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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm up to 4 hives & a nuc, and this morning I found 3 of the hives had a small clump of bees on the ground about 3 feet away from the entrances. I poked around & didn't see any queens, so I have no idea what's going on. There was maybe 1 cup or 2 of bees per clump.

Any ideas? They're on screened bottom boards so I know it's not the usual "we're hot & bearding."
 

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I know it's a stupid question, but are you sure they were bees and not Japenese Beetles? We have the Japenese beetles bad here, and they seem to do that in different ares of the yard.

Later, John
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Definitely bees, and I think I've solved the mystery.

I had watered the garden earlier this morning, and there must have been some puddles in front of the hives. The visible water was gone by this afternoon, but the ground was still damp.

So I placed yet another large dishpan filled with rainwater, rocks & branches where they were licking up the water. I checked this evening, and they had found the water.

Glad it wasn't anything more serious than that. We've had freakishly hot weather here, so I'll have to pay more attention to their water sources. They're already coming down to the dogs' & chickens' areas, so I thought that would be enough. Apparently not.
 
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