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Normal cluster behavior?

1237 Views 2 Replies 2 Participants Last post by  dvwilson
Here in the Piedmont area of NC we are settling in for a week of cold (nighttime in the teens, daytime in the 30s) and snow. I started Mountain Camp feeding about a month ago due to light hive weight. The cluster appears to have moved upward, and today I have a tight cluster of a couple hundred bees on top of the dry sugar. Is this normal? They have not consumed very much sugar, and I can probably get away with not opening the top to check on the sugar supply until it warms up if this would help conserve warmth.

Not much I can do about it -- just curious about the behavior.

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Did you have the newspaper covering the whole top of the box when you put the sugar on? If so did the bees or you make a small hole along side the sugar pile so the could get to the sugar? If that is the case the bees got lost after going through the small hole and got cold. They then clustered together for survival(to stay warm) and couldn't make it back to the main cluster. They will not likely survive very long away from the main cluster.
Hi Beeslave:

Actually the newspaper is covering only about half of the frame tops. I have a syrup feeder on the other half. We have had a couple of weeks of warm (50s) weather and they were flying and taking syrup. I added the sugar just to be sure they would have a source of food in a cold snap -- which is occurring now. They have crawling on the frame tops in the warmer weather, but today was the first time I saw the clustering behavior on top.

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