Bee cleaning away from the hive

Discussion in 'General Beekeeping' started by ziffa, May 21, 2013.

  1. ziffa

    ziffa New Member

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    Hello,

    I observed something interesting (to me ;) ) this weekend. I was watching the bees gather water from our watering spot. One bee seemed to be ferociously grooming another. This is about 50 feet from any hive. At first I thought they were fighting but the bee being cleaned seemed to sit patiently while the other aggressively pawed and licked (closest description I can think of) her thorax and wings and under her abdomen. I thought this was strange so far from the hive.

    Is it usual for bees to exhibit this kind of behavior outside the hive? Do you think she was really grooming the other bee or was this something else? After a bit, the first bee flew off and the second bee went for a drink.

    Curiouser and curiouser!

    love,
    ziffa
     
  2. blueblood

    blueblood New Member

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    My reading indicates it is just that, grooming. And, they apparently obsessive compulsive about it. Also, they may be sharing food/pollen or information thereof.
     

  3. ziffa

    ziffa New Member

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    Thanks Blueblood! I did not know that the bees did any of those things outside the hive!

    If they are OCD they take after their keeper. :) My husband calls me CDO - like OCD but it's alphabetical. ;p

    Thanks for the reply!

    love,
    ziffa
     
  4. riverbee

    riverbee Active Member

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    ziffa,
    from what you described, check out this thread:
    nit picking
    there is also a description of this type of grooming and link to a pdf in my post #8, the grooming dance of the honey bee.

    also, as dave has suggested, there may have been some communication about your water source. only the bees know....:grin: