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Author Topic: Panicky Hive  (Read 1037 times)

Online The15thMember

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Panicky Hive
« on: July 06, 2023, 12:31:15 pm »
Yesterday my sister came in the house and told me, "Reagan, one of your hives has a ton of bees on the front of it, and they don't sound very happy."  I went out to the apiary and she was right, this one hive had bees running around all over the face of the hive.  It was like they were freaking out about something, but there was no fighting, no robbing, and nothing seemed amiss.  All the other hives in the apiary were acting completely normal, just traffic going in and out, some orienting, some fanning, but this hive looked like this (I took a short video). 
https://www.youtube.com/shorts/2eXoTUcJxOQ
I was in the middle of something, so I couldn't sit and watch them for long, and when I came back out to check on them about a half an hour later, everything seemed normal again.  What do you think they were doing?   
I come from under the hill, and under the hills and over the hills my paths led.  And through the air, I am she that walks unseen.

Offline Michael Bush

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Re: Panicky Hive
« Reply #1 on: July 06, 2023, 12:41:13 pm »
They sometimes look like that when they are about to swarm.  The other cause is the hive is getting slimed by SHB larvae.  Since they calmed down, I would guess either a trial swarm or an actual swarm.
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Online The15thMember

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Re: Panicky Hive
« Reply #2 on: July 06, 2023, 01:10:22 pm »
They sometimes look like that when they are about to swarm.  The other cause is the hive is getting slimed by SHB larvae.  Since they calmed down, I would guess either a trial swarm or an actual swarm.
Based on how they looked two weeks ago, I'd be surprised if they are swarming; this hive isn't like bursting at the seams or anything.  They just got their fourth medium, and my swarm season is really winding down.  I'll check on them this weekend and see if they have any queen cells.
I come from under the hill, and under the hills and over the hills my paths led.  And through the air, I am she that walks unseen.

Offline Michael Bush

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Re: Panicky Hive
« Reply #3 on: July 06, 2023, 01:16:20 pm »
Bees can swarm with no obvious reason.
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Offline BeeMaster2

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Re: Panicky Hive
« Reply #4 on: July 06, 2023, 07:57:43 pm »
Reagan,
I have watched my observation hive swarm with just two frames drawn out and they swarmed three times in three weeks. Then there were not enough bees to protect the hive and the beetles took over.
Jim Altmiller
Democracy is 2 wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well armed lamb contesting the vote.
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Online The15thMember

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Re: Panicky Hive
« Reply #5 on: July 07, 2023, 05:48:46 pm »
I inspected this hive today and there were no queen cells.  I didn't see any eggs in the bottom box, so I was worried initially, but there was BIAS in Box 2.  I also saw a little section, maybe 20 cells, of drone brood in worker comb, which was kind of odd.  But other than that, everything was normal.  I gave them another super for the sourwood flow.   
I come from under the hill, and under the hills and over the hills my paths led.  And through the air, I am she that walks unseen.

Offline Ben Framed

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Re: Panicky Hive
« Reply #6 on: July 07, 2023, 05:58:13 pm »
Reagan I have often found that situation this time of year when the dearth kicks in my area, to my pleasantry to later find on into the season, eggs, larva, and brood..  Don't give up on them yet..  It could well be the conditions of your location which leads to your sad suspensions, as well as a possibly being a queen that is hard to spot.. You do not mark your queens, correct?

Phillip
« Last Edit: July 10, 2023, 07:27:07 am by Ben Framed »
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Online The15thMember

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Re: Panicky Hive
« Reply #7 on: July 07, 2023, 06:09:34 pm »
Reagan I have often found that situation this time of year when the death kicks in my area, to my pleasantry to later find on into the season, eggs, larva, and brood..  Don't give up on them yet..  It could well be the conditions of your location which leads to your sad suspensions, as well as a possibly being a queen that is hard to spot.. You do not mark your queens, correct?

Phillip
I don't, and this queen is dark, so she is difficult to spot.  Since I did see some eggs, I'm not too concerned.  I'm thinking it's possible they are just starting to contract the brood nest now that the solstice is past, or like you said, are just not rebounded from the dearth yet (the sourwood has only been blooming for a week).  Other than the couple of misfired drones I saw, this queen has a phenomenal brood pattern.  I'm not sure that there even really is anything wrong after what I saw in there today.  Just a couple of strange occurrences, but perhaps they aren't connected.     
I come from under the hill, and under the hills and over the hills my paths led.  And through the air, I am she that walks unseen.

Offline beesnweeds

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Re: Panicky Hive
« Reply #8 on: July 09, 2023, 11:08:51 am »
What do you think they were doing?   

They are doing orientation flights.
Everyone loves a worker.... until its laying.

Online The15thMember

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Re: Panicky Hive
« Reply #9 on: July 10, 2023, 12:05:41 am »
They are doing orientation flights.
You could be right.  The flying bees seemed to just be orienting.  I have just never seen orienting bees run around on the face of a hive like that before. 
I come from under the hill, and under the hills and over the hills my paths led.  And through the air, I am she that walks unseen.

Offline Michael Bush

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Re: Panicky Hive
« Reply #10 on: July 10, 2023, 06:35:52 am »
If the bees on the outside seem frantic to get in it could be robbing.  If they just seem unhappy, it's often small hive beetles.  If they are just hanging around, it's just bearding.
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm en espanol: bushfarms.com/es_bees.htm  auf deutsche: bushfarms.com/de_bees.htm  em portugues:  bushfarms.com/pt_bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
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"Everything works if you let it."--James "Big Boy" Medlin