Why less activity in the afternoon?

Discussion in 'General Beekeeping' started by ASTMedic, Jun 30, 2013.

  1. ASTMedic

    ASTMedic New Member

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    So watching the outside of the hive over the past month has me wondering something. Why is there so little activity in the afternoon?

    Mornings are very busy. The hive gets full sun as soon as the sun comes over the hill (5:30am) till about 1pm. They're busy all during that time coming, going and doing orientation flights at as early as 6am. However as soon as the shade hits the hive it starts to slow down. Not just that they're loafing around at the hive entrance but that they're just not out at all. A few come and go but not the small cloud that is there in the morning. This applies to really warm days like we're having now (100+ degrees). I figured with really warm air temps they would be around the opening more. Also haven't seen any gathering water in the high temps we're having. Expected to see that. Wonder if feeding syrup prevents that need for extra water?
     
  2. ablanton

    ablanton New Member

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    Have you checked it out to see what is happening on the inside?
     

  3. ASTMedic

    ASTMedic New Member

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    Ya I do my checks at about 5-7pm every time and they are just inside doing the bee thing. Nothing odd or anything.

    They seem happy and content. I'm just perplexed since I'm still feeding to build them up. I'm using a jar hive top and figured it would prevent good airflow out the top and make the hive warmer inside.
     
  4. ablanton

    ablanton New Member

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    It may just be the fact that the hives are getting shady in the afternoon. My hives are scattered around where different hives are sunny/shady at different times. Mine always do orientation flights when the sun is on the hive, regardless of the time of day. The ones with morning sun orient in the morning, the ones with evening sun orient in the evening.
     
  5. ASTMedic

    ASTMedic New Member

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    Interesting

    I find it strange they are foraging less in the afternoon than mornings. I figured they'd forage most of the day.
     
  6. Mosti

    Mosti New Member

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    So no sun = no oorientation flights? You got me worried since I placed my recent split in a shady position under an eucalyptus tree!
     
  7. ablanton

    ablanton New Member

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    No. You will still have orientation flights. They just seem to prefer sunny times of day. Or at least mine do.
     
  8. ASTMedic

    ASTMedic New Member

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    I like having the morning sun. It gets the girls up working before I am.
     
  9. ablanton

    ablanton New Member

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    Shade may give you more challenges with SHB, but three of my hives are in shade or dappled sunlight 90% of the day and do fine.
     
  10. riverrat

    riverrat New Member

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    going out of the box here. Someone beat me up for thinking again:grin: Nectar is not secreted all day on some plants. With the morning dew on and a flow they may have more to forage on than in the afternoon after things have heated up in your area. Or per their union negotiated contract they may have an extended afternoon break:eek:
     
  11. ASTMedic

    ASTMedic New Member

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    Ahhhhh good thinking. Didn't think about that one.
     
  12. Barbarian

    Barbarian New Member

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    I agree with Riverrat. It could be that with high temps and full sun the plants have closed down nectar production. The ground moisture level could also affect the nectar flow.

    I don't think the bees will be having a siesta. Working hard to process the morning nectar into honey. Can you smell it ?
     
  13. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    definitely what riverrat and barbarian already said. you do need to understand the protocol here in that the intensity of flight is dependent on the intensity of blooming plants. bees here will fly even before the sun rises when there is no shade or sunlight. just casually I suspect as the temp rises to about 100 almost nothing continues to secrete nectar and you will see little activity at the front entry and by default everything that is flying is quite likely making a water run.
     
  14. efmesch

    efmesch Active Member

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    Not disagreeing with the posts of riverrat, Barbarian and Tecumseh, just adding a small addendum: some plants, even under ideal conditions, will have their nectar secretion at certain hours of the day only. I'm sure that if you get some "late secreters" in your neighborhood, the girls will work in the late afternoon too.
     
  15. ASTMedic

    ASTMedic New Member

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    Ok makes sense.

    What's the nutritional value of corn pollen? I was wondering where the girls were coming back from just loaded to the gills with pollen. This morning while irrigating the garden I noticed they were all over the corn. They're all over the pumpkins and melons too but I have a ton of corn so I figure that's the majority of what they're collecting.
     
  16. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    an ASTMedic snip..
    What's the nutritional value of corn pollen?

    tecumseh....
    I am guessing about the same nutritional value of cardboard or wood chips. You may be able to reference 'fat bee skinny bee' and get a more exact number <really in these sorts of question the first thing you look for is crude protein and after that the make up of this crude number in amino acids with any limitation on any of these number highly suggesting that the kind of bee you can grow from these products is likely to be malnourished.

    I am also guessing that the history from the past 100+ years of bee hives having large problems surviving around corn and knowing full well (as you above comment suggest) that bees do collect the pollen that there is something very limiting in their diet associated with corn.

    All the above might also suggest why if you did know you have hives that were collecting a lot of corn pollen why feeding pollen substitutes at particular times of the year might be very beneficial in maintaining health in a hive.
     
  17. ASTMedic

    ASTMedic New Member

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    So is there any reason I need to be concerned? This is just in my 1/4 acre garden not like we are surrounded by corn.
     
  18. riverrat

    riverrat New Member

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    Corn is a wind pollenated plant. Usually wind pollenated plants pollen is far less nutritious than insect pollenated plant pollens. A lot of people will pull ther pollen traps during the time corn is tassled to keep from collecting corn pollen. As far as concerned, I wouldnt give it any thought. They have other pollens in the hive and will move on to a better source once it is available
     
  19. ASTMedic

    ASTMedic New Member

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    Ok that's what I figured. Thanks