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Howdy, all.

I asked a question similar to this last year, and have decided to post again.

My Grandmama was one of those ladies who swore by planting with the "moon signs" -- astrology. She planted everything by her "almanick". With phenomenal success, I might add.

Information is still published about setting eggs with the moon, fishing, cutting trees, castrating, weaning, setting fences, etc. all by the moon.

Are any of you aware of moon sign lore as it relates to bees and their keeping? Please post it here! I, personally, have noticed there tend to be more swarms in my area about 2 days before, during, and after a full moon. Can you corroborate that? :scratch:

Note:
I am not interested in debating the "truth" or "fallacy" of moon signs, astrology, folklore, or "science" vs. "superstition". That's for Tailgater. :no:

If you can contribute without being discourteous, please do so. :gh:

Thanks!
Summer
 

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Have you ever read the Foxfire series? Book 2 has a chapter on beekeeping. They talk about throwing handfuls of sand in the air when they see a flying swarm to get them to "light on a bush" for collection... Also talks about drumming swarms.

If there is folklure in Beekeeping it would be in that set of books.
 

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In my country, the indigenous people, the Moari, who number around 15% of the population, did most fishing and agriculture by the moon, plus some star signs. In most stationary shops you can buy a Moari fishing calendar, which tells you what species to fish for and when, right down to which time of day, it is not infallible but is accurate most of the time.

One Maori guy I knew of ran a hamburger bar and was able to reduce wastage by ordering perishables by the Maori fishing calendar, he figured out when the people were hungry, by the moon.

Not sure how any of this would apply to bees, but I'm sure it would. I've not noticed any correlation between bee behaviour and the moon, but that may be due to lack of observation.
 

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Summer,

Not exactly an answer to your question, but I drum bees and they go right into a hive. I also fish for trout according to (best time to fish based on lunar position) on my hand-held GPS which I use for hiking, and I always "limit out." I will have to be more observent of the bees and the moon phases,

Steve
 

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Shane,

Dump bees on a tarp in front of the lower doorway and leading up to the doorway. Tap repeatedly on the side of the brood chamber with a hive tool or stick and they will march right up and enter the hive.

Steve
 

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I think there is always some truth to the full moon. Anything that reacts to light will be effected to some degree. Bees react to light, so I'm not surprised if it has some effect on them. Out here the coyotes get noisy when the full moon is up. That upsets my ducks in their duck house and they lay less eggs. So there is some cause and effect, in this case a negative effect. Why not with bees?
 

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For the early Greek culture, the priestesses of the moon goddess were called bees. It was thought that honey came from the moon (the hive) and the bees were the stars.
The priestesses were called (collectively) the Melissae - for the Romans it was Mellona
I know it's not about the phases, but that's about all I've got without cracking a book. There must be some legend of the phases and the bees in there somewhere.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Very interesting responses so far! No answer to what I was looking for, but really interesting stuff! :rolleyes:

Oldtimer, I am not surprised to hear that the Maori have a rich history of using the moon cycles for fishing. As the tides are affected by the moon, this makes perfect sense.

I worked in a preschool for years, and believe that the full moon influences people. A friend who was in law enforcement for 30+ years has stories. My cousin, the ER nurse has stories.

Still wondering about specific phases, and signs and bee behavior. The Foxfire series is excellent, but did not have what I was looking for -- this time.

I encourage all of you to dig up, write down, and SAVE these bits of folklore from older beeks, grandparents, etc. It can't be passed on if it's not retained.

Summer
 

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I don't see how we can deny the sun and the moon influence things. The moon causes tides, does it not? We also ride in a magnetic and gravitational field disturbed by their movements. Science is only just now learning how birds migrate using these micro-gravitational fields, and bees it is said, use these same fields for nagivation - hence they always orient to the sun even when it is night-time. So, yes, there is science backing up some of the old folklore. As far as drumming a swarm - anything is possible. The world is a stranger place than we can imagine. The rules we set are limited by our perceptions.
 

