Interesting thing I am seeing with my hives lately. My three hives (SE USA) are in a 5 meter x 5 meter apiary surrounded by a fence to keep animals away from the hive. Over the last month or so, at night I have noticed that there are a few bees at night that are gathering on the netting of the fence. Specifically, the netting is about 2 meters from the hive and there are about 15 bees spread out on the fence per square meter. They just sit there all night. I assume they are guard bees but I find it odd that they are sitting on the fence rather than hanging out at the hive entrance.
If I can figure out how to upload the picture I took I will do so. It is mid-August here, so warm and not much in the way of a nectar source available. One of the hives was robbed a month ago. I was there to mitigate early so I closed the hive up with minimal interior impact. The colony is my weakest but were able to defend a hive opening only large enough for 1 bee in or out. However the battle raged outside until evening came.
So just wondering whether this is something others have seen… bees spread out as single sentries a few meters away from the hive at night? Is this some sort of regular behavior that I just cannot find discussed online anywhere? I would expect bees at the entrance landing board or even on the sides of the hive at night, but several meters away on the netting is unexpected.