I took some short videos last night of bees washboarding out the front of a hive (which coincidentally is a hive I have a Flow super on). There were a couple of videos showing washboarding behaviour on YouTube but I thought it wouldn’t hurt to add another.
That’s very interesting Sam, that video of James Kew with his bees washboarding is also interesting. To see the bees in lines like that.
I don’t think I have had a hive in past that has exhibited this behaviour so reliably/predictably. It’s interesting as they are doing the same today. I am finding they start after lunch and continue through the afternoon.
What makes it even more interesting is that this hive is running two queens (I believe this is still the case but I haven’t sighted both queens since the super went on because I haven’t been back down into the brood). Each entrance in the video is effectively a different colony, and they combine in the supers. Each queen has 5 full depth frames to lay in, and the brood pattern is extremely dense (almost complete coverage).
I know there are many theories about washboarding so really just wanted to add my observations. They all look like younger bees as the studies suggest. I’m wondering if they are finding something to do because of the reduced amount of brood per queen.
During this time there are still very active field bees, and it appears separate to their bearding behaviour (have seen them washboarding when bearding and without). What’s also interesting is that another hive in the same location started washboarding on the same day, but not all hives at this location are doing it.
Starting to wonder if I should start to collate my data collection a bit more to see if it’s of any value
This is a photo of the excluder configuration (may not be particularly well articulated in my above post). I modified the excluder so it could be installed with a divider in the brood chamber. I plan to do a full write up on the setup.
very interesting video @RBK. My colony went through an emergency requeening in mid spring, we had some bad weather & they seemed slow to build up. I’m thinking this was why I never saw more than three or four bees washboarding at a time!
Funny how the group in your vid looks a lot like any other crew - a few of them just standing & watching while the rest work away
We’ve had some hot weather lately. The bees are wash boarding at the entrance of my observation hive. I took a look inside & I noticed a lot of wash board activity inside the hive as well. Also a lot of bees stationary fanning.
My bees have now decided to start washboarding the bricks out the front of the hive too… I should get some photos
Hi Sam, it must be hard on their mouth parts, washboarding on bricks.