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Many bees near the hive's entrance?


#1

Hi, I am from israel and new to beekeeping.
Can anybody tell me why my bees are gathering near the entrance of my hive as can be seen here:

I think its an evening issue. In the morning they just come and go with no load on the entrance. They also don’t seem to try to enter the hive, they just stay there outside ehile others that return just go in beteeen them and enter the hive.

Thanks,
Eyal


#2

That looks like a little mini beard! :blush: Bearding is a behavior where bees hang out on the front of the hive when the weather is hot. It is normal, you don’t need to worry about it. :wink:


#3

Thanks.
I was not worried.
Just trying to observe and become familiar with their dayly rutine.
Being a computers person i know when something is wrong with my computer when its behaving different then its normal way. I want to get to know my bees’ baseline behavior so that if something changes i will be able to tell and ask about it.
You can expect aditional “why do my bees do this or that” type of questions from me in the near future… :blush:


#4

Keep the “Whys” coming ! That’s how we all learn faster n get a great wide variety of thots n ideas to help us along ! :+1:. Gerald


#5

That is called “a few bees”. Any really strong hive on a hot day will have a bee beard that could cover the entire front of the hive and hang down quite a ways below it…


#6

@eyal think of it as sitting on the front porch enjoying the cool of the evening.


#7

The entrance should be fully open summer is here, screened bottom board or wood? One may try to place a small piece of wood under lid top to cause a up draft. 113- 114 degrees in riverside Calif. to hot even for me, they need a little help. How say it others.


#8

Hi, the reason I have closed most of the entrance is to make it easier to protect.
however after the great wasp attack we had (where I helped my bees by killing around 40 wasps) I was not sure if I should keep it closed or increase the size of the opening.
I am guessing the in a way the “mini beard” is an indication that I should open it more?
The bottom of the hive is made with a retractable screen - should I pull it out? (and how much?) - will this not make the hive an easier target for ants?
113 is really hot, I don’t think we reach this kind of temperatures here. but it was indeed quite hot here as well for the last few days.


#9

Mine aren’t. Mine are reduced all year around now.


#10

Leave the plastic sheet in place. It sounds odd, but the bees will ventilate with fanning more efficiently if the screen is covered with that sheet.

I think your entrance size is fine. Thomas Seeley (famous bee researcher) did some research that shows when bees are allowed to decide, they choose an entrance of 15 sq cm. The Flow hive entrance is pretty close to 30 sq cm, so if you block half of it, you are doing OK. Bees will beard even with a totally open entrance - they do it because they want to, and they know better what they want than we do! :blush:


#11

@Michael_Bush @Dawn_SD My weaker hive, Tina, started from Nuc on 29April, seems to be behaving strangely. 8May inspection still showed 4 frames not drawn. 18May still had 2 frames untouched (waxed Ritecell foundation). Locally, we had a string of very rainy cool days. {has been 4th rainiest May on record] 29May was sunny and warm (65 to start, running up to 85F), and bees were very active, with many flying near entry. Inspection showed all frames at least partially drawn. I added a medium super with wax foundation, and added a quart of syrup to the top feeder. The next day, 30May, also running up to mid 80’sF, I noticed this strange cluster at one end of the entrance (has been completely open for 3 weeks). They stayed there all day. Today, 31May, temp went from 65 up to 80, mixed sun and clouds, then rain storm at 4pm dropped temp to 68. Cluster stayed. They remained even at 7:45p with temp down to 66. I noticed many bees just inside entrance. This contrasts with my other hive, which was by far the stronger to start. Will try to attach photo.
Is this just bearding, despite cool temps? Or do I have to worry about swarming?


#12

Hard to tell, but I would inspect both boxes for queen cells.


#13

This is bees bearding:

That is nothing.


#14

How serious do you think, Dawn? I am mindful of all the advice not to inspect too often, as each time ‘sets the bees back’. I just disturbed them on 29May.


#15

OMG, Michael. I probably would have been running around like a chicken with my head cut off. :smile:
What kind of temp caused that much bearding?
So do you have a guess at the behavior I described if not bearding?
Thank you for your reply BTW!


#16

Disturbed them, or inspected both brood boxes? :smile: See any queen cells? If you inspected carefully on 29th, and there were no queen cells, I would leave them for another week or so. :wink:


#17

Any strong hive on a warm day should have some bearding. If not, I would be checking to see if they are doing ok… that picture was not of my hives, but that’s a perfectly normal amount of bearding. I remember when I was a kid there was a shed a block from our house that had a colony in the wall. The entire wall for three feet wide and eight feet high would be covered in bees in the heat of the day.


#18

Sorry for the delay. Other things going on. There is only one deep brood box. I just added a med super as the start of their second brood box, with plans to add a second medium to complete the home for the winter. If they keep going strong, I will add the Flow. I am still a bit clumsy, and when I saw that they were almost done with the first 10 frames, I just quickly added the medium, and then replaced the top feeder and added more syrup to help with the drawing of comb in that. I am trying to get another beekeeper to help me do a thorough inspection. I never thought I needed to worry about swarming when they were still filling out the first box!

Today is the third warm day, and there are a tremendous number of bees buzzing about the entrance. I am hoping these are new bees that are taking orientation – but it seems like a lot all of a sudden. I took a short video, but don’t know how to send it to the forum from my phone. Is there a simple procedure?


#19

So, would that apply to a new hive transplanted from nuc 30 days ago? I am definitely not getting bearding anything like that. Just a crowd on the front porch…


#20

“Many Bees” lol