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While we're on the subject. I've been noticeing the peculiar entrance "dance" that many of the bees do. Seems like it is a meaningless back and forth motion with occasional alterations in direction. Is there any definitive information on the meaning of this actvity?

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newbee,
Looks fine to me also.
Wait until the dog days of August.
Then you'll see about ten times that many.

Ox
The term used to describe that behavior is called washboarding.
 

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My girls have been doing sorta the same thing. The back of their hive gets hit with full sun for only a few hours a day, but boy you can tell when they think it is too hot!!! The first time they decided it was hot in the hive I thought they were either really ticked at something or leaving, they were all over the front of the hive and flying around, but after the sun backed off the hive they all settled back down. I must admit it got my attention. If a swarm is anything like that, or bigger, I never want to see a swarm.
 

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>My girls have been doing sorta the same thing. The back of their hive gets hit with full sun for only a few hours a day, but boy you can tell when they think it is too hot!!! The first time they decided it was hot in the hive I thought they were either really ticked at something or leaving, they were all over the front of the hive and flying around, but after the sun backed off the hive they all settled back down.

You need to learn the difference between ticked, happy and just busy. A lot of bees in the are does not mean they are angry. When you get some sun after some rain or a hot day after some cold days, they often take a flight like that. Trust me, they are HAPPY bees, not ticked bees.

>I must admit it got my attention. If a swarm is anything like that, or bigger, I never want to see a swarm.

Swarms aren't angry either and are 10 times as exciting. Trust me, if you love bees, you DO want to see a swarm. There is nothing in the world like it.

But the scary part is trying to gather the equpment and figure out how to get them in a hive before they decide to leave.
 

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Best way MB is to try to catch the clipped wing queen and put her in a queen cage then hang her in a branch with a wire, wait a while (get a supper ready and a place to put the new swarm) and then take the whole batch and hive them!


Yes the motion in front of the hive, well I've read where they are 'scrubbing' or 'wash boarding' the entrance. They will do the same inside the hive. The book ABC and XYZ in Bee Culture has some info on that. I recomend a copy of this book to all bee keepers. Lots of information in this book.

That is a small cluster, like it was stated earlier wait till August when they are hanging out of the box 6 inches up or down from the enrance and 8-10 bees thick! That's scarry!
If its hot (like August isn't) I like to shift the third supper back about 1/2 inch so that the bees can get some air circulation.
Dan
 

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This cluster is not much as this sort of thing goes. But they are hinting they could use a little ventilation. Put your hive top feeder on and prop up the outer cover. Get the screened bottom-board you should have anyway.(take the one you have and cut a big hole in it and cover the bee side with #8 hardware cloth). It's going to get hotter.

Dickm
 

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I'm in NC and I have 10 times that many bees hanging off the entrance "porch". They always go back inside during the night, but I routinely see them like this until well past midnight. Sometimes they do this during a rain storm at mid-day, even when it's not that hot, say 75 deg.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
They seem to be sleepy sitting there, clinging to one another.


Sungold, its a KODAK 4.0 megapixel, about two years old. I shoot on best quality, but it takes huge pictures, you have to play with them a bit to resize.

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"To bee or not to bee, that is the question"
 
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