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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a nuc that I started about the first of July with a purchased queen. they are doing well at building up and storing food. I went in today to look at them, and they were all just running around on the frames in a sort if frenzied way. the queen is there--I saw her, and there are no queen cells. the bees don't seem to be abnormally aggressive. everything I have read about "runny" bees is an association with aggression. is runny-ness just another normal trait, or do I have a ferocious hive to look forward to when they get more populous? I haven't seen bees behave this way before and I'm in that dreaded third year of beekeeping that keeps reminding me how much I don't know.
 

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Some days some bees are just runnier than on other days. Check them again in a week. Could you have a skunk, wasps or hornets working them over?
Dave
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I don't think they are being bothered by anything- they are in a nuc with a 1 inch opening, and I spotted zero hive beetles (yay, harsh winter!) and no other possible irritants.they aren't acting aggressive, just running like crazy.
 

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I've got a hive like that, doesn't matter if you smoke em or not. Start pulling frames and they're all over, hands, sides of the box, just plain nuckin fut bees. I'd shut em down if they were more aggressive, but they're good producers and they're only one hive, so I just keep hoping the nuttiness declines over successive queens
 

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Nuc from July 1 still in a 5 framer with a 1 inch entrance??? Maybe they're just stir crazy or claustrophobic... Do they have room to grow??? If the answer is that they have plenty of room...and you saw the queen as you said....is she laying? The way you explain it, they sound disorderly (or lacking order)...sounds like a possible queen problem....They should have "graduated" to a 10 frame by now, at least in this area...
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
sorry, I should have said they're in a two deep nuc. queen is laying fine. there is no congestion at the entrance, and they're on a screened bottom board. wasn't using smoke, but I normally do with my large colonies.

I hope the runniness is either temporary or unlinked from aggression but they looked like they'd had about 6 cups of coffee apiece.
 

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I too have a runny beehive. Start working them and they are all over the outside of their boxes; constantly on the move. Great honey producers and I know from having them under my house that they were still coming back to the hive after dark.
 

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It is behaviour that breeders generally try to get rid of. When the frames are full of runny bees they often drip from the frame. It makes it tougher to find the queen as well.
 

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I have had a few colonies I have produced be runny this year. At first I considered it a sign the mating nuc was queenless. until I found a queen running across one of the frames. I have found that as they increasing in population they tend to loose the trait. The overall impression I get is bees are not comfortable with a lot of extra space. Disturbing them when they have a low population sets off a panic.

Seems to me some are selecting against bees based upon there inability to manage them.
 

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Runny bees is a trait most try to eliminate. I pinch the queens in runny hives. It is much more pleasant to work hives with calm bees. Last thing you need is the queen falling off the frame with the rest of the bees that are dripping off.
Just my thoughts on it.

Mike
 

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I remember reading on Beesource that runniness was(is) a trait of the German bees (mellifera mellifera).
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
The queen is a grand-daughter (I think), of a VPBees Spartan line queen. open-mated, in Maryland. I got her from a guy who, as I recall, is outbreeding the VP stock in a program with Adam Finkelstein. I should ask him what he thinks....
 

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I remember reading on Beesource that runniness was(is) a trait of the German bees (mellifera mellifera).
Right. Good to use in skeps because you clear fixed comb hives of bees in no time, drumming. Bad in frame hives though.

Runny bees is a trait most try to eliminate.
Right. It costs you a lot of time working such hives. I really dislike the bees boiling out of the hives, running down the frame you hold, clustering and dropping to the ground. You need much more time to work such hives and it starts to annoy you every time you open up the hive.
 
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