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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hi,

I saw this activity at the entrance of one of my first year hives. I'm having trouble distinguishing if this is robbing or orientation flights. I reduced the entrance. I took a quick look in the hives and there's not a lot of stores. No comb looks torn up or anything but there's a lot of empty comb. No wax debris either.

Any ideas? As usual I appreciate any advice. I have more videos if needed.

http://youtu.be/oIJbN91X2fQ

Another video:
http://youtu.be/K3U2mHTvlic

One more:
http://youtu.be/a-u7q4uwDbc
 

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Do you have anything further out? The bees look a bit pissy and confused for sure, but that could just be incoming foragers confused with the new entrance... It doesn't look like an orientation flight, as they usually meander up the front of the hive and then take off in circles....More video would help. Could it just be you aren't used to seeing so many foragers returning?....how old is the hive, and how strong?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Another video posted.

This hive has about 1.5 medium eight frame supers drawn. They seemed to be getting quite a bit stronger than they were. The stronger of the two hives has quite a bit less activity. That's one of the things that concerns me.
 

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Doesn't look like robbing to me. Does look like some confusion as Miami says. Open the entrance back up like Tomkat advised. Don't expect two hives to act the same. Observe your neighbors house is the activity there the same as your house?
 

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Big question...How long did this activity last? 15 minutes? Closing the entrance most definitely caused confusion, regardless. Looks like more of an agitated traffic jam to me. As asked, do you have video from a further distance showing the bee activity in the air space out front? Are you sure this hive is queen right? Queenless hives can be more chaotic....queen right more orderly. Again, not enough input to really make a call.
 

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Entrance is too small. Robbing looks different, you will see bees clinging to each other
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks everyone. I really appreciate it.

Big question...How long did this activity last? 15 minutes? Closing the entrance most definitely caused confusion, regardless. Looks like more of an agitated traffic jam to me. As asked, do you have video from a further distance showing the bee activity in the air space out front? Are you sure this hive is queen right? Queenless hives can be more chaotic....queen right more orderly. Again, not enough input to really make a call.
Unfortunately I don't have a video further out. If it's happening tomorrow I'll video it and post it. I think the queen's in pretty good shape. I inspected the hive on Sunday and saw quite a few eggs. The activity lasted about an hour each night for two nights.
 

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I say pissed off bees encountering a traffic jam... Traffic jam outside equals traffic jam inside...open it up. JMO!! A half inch entrance is enough to piss the smallest colony off...go to 4 inches and see how they do. Reducers aren't "all or nothing"....use your best judgement as to what the colony can defend.
 

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My hive does this same thing for about 20 minutes any evening that's sunny, warm and still. There will be a cloud of bees in the air around the front of the hive and a small bunch at the entrance as in your video. I've watched closely; there's no tussling as in fending off robbers. I'm using the 4" opening in my hive reducer, and even when they're behaving like this they have room to get in and out. Because it happens routinely, I think 1) it's normal and 2) it's the foragers being too tired to go back out but home too early to go to bed.
 
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