Small group of bees at entrance all night

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DuaneB
Nursebee
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Location: High Point, NC

Small group of bees at entrance all night

Post by DuaneB » Sat May 05, 2018 5:05 am

Is it normal for a group of bees to hang out at the hive entrance all night, for a couple of nights? The overnight lowes have only gotten down to the low 60's, and the humidity goes up at night. Or, is this a sign of over-crowding, and they are getting ready to swarm soon? I have a second deep box to put on the hive, but wanted to move the hive first. I can add the second box, then move a day later if I need to. Or are they just hot?

Thanks

DuaneB
Nursebee
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Joined: Sun Apr 15, 2018 10:12 am
Location: High Point, NC

Re: Small group of bees at entrance all night

Post by DuaneB » Sat May 05, 2018 5:06 am

By small, I mean like a little.over 100 bees.

Jacobs
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Re: Small group of bees at entrance all night

Post by Jacobs » Sat May 05, 2018 5:34 am

Most likely it is for temperature control in the hive. If there are enough bees on the outside, they may cling to each other and hang off of the bottom board. This is called "bearding." Some don't beard, but will cover the front/parts of the sides of hives to cool down the interior. Most times, these are signs of a hive with a good population.

DuaneB
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Joined: Sun Apr 15, 2018 10:12 am
Location: High Point, NC

Re: Small group of bees at entrance all night

Post by DuaneB » Sat May 05, 2018 6:47 am

Thank you for the reply.

I still have a top feeder in place, and they still empty it, although not very fast. On top of the feeder is top, no inner top piece. I do have an inner top with a ventilation cut out. Should I replace the top feeder with the vented inner cover, should I use both (after I screen the slot in the middle of the inner cover)?

My plan is to add a second brood box to the hive today.

Thanks

Jacobs
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Re: Small group of bees at entrance all night

Post by Jacobs » Sat May 05, 2018 11:02 am

If they have drawn out comb on all but 2 frames and are occupying most of the frames, it is time to move the undrawn frames next to the brood frames AND add another super of undrawn frames. I would continue to feed. You want the bees to continue making drawn comb for you. It will be a most valuable resource as time goes on. If your feeder is the type with an open area in the back and screened access in the front so that the bees can get to the sugar water, but cannot leave the hive through the feeder, you don't need to use an inner cover.

Wally
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Re: Small group of bees at entrance all night

Post by Wally » Sat May 05, 2018 7:37 pm

Look at a beard as an asset, not a problem. It indicates a healthy hive that is doing well. As Jacobs said, if 8 frames are drawn and covered with bees, move the outer drawn frames up into the new box and keep feeding. Move the hive a few feet each day until it is in the new location. Move it the same distance each day.

DuaneB
Nursebee
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Joined: Sun Apr 15, 2018 10:12 am
Location: High Point, NC

Re: Small group of bees at entrance all night

Post by DuaneB » Sun May 06, 2018 10:36 am

Hi Wally,

Read your reply a little late. Move the whole hive just before sun-up this morning. Now I see why you said a little at a time. I have, what seems to be, a couple of hundred bees flying around the old location. I moved the hive across the yard, about 150 feet. this location is better for the bees; morning sun, afternoon shade.

Is there anything I can do for the bees at the old location? I have a Med. super with undrawn frames.

Thanks

Jacobs
Guard bee
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Joined: Sat Feb 17, 2007 12:36 pm
Location: Greensboro, NC

Re: Small group of bees at entrance all night

Post by Jacobs » Mon May 14, 2018 4:41 am

I see that you didn't get a response to what to do about the bees left behind. They will circle higher and higher and look/smell for their new location. Most will find it given the warm, dry weather we have been having.

This is an example of bearding/temperature control in stronger hives.
Bearding_IMG_2485.JPG
Bearding_IMG_2485.JPG (53.61 KiB) Viewed 466 times

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