right in. Guard bees checking out bees but only checking out 1 to 1-2 at a time fast. No rumbling, none falling off the board. Many buzzing/hovering around the front which is what made me think swarm/robbing. Since the Reducer was on the bigger size I grabbed the extra reducer and put it in front with the small hole in front of the larger one. I did this thinking that if I was wrong on the robbing that they could defend it better. I had run inside to Google robbing vs swarming. I had not even thought about Orientation flights with that brood Boom !
I lifted the Med syrup super to look inside quick. I wanted to see if they were frantic inside or not. They were not but were not happy I smushed a few bees getting it back on quick.
I HAD to leave for work and at 3:55 they had calmed down to what you would think is normal and some fanning was going on. I took off the extra reducer so they had the 3" opening now thinking it was orientation flights,

Man O Man, can I tell you my heart was pounding. I have waiting 6 years to have bees!

@1:45am I peeked inside the entrance with my small pen light and I see bees on the bottom of comb, ear to hive body sounded like nice normal Humming--- so I slept well
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
This morning it was 52º, cloudy and they are slow to get out. It's 10am, 60º and they are coming and going at about normal to a bit slower pace.
Later around 2-3pm I will check the top to see if they need more syrup or not. Other then that I am not looking any deeper in it
 

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So it is pretty early for them to swarm so soon after installation, have you done an inspection and looked for queen cells? Also, what you may have witnessed is all of the bees coming back from their foraging flights as they tend to do that at the same time in mid afternoon. Once the sun dips below a certain angle, its quittin' time! And the bees all come home. I find that my bees return to the hive around 4-5 pm.

Also, biggest difference between robbing a swarming, robbing bees fly straight into the entrance as fast as possible to get past the guard bees. They do not hover, or land, or anything like that. But robbing during this time is pretty uncommon as there is a nectar flow going on.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
After googling what it could be I am pretty confidant that it is that. They do seem to be hovering/figure 8(?) around the entrance and again today, I think yesterday for a bit too. This is the 1st time they started to do this since I got them on May 3rd. I am sure it is due to the explosion of emergence... or so I think.
During all this there are bees coming in with pollen and not hovering, just straight in.

There were no QC when I looked quick last week. It has been kind of cloudy on the days that I can get in there to look better.
I am planning to go in on Thursday to see how it looks on the bottom of that 1st box.
I need to take a few pics of the cells and then look for eggs as I am new and don't want to poke around too too much.
I would love to mark the queen just for quick ID but I don't want to squish her .

They are still really good Bees, I go and sit next to them after work at 3:30 (up until 3 days ago) and again today I just did it at about 6:30.

I have to find out when my flows are around me. Still lots of studying to do :)
 
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