What are my bees up to? (photo)

Discussion in 'Beekeeping 101' started by delta-s, Jul 20, 2009.

  1. delta-s

    delta-s New Member

    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Second night in a row now I've caught them at this. Last night I smoked 'em back inside and looked around in there, but did not locate any trouble. We watched them all day today (feom outside) and saw only the usual coming and going.
    Now they're doing it again.... All over the front of my most active colony with a cluster haning down under the runway.

    A rookie wonders what they are up to.. and should I be concerned? Maybe it's the hot weather? Getting ready to swarm?
    [​IMG]
     
  2. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

    Messages:
    8,996
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    That is a small group. Just wait until it gets hot. They will cover the whole front of the hive. They are expanding the cluster as it warms up. They just expanded until there was no more room in the box, so they came out on the porch to sit in the cool air. The same as you would do if you had a large group in the house and started to overheat.

    It is perfectly normal. Some beeks give them another box, some give them upper ventilation, others use slatted racks, still others harvest a few frames of honey to give them more room.

    I don't do anything. I just let them "beard" as it is called. It's a sign of a strong hive.

    PS. Welcome to the forum.
     

  3. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

    Messages:
    6,487
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    where approximately in Oregon is Beatty? Just a curiousity thingee (east or west side of mountain range)?

    the picture indicates two strong hives. several question pop up as to how you might have configured these hives? I would guess they are of recent origin (this years hive)?

    as iddee suggest you might wish to think about supering (and pretty soon). I would likely consider doing four things.... 1) inspect bottom box to make certain there is no solid honey plug that is preventing brood expansion horizontally (ie a solid frame of capped honey anywhere except the extreme outside walls of the box) 2) if you have 10 frames consider going to 9 to allow more space for ventilation 3) add super and 4) add some ventilation at the top of the stack (building shims works for me).
     
  4. delta-s

    delta-s New Member

    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Thanks for the replies.
    Beatty is about 30 miles East of Klamath Falls. We're at 4200 ft elevation.

    This is my first year with bees. I have supers almost ready to go, but hadn't put them on. There didn't seem to be any hurry as the bees seemed to me to be expanding slowly. Sometime when I wasn't looking, the bees went nuts and have nearly filled the upper boxes with honey. Quite heavy. We're having a nice crop of wildflowers and clover right now. They really caught me off guard how fast they filled that top box.
    So I've finally ordered foundation for my supers and will get them on as soon as that arrives.

    I'll check the bottom box. They seem to build comb that bridges vertically betwen the two boxes. It fractures when I pull the boxes apart. What should I do with it? I've been carving it off and discarding it.

    I think I'll follow the bees' example and go set on the porch.
     
  5. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

    Messages:
    8,996
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    >>>>What should I do with it?<<<< EAT IT!
     
  6. Hobie

    Hobie New Member

    Messages:
    1,399
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    ...or... Put the comb in a pile until the bees/ants eat the honey off, or the birds pick the larvae out, and then add it to your "to be melted" wax collection.
     
  7. delta-s

    delta-s New Member

    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Eat it... That's exactly what I've been doing when there's honey in there. Sometimes it's brood and I put that in the "wax" container after the ants clean it out.
    Sounds like I'm doing fine.
     
  8. BjornBee

    BjornBee New Member

    Messages:
    1,696
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    It's late July. Not sure when you started the hives, but they should be building up beyond the first box by this time.
     
  9. BjornBee

    BjornBee New Member

    Messages:
    1,696
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    And make sure your frames are always pushed tight together. Even a small seperation and they will build cross burr comb, especially when drawing from foundation.
     
  10. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

    Messages:
    6,487
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    delta s writes:
    Beatty is about 30 miles East of Klamath Falls.

    tecumseh:
    thanks for the response delta s. some of my wife's family is from Oregon... my mother-in-laws was reared in Klamath Falls and father-in-law in Eugene. I visited the area myself 4 or 5 years ago... did some poking about in regards to the native population (checked out Captain Jack's stronghold.. quite a nice place if you like lava flows). I found both sides of he mountain range to be extemely different and both were beautiful in there own way. I am certain I (personally) would find neither so beautiful in the winter.

    the best to you and your bees...
     
  11. barry42001

    barry42001 New Member

    Messages:
    1,322
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Space is the answeer, and your supering will definately help, the heat inside the colony for the comfort level of the bees too high, spreading out whether inside or out side is the answer, bearding is normal, but can be helped a bit with space, also helps prevent swarming.
    Barry
     
  12. friendofbees

    friendofbees New Member

    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I don't have a hive but a hive found me. they live in a hollow space between two nonstructural walls, 2nd floor and come and go through a circular hole in the wall. They are lovely to watch but I do worry about them. First, now that it is so hot they are outside ...clever bees. Is that okay? Is there anything I need to do so that they can do okay this week in the super heat we are expecting here in Seattle? Should I put any water out for them on the unused deck by their 'hive'?
     
  13. barry42001

    barry42001 New Member

    Messages:
    1,322
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    The bees are infact deploying their own air conditioning system., a supply of fresh water would be helpful, as what they do is spread out the population of the colony to dissipate the internal heat of the bees, if not enough room inside the nesting cavity, then outside to eliminate the heat source ( The bees themselves ). They will take water and sprinkle it around the inside of the nesting cavity, at same time, groups of bees will face towards the entrance, and fan their wings forcing air into the colony, more bees fan their wings inside the colony always bringing the air in one direction, more bees facing the other way fan their wings to start the return air flow towards the entrance and still others outside facing away the entrance, fanning their wings finishing the drawing of hot humid air from the colony. They truly are amazing insects, again as I stated earlier they will use water if you place it near them, please place floating items in the water source, for the bees to land on or they may drown, and sometimes in substancial numbers.
    Barry
     
  14. friendofbees

    friendofbees New Member

    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Great! So their entrance is about eye high. Can I put something on the deck or shouild I put something higher up with water and floaters. Would that be like a piece of wood that floats? Newbee here so any other suggestions for floaters would be great. There's a ladder and we could put a 'pond' higher and closer. Thank you. Joyce
     
  15. G3farms

    G3farms New Member

    Messages:
    5,162
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    some use bird baths with gravel in it for the bees to walk on. not necessary for it to right next to the entrance.

    G3
     
  16. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

    Messages:
    8,996
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Anywhere within a hundred yards will work fine. You might add a couple cups of sugar to it to get them started using it.Once they find it, plain water will be fine.