I shot a decent video of my bees yesterday afternoon grooming vigorously around their abdomens and back legs. I was curious on other's opinions of what prompted this behavior. I have not caught my bees doing this with as much vigor as they were yesterday. The can you see in the background contains a 1:1 sugar syrup I have been feeding them and they seem to really enjoy.
For some more background, 13 days ago I started a Thymol treatment for this hive, as I noticed a few verroa mites on my bees during inspection. This hive started from a package near the end of April and has been doing really well growing in numbers, building comb, etc. and since they are no where near having excess honey stores I thought doing a thymol treatment now would be ok. This hive also has some small hive beetles, for which I have made a trap (cd case style) with vegetable oil that the bees can't get into and hopefully the hive beetles will drown in.
It may just be that I happened to catch some grooming/cleaning behavior at that point in the day, or maybe the bees are ridding the hive of the thymol? Or perhaps they are just moving pollen around on their back legs. Do bees clean themselves more frequently after eating sugar syrup? I found a 1984 paper on excessive rubbing of the abdomens and back legs that suggested permethrin exposure, and there are a lot of farms nearby, so I can't entirely rule it out, but I have not noticed any other odd behaviors, no bees dying, etc.
I was hoping someone on the forum here may have a solid grasp on whether what I am observing is just me being an anxious new beekeeper worrying about a normal behavior I happened to catch or whether this is an obvious behavior reaction to an issue in the hive. I have the video uploaded to youtube, and with y'alls help I can edit the description to really help describe what behavior I am showing so others can learn from the youtube video as well!
Thanks and I hope the video is enjoyable and interesting for everyone!