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HELP: Small groups of live worker bees on ground outside hive

HELP! Strange hive action: ( This is a new hive from a shake w/queen from mid-April -> Carniolians)

1) I noticed about 200 bees, live workers, on the ground outside the hive. Not bearding, but grouped-up in smaller groups(balls) of 50-60 bees.
2) Got a new supersedure queen cell started inside this hive(1st queen cell).
3) Found the queen, she looks fine to me. Found plenty of new eggs, larva, capped brood, etc.. In fact this has been a very business-like hive.

What's up with the bees grouped outside on the ground? :s
 

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They could be "balling" a hornet that is trying to rob the hive. The hornet is to strong for any one bee to deal with but in a group they can take care of them. They all gather around the hornet and over heat it to kill it. I really don't know if this it what’s going on, but it's an idea.
 

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Or you might have spilled a little sugar syrup, nectar, or honey on the ground there, and they are enjoying sucking it out of the soil. My bees did this when I spilled a few thimblesful of syrup on the ground.
 

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I have the same thing happening. A couple of days ago, one hive had 3 baseball size groups of bees in front of a hive on the ground. Could not find a queen in any of the clusters. They returned to the hive at night.

Today, it happened with another hive. However, this time they are in larger clumps and spread out on the ground. Also, there are about 1.5 cups of bees in a clump under the hive stand. I first noticed this about 2 hours ago and they are slowly returning to the hive.

It looks like bearding, but on the ground instead of the hive. However, I have never seen these 2 hives beard. It is currently overcast and in the upper 70's. I have SBB and vent screens under my telescoping covers.

When this happens, bees are coming and going out of the hive like usual.

Both times this started between 4 - 5 PM.

I have not spilled any syrup. I have 8 hives and the other hives all act normal.

Anyone else seen this or know what is happening?
 

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no one have any thing on this?

i have a cutout i did in April put them in a 10 frame hive body and SBB found them doing this for the last 3 days. all seems ok but lot of bees on ground in little groups. the next morning all bees are gone of the ground. at sun set they are on the ground again and gone after dark
 

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One of my landlords called to tell me this same thing: bees in a big pile in front of the hive.

I checked out the yard early the next day and all the bees had apparently gone back inside the hive. It's possible they left for parts unknown.

Other than this remotely anecdotal story, I have no explanation.

Grant
Jackson, MO www.maxhoney.homestead.com
 
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