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Author Topic: cluster of bees questions  (Read 134 times)

Offline chickenwing654

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cluster of bees questions
« on: August 08, 2017, 06:38:52 pm »

I checked on my hives in Maine this weekend.  Found lots of bees in my hives but very little nectar or honey in the hives.  Decided to feed sugar water with top hive feeders.   I put on my robbing screens on the hives at this  time.

Within hour after feeding, I thought I had a robbing frenzy going on over my hives with thousands of bees flying over the hives, but not robbing.  Hour later I checked and found bees clustered on the side of a hive at the feeder by the outer cover.  I had the inner cover blocked off by the outer cover.  They were clustered on the side of one of the hives.  There was like a 2 lb cluster just standing there.  I thought the new feeder had a leak on the side.  I left them there and kept checking on the hive, they clustered there.

I rechecked them at daybreak the next day.  They were still there.   I took a spatula and scooped them into a bucket, then later threw into a nuc box.

Two hours later just before I left Maine I seen almost the same thing where thousands of bees flying overhead but no apparent robbing or fighting going on.

I am confused on what I am witnessing.   It was not hot or humid, low 70's .  Thoughts?

Four hives all queenright and healthy, just low on reserves.

« Last Edit: August 09, 2017, 07:01:25 am by chickenwing654 »

Offline tjc1

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Re: cluster of bees questions
« Reply #1 on: August 09, 2017, 12:13:24 am »
I have seen sometimes that bees will get agitated? excited? after putting a feeder in the hive, with lots of bees flying around outside. After a bit they seem to settle down to normal. I see that you are in MA - here in SE MA and Cape Cod it seems that there has been a lack of nectar all summer - seems maybe in Maine, too? My hives are all very low and since I started feeding a week ago, the bees are sucking down syrup very quickly.

Offline Acebird

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Re: cluster of bees questions
« Reply #2 on: August 09, 2017, 09:34:36 am »
Getting ready to swarm, maybe already tried once and retreated...
You are in MA and your hives are in ME?  How do you successfully feed a hive at that distance?
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Offline GSF

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Re: cluster of bees questions
« Reply #3 on: August 09, 2017, 02:47:55 pm »
On more than one occasion I've had a swarm of bees cluster on an active hive. I saw one hive swarm twice just to return to the hive. This happened 3 days in a row, on the third day I put them in a bucket and hived them before they could change their minds :)
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Offline chickenwing654

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Re: cluster of bees questions
« Reply #4 on: August 09, 2017, 06:20:54 pm »
I check on my maine hives every three weeks on average.   This past weekend, I noticed their reserves were low.  I just checked all hives the day before, and all had plenty of room with no queen cells in any hives.  I fed the next day after inspection of the hives.

I wasn't sure if it was a swarm or a  feeding frenzy going on.  I scooped up the bees and put into a nuc box with drawn out frames in case it was a swarm.  I will see what is going on this weekend (I happen to be going  back and staying for a week ).   

Thanks for the replies.