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Just as an interesting aside, I have linked this, it's a very simple breakdown of how NZ fishing and agricultural activities were timed pre European. And still are by some.

http://www.korero.maori.nz/news/matariki/factsandfigures/lunarcalendar.html

Don't worry about the Maori language there is also English translation. And it's not explained on the web page, but Matariki is the appearance of a particular star formation that marks the Maori new year. The first new moon (i think) following Matariki is mid winter, and the day all agriculture timetables come from.
 

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For the early Greek culture, the priestesses of the moon goddess were called bees. It was thought that honey came from the moon (the hive) and the bees were the stars.
The priestesses were called (collectively) the Melissae - for the Romans it was Mellona
I know it's not about the phases, but that's about all I've got without cracking a book. There must be some legend of the phases and the bees in there somewhere.
Yes, the Melissae of the Artemis-type cults are "honeybees". The Thriae (three bee maidens) delivered the first prophecy to Delphi, which temple was mythologically built by bees. The bee is the great example of self-sacrifice for the good of the community, males dying in when they mate, females when they sting. Life is a great tale of love and war. Bees symbolize fruitfulness and wealth, persuasion, which depends upon hope/desire.
 

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Aylett, VA 10-frame double deep Langstroth
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This is an interesting BUMP from a few years back. Not sure if it is beekeeping or Coffee Klatch material, but interesting all the same.



And a more recent thread in Beesource discussing moon phases and bees. Just for fun.

 

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Summer,

Not exactly an answer to your question, but I drum bees and they go right into a hive. I also fish for trout according to (best time to fish based on lunar position) on my hand-held GPS which I use for hiking, and I always "limit out." I will have to be more observent of the bees and the moon phases,

Steve
Is there an app for fishing by the moon? Ugh, just saw this one is old too. There needs to be a delete edit. Is there one I am missing ? J
 

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Aww J, I don't know why MJ resurrected this thread, there is a double entendre there, but I put BUMP in in big 'ol capital letters in my post to let folks know it was old. Bear Creek Steve is still active so the question was not out of place.

If you click on the three dots in the upper right hand corner, delete should be an option.
 

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Ha ha! I don't know why he resurrected the thread. He works in mysterious ways. I missed your BUMP JW. When I go to the three dots, its gives me an edit option, but no delete option. Do I just backspace the whole post? J
 

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Ha ha! I don't know why he resurrected the thread. He works in mysterious ways. I missed your BUMP JW. When I go to the three dots, its gives me an edit option, but no delete option. Do I just backspace the whole post? J
After you select edit you can select all the contents with your mouse, then hit cut. Then go down and hit save.
 

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The bible says, "Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night, and let them be for signs and for seasons and for days and years; and let them be for lights in the expanse of the heavens to give light on the earth".
I would say they were created for the purpose of marking times for man, beast and even plants. It doesn't surprise me at all that bees, fish, deer and plants are governed to a certain degree in their activities by the moon. The sun governs everything to a great degree, and the moon governs to a lesser degree.
That said, I also think some activities "according to the moon" are probably not the case, so I am not saying all the moon phase practices have an effect. I knew an old guy who swore that if he had his hair cut in the wrong moon phase it grew back to fast.
 

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I can concur on Moon phases and fishing and deer hunting.
Some places even sell calendars with "feeding" "resting" etc on the dates.

As to its effect on bee keeping, if we have accurate records of when we graft , mate , place ripe cells, and also accurate records of acceptance and such we could work to create a data base with empirical data from many keepers, and the success rates. perhaps some person would like to collect this data and offer it to others.

I have had 100% success on intro of queens on some dates, and as low as 60 % on others, so did the moon effect this , I do not know, can it, I would think yes.
We have a "swarm" date / state thread area, perhaps some one could put the swarm counts on a moon calendar to see if there are "clusters" of data. these "swarm date clusters" may offer some enlightenment on when the bees make their own queens.

Only Idea I could add is to contact the "Farmers Almanac " creation folks and ask them to add in the beekeeping dates and see what they say. Maybe they have someone who can offer some date selections.

GG
 
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