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Bees going nuts? What is happening?

 
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Trun89410
Nurse Bee


Joined: 24 Jan 2015
Posts: 29
Location: Gardnerville, NV, USA

PostPosted: Mon Apr 11, 2016 8:38 pm    Post subject: Bees going nuts? What is happening? Reply with quote

Hi all,

I have two Warres that came through their first winter in good shape. Today, after a rainy weekend they seem to be going crazy. In addition to bearding on one of the hives. There are literally thousands of bees flying around my yard. This looks nothing like their normal foraging flights.

I thought maybe too hot with the bearding. But it's only about 60 F. And is only April so isn't too early for swarming? We still had snow on the ground here 3-4 weeks ago.

I'm completely confused and have never seen this behavior before. Advice will be greatly appreciated.

T.
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Trun89410
Nurse Bee


Joined: 24 Jan 2015
Posts: 29
Location: Gardnerville, NV, USA

PostPosted: Mon Apr 11, 2016 10:06 pm    Post subject: Update Reply with quote

The bees chaotic flying (think of the old Benny Hill show but with 20k bees!) has settled down but there is still very heavy bearding on the hive in question. The bearding is heavier than I remember ever seeing, even on the hottest days of last summer.

I'm hoping that someone will chime in here soon. I really want to know what's going on and I especially want to know if I should be doing something!
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Tavascarow
Silver Bee


Joined: 24 Jun 2008
Posts: 962
Location: UK Cornwall Snozzle

PostPosted: Tue Apr 12, 2016 6:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sounds like swarming to me but I don't know your locale or climate.
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catchercradle
Golden Bee


Joined: 31 May 2010
Posts: 1493
Location: Cambridge, UK

PostPosted: Tue Apr 12, 2016 11:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

15/16C seems a little cool for Swarming but that is certainly what it sounds like to me.

I have on a number of occasions suffered with bees that have not read the book.
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Trun89410
Nurse Bee


Joined: 24 Jan 2015
Posts: 29
Location: Gardnerville, NV, USA

PostPosted: Tue Apr 12, 2016 7:46 pm    Post subject: Swarm Reply with quote

Thank you both for the replies.

I do believe, as you both said, that they are preparing to swarm. They all went back in last night. Today I haven't seen the chaotic bee explosion of yesterday yet but it appears that scouting drones are out in force.

Im surprised because it's so early and we haven't had good nectar flow until the last two weeks. But I do have Carniolans and its my understanding that they are prone to swarm. I suppose at this point there's nothing I can do?
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Ollie
Foraging Bee


Joined: 27 Nov 2015
Posts: 136
Location: Ireland, west

PostPosted: Wed Apr 13, 2016 7:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Interestingly enough, I got a new hive a few weeks back of black irish bees which have been doing much the same thing. Yesterday (Tues) after a very mucky morning drizzle to light rain and COLD turned into a very nice late afternoon and when I checked on the hives it too was bearding and orientation flights and foragers coming and going was quiet alarming but I think they (like me) were happy to get out and dance in the warm sunshine as it went up to 15. Today is promised to get 15/16 so I thought I 'might' crack the 2 boxes in half to see if there are any QC's. I doubt there will be as no sight yet of any drones. I think its probably they were out celebrating the fine weather after all the resent wet , bitter cold days we've had here.

As a new bee , I think we worry too much.... as so many people say...

Bees know what they are doing and whats best.
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BridgetB
Scout Bee


Joined: 12 Jul 2010
Posts: 355
Location: UK Cornwall, Falmouth

PostPosted: Wed Apr 13, 2016 7:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Have you got a bait hive located in the vicinity to catch a swarm? Just in case.
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Ollie
Foraging Bee


Joined: 27 Nov 2015
Posts: 136
Location: Ireland, west

PostPosted: Wed Apr 13, 2016 7:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have BrigetB. Once I saw them doing the same thing a few days back on a nice day I immediately got the swarm box up and also a few of the Russian scions...
Thanks for that.
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BridgetB
Scout Bee


Joined: 12 Jul 2010
Posts: 355
Location: UK Cornwall, Falmouth

PostPosted: Wed Apr 13, 2016 10:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

A few Russian scions! How many? I have one but it did not catch anything last year.
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Ollie
Foraging Bee


Joined: 27 Nov 2015
Posts: 136
Location: Ireland, west

PostPosted: Wed Apr 13, 2016 2:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

weve an acre of ground, 99% behind the cottage where I have placed 6 hanging in various spots, 2 each hanging near the hives and the other 2 separately. If they don't catch anything I haven't lost anything but its worth a try.

Temp hasn't quite got to 15/16 so think ill leave inspections for now, resist the temptation.... hands are itching...lol
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ingo50
Scout Bee


Joined: 30 May 2014
Posts: 311
Location: Newport, Gwent, Wales, UK

PostPosted: Wed Apr 13, 2016 6:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi TrunB9410.
Are your Warre's overcrowded? This is one of the causes of early swarming. Do they need another box nadiring? Can't suggest much else as I am not familiar with your local conditions.
Ingo
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Trun89410
Nurse Bee


Joined: 24 Jan 2015
Posts: 29
Location: Gardnerville, NV, USA

PostPosted: Thu Apr 14, 2016 4:50 pm    Post subject: Ingo Reply with quote

Yes, I did see that they appear to be overcrowded. Bad on me for letting that happen. But the bottom box was empty just a month ago and I never expected them to build and expand so much so early. Next year I'll know.

I'm surprised they haven't swarmed but we had a cold front move in. I'm guessing that may be delaying their departure. I do have a bait hive about 70 meters from the overcrowded hive. Hopefully I'll catch them.
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