Hi one of my hives hS two brood boxes and seems pretty full. Why are bees clustered around the opening which is about 2 inches and wiggling their bums up and down - even at night?
Hiya Paul & welcome to the forum
Hanging out on the front stoop in hot weather is a typical busy colony thing, but bums a-wiggling could mean swarm preparation. Or if I’m not picturing what you call wiggling quite right, they could just be washboarding - another normal pastime for bigger colonies. Check in the forum search area, or google the terms washboarding and Nasonov fanning, and take a look at videos for comparison.
When was your last inspection, and did you notice any queen cells?
Bees hanging about out side the hive entrance is a common thing, especially in warmer climates. The bees move out of the hive to help in reducing the inside temperature around the cluster. It can also be a sign that the colony is about to swarm and so a big build up of bee numbers is needed.
A hive brood inspection would be a good move to check for any queen cells in use and if you find them then I would do a split of the hive so that you don’t loose 1/2 of the bees.
If the build up at the entrance is only 2" high it still needs investigation so that you can make the next move in managing the hive.
welcome to the forum Paul, lots of reading here and heaps of good folks happy to help with excellent advice, but remember we are world wide and so climates come into our advice. Local advice can be a good source of information as well
I am assumig it is warm at night where you are? In summertime bees congregate outside of many of my hives- once there was a big summer thunderstorm and at 2am I saw a lot of bees outside the hive- in the wind and rain. Basically when the population in the hive is very large- bees can go in an out as they regulate the internal temperature and humidity levels. On its own it is nothing to worry about. You do need ot take care with swarm prevention managment- but seeing bees outside a hive certianly doesn’t guarantee it has anything to do with swarming.
It’s worth remembering that bees can’t access water during the night. Water being the key ingredient the bees use to air condition their hives.