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Hello, everyone,

I'm seeing some unusual behavior, which the bottom line is something not good is going on, but I'm curious about a specific detail.

The bees are being unusually active coming in and out of the entrance, for this time of night. The bees coming out, as they are walking out of the entrance are "fanning" their wings as they are moving. This fanning is in the OPPOSITE direction that bees would ventilate to move air out of the hive.

I had a lamp with me. Usually when I observe bees at night, one or two bees might accost the lamp. Tonight bee after bee after bee started accosting the lamps until it was covered in bees and they still kept coming.

Any ideas?

Thanks,
Thomas
 

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Keep an eye on bees when they are fanning down honey. Unless I dreamed it, I swear I have seen bees organized in a full width entrance with the bees in one half with heads pointed in and the other side of the entrance they were pointed out. For air to go in, some must come out.

It may have been coincidence but wouldnt it be humbling to think they had such organization. There is some suggestion that bees influence air flows and are not merely passive observers of otherwise predictable convection currents.
 

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I believe, until proven different, "fanning" is one of the bees primary environmental control tools Some researchers are measuring and trying to model the flow patterns and rates - a difficult effort. Heating and fanning are two important hive control tools along with antennae sensors to control hive ambient conditions. You would think they were trained physicists. I am seeing numerous hive behavior changes due to insulation remaining in place, covering supers mostly. Results are a bit of a surprise. Now, after exploring, I will need to have both control hives and modified hives to really compare effects. This means more sensors as I now have enough hives and hive variants.
 

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I believe that they are fanning that way for a virgin coming back from her mating flight, not sure though.
Deb
 

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Hello, Deb,

this sounds interesting, is this from your observation, or did you learn of this from someone else?


thanks,
Thomas
I believe that they are fanning that way for a virgin coming back from her mating flight, not sure though.
Deb
 

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Hello, Deb,

this sounds interesting, is this from your observation, or did you learn of this from someone else?


thanks,
Thomas
This is what I saw for the first time this year, it didn’t look like what Mike P described above and it coincided with a new queen from a split hive; Just a thought. But now rereading the post the time of day is wrong.
 

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Bees on one side of the bottom entrance fan in one direction, and the bees on the other side fan in the other. In on one side, out on the other
Mike, could it be what I thought? regarding a returning queen? And of course the time of day would be different. Deb
 

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When I used top entrances, (no more) and the only entrance was head high off the ground, I could put my face right up to the only entrance and could feel the air flows going in and out on each end. I could even feel temperature differences on each side. I would assume that there are bees throughout the hive directing air flows to better ventilate the hive. If there were only bees at the entrance, not much air flow would be happening except for in and right back out.
 

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As far as going after the lamp, that is normal. It is warm enough this time of year for them to be very active. You will have to use the light of the moon or go very sparingly on using light at night. Some people put red plastic over their flashlights but I have never tried it in the beeyard. Was loaned a red filtered flashlight for a night walk once and it worked fairly well.
 

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I did wear a white headlight ONCE. Now i carry a light that shines red and they seen to leave me alone. I'm still learning with my first hive. Some lessons come fast.
 

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I believe that they are fanning that way for a virgin coming back from her mating flight, not sure though.
Deb
From my observation - many of bees were fining during late afternoon to dusk (entrance and front of two deep chambers above entrance) covered in bees. They were fanning with abdomen - "tails" up (Nosov pheromone). Reason - Virgin queen not returned from her mating flight.
 
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