What are they Up to!!!!!!!

Discussion in 'Beekeeping 101' started by 40 Acre Bees, Dec 10, 2013.

  1. 40 Acre Bees

    40 Acre Bees New Member

    Messages:
    38
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Today is cloudy 4-5 degress celcius and last night we had a dusting of snow. One of our hives has a large congregation of bees on the front of the hive and on the landing board (which is snow covered) we really don't know what is going on On Sunday there was a few bees ouside the hive covering a large bee (dead) which we thought could be the queen, but I also thought it was posibbly a drone. Could this behaviour today be related to it possibly being the queen is dead, or is this sort of behaviour normal for the bees. any ideas greatly appreciated.....
     
  2. ApisBees

    ApisBees Active Member

    Messages:
    2,060
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    No this is not normal. Some thing is disturbing the bees in the hive causing them to break cluster and come out. At this time of year and in your location i might guess a mouse maybe.
     

  3. 40 Acre Bees

    40 Acre Bees New Member

    Messages:
    38
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    We have the hives 18 inches off the ground and entrance reducers in. If there is a mouse in there will they kill the mouse or should we atttempt to get inside. I hate to disturb them and try to get boxes off the bottom cover to look in. The temperatures are not real warm and are going to be talking a dip. Thanks
     
  4. ApisBees

    ApisBees Active Member

    Messages:
    2,060
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    Side a card stock paper in on the bottom board and pull it out tomorrow and see if any mouse dropings or chewed cappings are on it. A mouse can make it thru a hole 3/8" X 1/2" most entrence blocks are 3/8" high X however wide. Drive nails in every 3/8" along the opening to create 3/8 X 3/8 spaces for the bees but to small for the mice. If you have mice in the hive if you do not chase them out they will consume all the feed and the bees will not make it. Confirm befor pulling the hive appart cause the could be disturbed by somthing eals like wood pecker hourse chewing on the cover scunk or racoons scratching on the hive cows or goats rubbing against it.
     
  5. 40 Acre Bees

    40 Acre Bees New Member

    Messages:
    38
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I have the entrance reducer in so that the bees only have the small opening about 3/4 inch by 1/2 inch. The only way to slide paper in is to remove the reducer and slide the paper in. There is nothing else in the area that could be disturbing them (as far as I know). If the queen was dead would they bees break cluster (and do what they are doing) or would they just work on producing a new one.
     
  6. brooksbeefarm

    brooksbeefarm New Member

    Messages:
    3,276
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Like Apis said, a mouse can get through 3/4 by 1/2, at 4 F or 5 F. the only thing that would make them break cluster and be on the landing board at a length of time, would be to care for the queen. JMHO Jack
     
  7. PerryBee

    PerryBee New Member

    Messages:
    5,829
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    The bees can't produce a new queen at this time. There almost certainly no eggs in there from which to raise one. I doubt that there is an issue with your hive other than possibly a mouse. Another insect or something may have tried to enter as well. Bees congregating at the entrance may simply be housecleaning, getting rid of the corpses that have died during the colder weather.
    You can send me an email with a picture if you are really concerned. I think you still have my email address?

    Perry
     
  8. pistolpete

    pistolpete New Member

    Messages:
    469
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    With a strong flashlight you can see quite a bit in the hive, even if you just remove the reducers and pop the top cover. keep things brief and the hive will not cool off a great deal.
    The bees don't heat the whole hive anyway, just the cluster. I would recommend placing duct tape around the places where you have broken the propolis seals to keep drafts to a minimum.
     
  9. 40 Acre Bees

    40 Acre Bees New Member

    Messages:
    38
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    When my wife returned from her walk (1 hour later) the bees seem to have moved back into the hive. The way I understand it, it looked almost like a small cluster on the face of the hive (100 - 150 bees), and they looked like they were surrounding something but my wife could not see what it was. There was also a few on the landing board. After the walk there was a number of dead bees on the landing board, so maybe they were cleaning house, I don't know. We are a couple of NewBees that want our hives to survive their first winter. The weather is not good to take a look inside right now, but we will keep an eye on them for the next couple of days to see what they do. Hopefully if there was a mouse in there they took care of him. If it happens again we will get a picture and get it to you Perry
     
  10. efmesch

    efmesch Active Member

    Messages:
    3,708
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    I'm not saying there is and I'm not saying there isn't a mouse in the hive---but I will say that mice manage to stay in a hive without getting stung to death. On more than one occasion I've opened a hive in the spring only to have a mouse run out. Before I could catch my senses and free my hands it was gone, with no chance that I could catch it. Inside the hive I found a nicely padded nest (built of grass) that extended between a few ruined frames. The bees were still there and seemed to have avoided contact with the mouse.
     
  11. jb63

    jb63 New Member

    Messages:
    588
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0