Something I've noticed, anyone else noticed this.

Discussion in 'Beekeeping 101' started by Yankee11, Jul 22, 2013.

  1. Yankee11

    Yankee11 New Member

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    I have done a lot of inspections this year and I try to learn something every time I go into a hive.

    I have had a lot of queen problems this year and something I seem to notice. These hives may have foundation frames in them and the bees will be
    very thick on the foundation. Like 3 layers thick. They will also bee balled up on these frames and they seem to kinda flow like water if you tilt
    the frames different directions. It's kinda hard to explain. It's like you can hold the frames on their sides and tilt it different ways and the bees just flow. Or you can hold it up straight and the ball will just fall off.

    I can't say for sure but it just seems like I only see this in hives that are queenless. It's like they have no direction or purpose. They are not pulling these frames. Just wondering around gathering up on them.

    Kinda remind me of Zombies :smile:
     
  2. riverrat

    riverrat New Member

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    sounds like festooning to me
     

  3. ApisBees

    ApisBees Active Member

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    Bees being social infers they like to be in close proximity to each other. If the space between the frames is greater than the bee space of 5/16" the bees will pile and cluster on top of one another to fill the space. The queen problems contribute because if the newly collected bees are with out a viable queen, then they are not a colony and will not act as a colony. With out a queen to head the colony the bees know that there is no chance of survival and will abscond and join other colonies, so they will not build comb as readily. We can get the bees to stay with a hive by giving them brood but they don't really start to thrive until they have a laying queen.
     
  4. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    yes I do believe riverrat has it quickly correctly.
     
  5. ablanton

    ablanton New Member

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    what is festooning?
     
  6. Yankee11

    Yankee11 New Member

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    It doesn't look the same as festooning. What I've seen with festooning is that they hang together, kinda like a chain.

    What I am seeing is that they will just roll right off the frame if tilted.

    I am thinking kinda like Apis, they are just gathered up, not really working towards anything. They are never pulling the frames they are on. I am thinking this (along with other clues)may help me identify queenless hives a little better.
     
  7. riverrat

    riverrat New Member

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    Bees will lock there legs together in a group 3 or 4 layers deep sometimes forming a chain. You will likely see this when they are pulling comb
     
  8. ablanton

    ablanton New Member

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    Oh, OK. I"ve seen that when they are drawing comb. I just didn't know what it was called.

    Thanks!
     
  9. srvfantexasflood

    srvfantexasflood Member

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    Festooning aka Daisychain around here.
     
  10. DonMcJr

    DonMcJr New Member

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    I've seen that balling up too... in my hot hive that has tons of bees and 3 medium supers 2 of which are full...No clue what it is...
     
  11. Yankee11

    Yankee11 New Member

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    Don,

    Do you know for a fact that you have a queen in that hive. All my hives that I've seen this happen in, ended up queenless.
     
  12. brooksbeefarm

    brooksbeefarm New Member

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    I seen this yesterday in two of the(5 frame) nucs i started three weeks ago with a frame of eggs so they would raise there own queen. The other 2 frames of solid capped brood in each nuc had hatched out and the nucs are crowded, i found empty queen cells and a virgin queen in each nuc.:thumbsup: Each nuc had a full frame of honey with pollen and a frame of foundation they have been working on. I have been watching these nucs from the outside (driving by) and haven't seen many workers coming and going.I'm sure they know they have a queen, but maybe they are waiting for her to have a stronger pheromone (being bred) before they get to excited. Has your hive superseded? Jack
     
  13. DonMcJr

    DonMcJr New Member

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    There were VERY SMALL Larva in that hive...too many bees to confirm a queen though...it was the Hive I posted about that is Mean...
     
  14. brooksbeefarm

    brooksbeefarm New Member

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    I have seen this many times, like in my #12 post, almost always they have a virgin queen or supersedure cells, and in some cases queenless?There will be very little activity of bees coming and going on the landing board? When i inspect the inside there will be lots of bees and balled up on frames, and when i turn the frame over like you said, there will be a ball of bees fall off the frame.If i see a queen cell open on the bottom or a virgin queen i put things back and wait two weeks before inspecting again.Sometimes if you keep digging through the hive (or my case, Nuc) they will ball and kill the virgin queen.:shock: Jack