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Cluster of Bees


#1

I’m very new to beekeeping. We received our first bees in Jan/Feb and my husband has been doing all the inspections/hive maintenance up to this point. I first noticed many of our bees were outside the hive earlier this week and when I researched it, it seems that they are bearding and it’s nothing to worry about (it’s late June in Tampa, pretty hot these days).

However, when I was observing the bees today, I noticed there seems to be a clump on bees near the entrance. There does not appear to be any fighting and the other bees are just going around this clump; none of the bees appear to be agitated and there are no frantic movements.

I haven’t inspected the hive, though I’ll have my husband check it out soon, maybe tomorrow. I wanted to see if anyone might have an idea as to what this could be? Thank you!!!


#2

And here’s another picture (as I’m new and apparently can’t post more than one at a time…):roll_eyes:


#3

And a third pic


#4

I’m a new beekeeper to so not very experienced yet but have done a lot of reading haha. That’s a lot of bees! I know they can do something called balling where they cluster around another bee or enemy that they are trying to get to overheat it. Also, I’m having a hard time telling from the picture but do you have an entrance reducer in there?


#5

You know, I was wondering if they might be something “bad” under all those bees. I kept trying to look, but I just kept seeing more bees at each angle I checked. I also wasn’t wearing any protective gear, so I didn’t want to get too involved.

No, I don’t have an entrance reducer, but after I’ve been doing all this reading, I’m wondering if maybe we need to do that. It gets pretty warm here (Tampa, FL) - we’ve been having 90degree days, so I didn’t want to make it too difficult for the bees to keep the hive at a comfortable temp.

I’ll check again tomorrow to see what might be happening/what happened during the night.

Thanks!!


#6

Yep, thats a lot of bees… 90F is not that warm, so I would deduct that you have an over-crowding issue in the hive. You will need to do an inspection, I am not sure how many brood boxes or whether you have any supers on the hive as this will help us to understand whats going on… also when inspecting, check to make sure your brood is not honey-bound i.e. honey where brood should be. If you have too many honey frames, move them up and insert empty frames in there place, I presume you have been checker-boarding your hive in the lead up to summer? Additionally check for queen cells.
As for the clump of bees, they do this… but to be sure, run your finger through the clump and visibly check there is not a queen under there…


#7

@megsm07 My guess is the hive is over heating so the bees are outside to remove their body heat from inside the hive, especially if the hive needs more space for the bees.
There is a difference between bearding and balling and what I am seeing is bearding in your pics.
You should also check inside the hive for over crowding of the bees and add a super if it is needed to give the bees more room and room for storing more honey or swarming could happen.
With temps in the 90’s you should not have a reducer so the bees can air condition the hive with adequate air flow.
Welcome to the forum Megan and the exciting world of bee keeping, you will find lots of nice people on the forum willing to help with advise.
Regards