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Discussion Starter #1
The other day a swarm decided to move in to a lure hive I put out for them. I caught them on video, saw the queen and helped her in, when to my surprise they built a ladder to bridge the gap to the landing board to help their sisters march.
Here's the video I created for family and friends (commentary not necessarily meant for this audience - but feedback is welcome ;) )... Queen visible around 6:00, the ladder they built is around 8:00.

Is this a common behavior?
 

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I haven’t the time to see the vid but I will later. It’s called festooning, yes quite common to see them bridging gaps for one reason or another.
 

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Thank you, Rod!
I've seen them hanging together as they're building comb on foundationless frames. But what I captured here is closer to the bridge building behavior of ants.

Curious what you think once you get a chance to watch the video.

Take care,
Peter
 

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Excellent video. Thanks for posting this. Festooning is pretty common and you see it a lot when they are making comb. But I do not believe this is the only explanation because I have observed them festooning when they are not making comb and where they never make comb. So from my limited experience, I think they do it for other reasons, but I don't know why. Your video clearly shows a purpose to their festooning, other than making comb. J
 

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Thanks for the kind words, Fivej!
What I found on festooning is that it's not fully understood. Some believe they use it for accurate distance measurement (specifically as they're drawing comb). Others say it's tied to the colony being queen right... Would love to learn more about it...
 
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