overly hygienic

Discussion in 'General Beekeeping' started by Zookeep, Aug 2, 2012.

  1. Zookeep

    Zookeep Active Member

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    I have 1 hive that on most days has several hundred bees that literally move up and down all day long cleaning the front of the hole 1st brood box and the entire entrance, up and down up and down like cleaning ladies on there knees scrubbing the floors, no joke,and on some days there are even more, its the cone-o-bees hive and its the only 1 that does it till now, the queen I have bread from the hive I have noticed today has maybe 30 to 50 bees all over the front of the nuc starting to do the same thing, it amazes me how many bees are getting involved in it. now the rest of my hives and nucs all have guard bees and some cleaners but nothing like these guys.
     

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  2. afterburn001

    afterburn001 New Member

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    Fun to watch isn't it. We have nine hives and two of them have hygienic queens from Honeybee Genetics. Ours do the same thing. Earlier this year we only have one hive that was hygienic but we had one hive where the queen was failing. That hive was a mess! the comb was all over, bee bodies at the base and the entrance was covered with bee poop. We ordered another hygienic queen and all that has changed. Long live the new queen! Last month we started a nuc (non hygienic) and I put a frame of eggs and brood from one of our hygienic hives in there to boost the population and today I noticed a hand full of bees cleaning the porch. I am betting that they came from that frame of brood.
     

  3. blueblood

    blueblood New Member

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    That's cool. I was taken back for a moment seeing green grass...I miss it...
     
  4. Zookeep

    Zookeep Active Member

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    yes but my hives are all from cut-outs and trap-outs, so some1 someplace bought hygienic breeds and lost them, well, my gain:grin: I just might move the other hives out and bread these hives here to keep this line going. go go cone-o-bees
     
  5. Omie

    Omie New Member

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    I think all bees do that 'washboarding' thing at certain times. It's a lot of fun to watch!
     
  6. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    as far as I know Omie is exactly correct and the behavior you are suggesting is not hygienic in either sense that it is used with honeybees now days. the older sense of the word meant they had the capacity to detect, uncap and remove diseased brood and in the newer sense the same capacity with varroa (varroa sensitive hygienics). 'overly hygienic' would tend to mean that a hive had such large genetic capacity in this regards that they would remove so much brood that the hive was not viable (slowly wether away).... some of the vsh queens have been reported to display hygienic tendencies at this level.
     
  7. Zookeep

    Zookeep Active Member

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    well call me old fashion but to me hygienic means cleaning not what some queen breeder in a lab someplace decided to recoin the word to mean, all I was talking about was the fact that I have 1 hive that at any point has 10xs more bees cleaning, I started calling it my OCD hive, there are days when the 1st brood box is black with bees scrubbing it, Ill take a pic on 1 of the days when its black to show you.
     
  8. PerryBee

    PerryBee New Member

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    If I got my son to stare at them washboarding for any length of time, do you think he might bee inspired to clean up his room? :lol:
    PS - Hey Zoo, is that nuc just balancing on a plastic bucket?:grin:
     
  9. Omie

    Omie New Member

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    The term hygienic is very commonly used in beekeeping nowadays, but it means something very specific when it is used. People sell bees that are bred to have that specific genetic trait. Folks who pay more money to buy 'hygienic bees' are rightfully expecting them to have the genetic trait of culling out defective or infested brood, not just be avid washboarders. Bees that do a lot of washboarding do not necessarily have the brood culling hygienic trait. (and vice versa)

    Of course you are free to use the term as you prefer! And it's true that the dictionary definition of hygienic is simply 'clean'. But... if you ever sell your bees you might not want to label them 'hygienic bees', because that term does mean something very specific to most beekeepers these days.

    All that said, I love to see youtube clips of washboarding bees...it's so hypnotic to watch....sort of like synchronized swimming or soldiers marching in perfect step. :smile:
     
  10. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    a snip...
    well call me old fashion but to me hygienic means cleaning not what some queen breeder in a lab someplace decided to recoin the word to mean

    tecumseh:
    as far as I can tell the term relative to bees goes back about 70 years prior to the widespread use of antibiotics and directly in reference to american foul brood disease and as far as I know most 'queen breeders' don't waste much time hanging around labs.

    your objection does bring up an interesting point in that to have any real conversation conveying any real meaning most folks pretty much understand you kind of have to be working from the same dictionary. also your observation is very much anthropomorphic... in that you really don't know if what the bees are doing is in any way cleaning. obviously the repetitive movement looks like cleaning to you but do you really know what they are actually doing as the move repetitively up and down on the face of the hive?
     
  11. Gypsi

    Gypsi Super Moderator Staff Member

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    I went through one of my hygenic hives today. No treatment for varroa. Sbb. No DWV. At all. Compared to my bees from last year, these gals are very CLEAN. I've not noted any excessive washboarding.