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Lots of bees on landing pad - what could they be doing?

I didn’t think much of it, but my husband thought it was unusual that we see so many bees on the landing pad in the last week or two. He thought it almost looked like they were cleaning the landing pad- is that called washboarding? They seem to line up and move forwards and backwards. I thought maybe they were out because it’s hot, but I’ve seen them out on the entrance like this on cooler days too. I’ve also seen bearding and this is not it. Anyway, I have no idea what they’re doing but I’m interested to learn if anyone has any ideas please!

Thank you :slight_smile:

Hi Rosie, yep - washboarding! It does look like they’re cleaning, doesn’t it? Apparently no one knows for sure why they do it, but I’ve heard it’s a sign of a healthy colony :+1:


HI Rosie I think sometimes the colony is so strong that they don’t all have something to do so just practising their chores.
As Eva says probably a sign of good strength.
We are in Brisbane also and have already done splits to weaken and prevent swarming.
Good luck.

I agree that what you’re witnessing is washboarding. The only time I saw it for certain was on a hot day with my observation hive. I’m sure it happens with my regular hives. Anyway the day I saw it with my observation hive, bees were also washboarding inside the hive, as well as lots of fanning inside the hive. I dare say that that was in conjunction with other bees bringing back water to deposit in strategic positions, to aid with air conditioning the hive.