Beesource Beekeeping Forums banner

1 - 9 of 9 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
375 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
It has been raining here for days. It is slightly cool (more at night) and wet. I haven't inspected the hive in 13 days because of the crappy weather. The last time I inspected things looked good (2nd hive body had 1 frame of brood and one frame of honey).

Today I noticed an oddity (or maybe just odd to me because I'm a newbie). I had removed the cork from the 2nd hive body when I added it (2 weeks ago) and I noticed today that there is a cluster of bees in the hole. I watched a bee fly in and there is just about a pea size of an opening and the rest is closed up by bees that are clinging together. I couldn't get close enough without getting poked in the eye but I wondered if maybe rain is getting inside? Is it too cold? It has been in the 60's and 70's just yucky wet and some bees come and go in the rain. I had rain in the hive once before and I propped up the back end so that it tipped forward a bit. Just wanted to know if this is something normal or a sign of something I should be looking into?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,488 Posts
So is the hole in the top cover or just a hole in the side of the second brood box?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,526 Posts
My two hives are both doing this as well now- I'm going to take a photo, it's cool. A whole bunch of what look to be guard bees lined all around the upper entrance only. They are letting forgagers in and out though, so I'm not worried. Some of them also seem to be applying invisible substances around the entrance and smoothing it with their front feet, though they are not doing the typical 'washboarding dance'.

They all look so oddly still in a bunch all around and inside the upper entrance. A gang hanging from the entrance itself, plus about 30 little faces peeering out the hole, almost motionless.
I'm going to view it as something normal, guarding that entrance really well. None of them seem upset, even when I look at them up close. It'll be interesting to see if they move aside to allow a bigger air flow opening when the weather heats up again.

I'm planning a thorough hive inspection tomorrow with the coming nice day of weather.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,548 Posts
The bees are guarding the entrance. I have 3/4 inch holes and there is enough beespace to get one bee through.....always has been....
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,570 Posts
Pixie, it is fine. The bees use their bodies to regulate airflow and temperature inside the hive; When the weather gets warmer they'll get away from the hole.
However, when you do your next inspection watch out for swarm cells with larva in them - when they get cooped up together like they have been they realize there are so many of them that maybe there is enough of them to start a new hive! Adrian.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
375 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
They all look so oddly still in a bunch all around and inside the upper entrance. A gang hanging from the entrance itself, plus about 30 little faces peeering out the hole, almost motionless.
Omie, this is exactly what I'm seeing too. At first I thought they were a bunch of dead bees that had been stuffed in the entrance to keep the air out (my human brain not thinking like a bee again) but upon closer inspection I noticed them moving somewhat, almost like rotating position.

Alpha6, this is a 1 inch hole in the side of the 2nd hive body.

Thanks everyone for putting my mind at ease! :) I thought maybe I neglected them for so long that it was a bad sign. Tomorrow we are suppose to have some sun so I'll see how much of the 2nd hive body they've filled out. I hope there are no signs of swarming. I have the carniolans so I worry about that.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
70 Posts
I agree with Adrian, I have noticed this with my hives as well through the cool weather we have had and I believe they are using their bodies to control airflow and keep the hive warm.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,526 Posts
Tomorrow we are suppose to have some sun so I'll see how much of the 2nd hive body they've filled out.
I'll be doing exactly the same thing tomorrow with my two hives! :D

It was rather haunting seeing all those dark still little faces lined up almost motionless in side the upper entrance. I must take a photo of it!

True to the descriptions here by others, the gang of guards mostly dispersed when the day warmed up and got sunny this afternoon.

I love to observe how the bee behavior changes with every weather fluctuation and the time of day.
 
1 - 9 of 9 Posts
Top