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Discussion Starter #1
I did search this topic on the forums, but I want to know more! At the entrance to one of my two hives, lots of the girls (10? 15?) are out doing their pheromone fanning thing, facing the hive with their butts up in the air. I understand that this can be used to help foragers find their way back to the hive, but I don't recall seeing so many fanners out all at once before.

All seems fine with this hive (and my other hive), and they are stuffing them with honey right now. I put more supers on today. I can't believe how different this is to the disaster I experienced last year, losing both my hives in November after a cold, wet summer. This year we've had the hottest, sunniest summer I can remember in a long time, and the flowers are going nuts, as are the bees. All I smell around the hives is honey! We had two weeks of temps up to the 36C degree range, with a humidex of 40 - 45C (i.e. 90s and 100s F.)

So is it normal for so many bees to be out fanning in this way? Like I said, the rest of the hive activity seems normal, but I am curious about what's going on. Are they communicating things other than a homing scent when they fan in the "butts-up" position? Or is something dire about to happen, and I'm just too ignorant to realize it? :)

Natalie
 

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Are you thinking that the pheromone scent isnt as strong and they are fanning away in front of the hive??..I would look for the queen just to make sure she was there! Just to be safe...or its just to humid and they are cooling down the hive! It been hot and humid in alot of areas! Tomorrow is suppose to be 95 deg with a 105 deg humidity factor here in ky! Gonna be a hot day!
 

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I have see this happen right at or after dusk. I did not understand what they were doing then I heard bees coming in around my head and landing. It seemed to me that they were directing the bees in via scent when it got dark. I have no scientific evidence to back it up just some experience.
 

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They are cooling the hive. See it everyday here in Sunny Florida :cool:
Here I am feeling sorry for my bees in the heatwave, but I guess your Floridian bees deal with this regularly! :) I was concerned by all the bearding going on two weeks ago, until I read about it being normal.
 

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Are you thinking that the pheromone scent isnt as strong and they are fanning away in front of the hive??..I would look for the queen just to make sure she was there! Just to be safe...or its just to humid and they are cooling down the hive! It been hot and humid in alot of areas! Tomorrow is suppose to be 95 deg with a 105 deg humidity factor here in ky! Gonna be a hot day!
Queenie's in there, so I'll go with the hot and humid theory. My wimpy Canadian bees aren't as used to these temps as the tough American bees! ;) (Neither am I!)

From what people are saying, I'm thinking it's a combination of hive cooling and maybe a bit of "welcome home" pheromone fanning.
 

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Naw man, they coolin da hive and cure'en da honey....I'd be worried if i didnt see most of the landing board doing it here. Thats a great sign.
 

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Yep you found the problem!!! There has been alot of humidity pretty much all over. Today isnt gonna be much better, its gonna be around 95 deg with a heat index of about 105 deg. Them bees are gonna be making extra trips to the water barrel and will be fanning up a storm today!!! Good Luck with them tough american bees!!!....;)
 

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Naw man, they coolin da hive and cure'en da honey....I'd be worried if i didnt see most of the landing board doing it here. Thats a great sign.
You don't know how happy that makes me, after losing both my beginner hives last year!:) Now to find an extractor! But I have some time to do that.

There are lots of bees fanning on the landing board every day. Warms ma heart!

Natalie
 
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