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Can anyone tell me why my hives generate rather noisy crackling sounds from within? When I put my ear to the boxes, they all seem to be emanating this scraping sound. Haven't been able to figure this one out yet.

Also, what is the function of the bees chaining themselves together and hanging in festoons from the lid and inner cover of the hive?

Someone told me there were no dumb questions...
 

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>Also, what is the function of the bees chaining themselves together and hanging in festoons from the lid and inner cover of the hive?

A video I have said that is the way they organize. It is to align themselves in the working direction of the comb. Like laying a blueprint.
 

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Hi Mabe, I have observed the same sound many times and wondered about it. To me it sounds like little doors being opened and closed. I also hear it in different boxes at different times. Someone has talked about the queen doing some piping. Well, that I have not heard, maybe I don't understand the word right. Until now, I have never had an explanation for these sounds. Take care and have fun.
 

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Keep in mind that during the height of the season there are 25,000 + bees in your hives. They are cleaning the 1500 cells that hatched that day, tearing down and building comb, propolising everything that needs it and walking around inside the hive. There are also the 1500 new bees that are chewing through their cappings to hatch for tomorrow. The young bees making wax are scraping there hind legs over the wax cells on their abdomen. At night, when there are the most bees inside and your sense of hearing is at it's height is when you can clearly hear all of this industry. When the main flow is on you add a wonderful harmonic hum from the bees fanning over the honey to dehydrate it as well as the very heady smell of new honey being vented in the air flow. Enjoy all of it! Queen piping is completly different, almost like someone blowing a note on some type of reed instrument. Once you hear it you'll always recognize it.
 

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That's a great question Mabe!

Great answer Joel!

I agree with Joel that you are hearing bees propolising and adhering wax. Wood transmits sound easily, and propolis is a very hard substance for bees to work with. Occasionally, several bees will be deployed to remove the propolis from a single propolis forager. It is so sticky, that bees often pull very hard and bite in order to position the propolis where it is needed, and you may hear a crackling sound. If you ever stood by bees foraging propolis from a pine tree, you can hear the crackling caused by them chewing propolis and bark from the tree. Wood transmits sound so easily, that you could even actually even be hearing some of the bees walking.


Alex,
I don't undestand hearing doors, you could be hearing a lever pulling sound,,,
it could be,,,
Well, here's the story:

A long time ago, there was a beehive in the middle of a forest. Every day, as worker bees do, they would go out into their fields, gather pollen from the flowers, and bring it back to make honey.

The bees had a problem, though, because every so often an intruder would come around, such as a bear who wanted the honey, or kids who thought it'd be fun to throw rocks at the hive. Finally, the bees got tired of it.

Being the intelligent bees that they are, they built an alarm system for the hive. They built it such that one bee pulls a lever, which triggers the alarm that the bees will hear from the fields, and then the bees can come back to protect their home.

There was one bee who was exclusively assigned that job, and he was aptly named the "Lever Bee." His job was to watch for potential adversaries, and pull the lever to raise the alarm.

Now obviously, the security of the hive depends on this one Lever Bee. So he has to be constantly ready and on the alert to be able to do his job.

And that, friends, is why people say,
"I'm as ready as a Lever Bee."
 

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Also, what is the function of the bees chaining themselves together and hanging in festoons from the lid and inner cover of the hive?

That is how they make wax.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks loads! What wonderful and entertaining information one can find here! Would love to get you all in the same room and crack some of the best microbrew! Give a holler if you ever get to Wisconsin...

Mabe
 
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