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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My bees are exhibiting strange behaviour on the landing board in front of the entrance ...... as many as 50 workers are crawling around and doing what appears to be licking or chewing at the wooden landing board - they roam around with their mouths to the board, while other foragers fly in and out of the hive. There are also ventilator bees amongst them, but these gals seem to be on a mission to do something else ??

Any ideas ???? Thanks !
 

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Maple,
I believe these are young bees that do not have anything to do, due to the lack of nectar being brought in. They are "Washboarding". With the extra bees it might be a good time to do a split if you have an extra Queen.
Just My Thoughts
Curtis

[ June 20, 2006, 09:14 AM: Message edited by: Curtis ]
 

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Washboarding has always been a mystery. I have always thought they did it to all the interior of the hive. We just don't see it happening on the inside. I think it's like mom mopping and waxing the floors. They are just cleaning and maybe putting down a protective coating.

Now some of you tell me I'm full of it and I won't argue. It's just what I've always thought.
 

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>We just don't see it happening on the inside.

Is this WILD speculation or have YOU been inside


The orignal post does not indicate any "back and forth" movements, only "licking or chewing", maybe they are "just waiting for another flow".
 

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On my stongest hive toward the end of the day the porch is covered with bees doing this washboarding behavior. They have a big porch and have alot to clean I guess. I am going to be receiving a queen I ordered to make up a nuc. The nectar flow appears pretty weak and if it is true that if I see a large amount of bees out on the porch towards the end of the day the population of young bees is getting a little to large, I guess making up the nuc from this hive is not a bad idea. I have been feeding the hives and I think this helped boost the population.

Should I stop feeding the bees to get them to reduce the amount of brood?

I started these hives from nucs this spring and wanted to help them along in drawing out the foudation an geting started on working on the second hive body.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for the info everyone. I do believe there was back and forth motion that you mentioned - I'll have a look tonight. Do you think I can convince them to wash the floors in my kitchen ? Ha !

This colony was pure luck - I lost a hive over the winter, neglected to do anything with it for several weeks, and a swarm moved in !! Prior to that, robbers had cleaned it out, and there was no activity for qite a while, until the lucky swarm arrived.
 

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Washboarding. Now I know what to call it. Thanks! I was thinking "push ups". They get in a row, side by side, head down, and appear to be polishing the hive wall.
 

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My bees washboard on the inside of their hive. At least on the inside of the glass windows I installed. They seem to really hate the stray blobs of silicone and have been working for months chewing them down!
 
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