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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,

I did a check for brood today in my three 2-week-old hives today. All the hives are doing well, but when I went back an hour later to observe them, I heard what sounded like a wood-pecker tapping, then realized it was coming from the center hive. The sound is a rhythmical tap, then a pause, then repeats. In searching the archives, tapping is mentioned but no one seemed to know why they make the sound. Has anyone had discovered its source over the years?

I did a minimal inspection just to be sure of brood due to temps only 60 F. The hive that is tapping had a piece of comb built out from the foundation that I had to correct, but there was no brood in the piece I pulled away.

Thanks,
Debbie
 

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I hear noises in my colonies, I think it is bees flying inside the box and running into the screened bottom or the box sides.
 

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A couple of weeks ago when I was walking through one of my bee yards on a warm day I heard a similar type of sound. Almost like a very faint rhythmic clicking coming from one of the hives.

I watched the entrance for a while and discovered that the sound was actually coming from a bee leg thumping against the hive body. The returning bee must have had propylis on it's legs and other bees were tugging at it, and it kept smacking it's leg against the side of the box as they were pulling and letting go. I could not believe that I was able to hear that sound from a little bee leg.

Anyway, that's my true story, and I'm sticking to it. :D
 

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During the cold of this past winter I placed my stethoscope on the side of one of my hives and could hear a bee loudly plucking a frame wire in a steady rhythm, sounded like she was tuning a Banjo.

I have also heard the tapping sounds like you describe and discovered that the bees were tearing apart my foundation and reworking the wax to cap brood, the foundation can get chewed up pretty bad. They will do this in the early spring when rearing brood, after the spring flow starts or when you feed syrup they will stop chewing the foundation. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks all!
I do have screen floors and wired foundation, so maybe it is the bees plucking the wires as they work or tugging at propolis, and the sound resonates. It was definitely a pattern with pauses. Could be the tap dance contest at the end of a lovely spring day;).

I am relieved that it is not a sound heard when the beekeeper has destroyed the hive.

Happy Easter!
Debbie
 

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I have heard that sound coming from fence posts, wooden swingset supports, etc...and it has always turned out to be carpenter bees that have drilled a hole into the wood. Doubt that's what you're hearing, but it might be something to keep in the back of your head if you keep hearing it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Well, I did see carpenter bee in the area when I had the hive open but do not think it flew in (also would not think it would last long in the hive with bees). I plan to listen more at the hives when I have time to see if it happens again.
 

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I flipped a bottom board over last summer on one hive and noticed a nice smooth bore hole like a big drill bit. Carpenter bee had hit it trying to drill a hole. I had watched several bugging the hives, I guess one tried to make a nest.
 
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