Bee Behaviour

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Busy Bee

House Bee
Mar 1, 2009
Reaction score
N. Ireland
Hive Type
Today was the 1st good day the bees where out in force, working quite well and collecting orange and dirty brown/orange pollen. However I noticed the odd Bee shivering and quivering on the landing board. It shook around for about 2-5 minutes after a flight and then walked into the hive, then the odd bee would emerge form the hive and do the same, one also arrived back shaking and then prenning itself vigoursly and enetering the hive. Around 3 O'Clock the hive was in full flow and no signs of this. Is there anyone who could shed light on this.

Busy Bee:confused:
Hi Busy bee welcome to the forum, I noticed the same thing when the temperature started to drop this afternoon.

I even proded a couple of bees on the landing board but they would not go back in until they wanted to,I assume it's the cold weather.
In saying that they showed slight signs of Chronic Paralysis as outlined by Ted Hooper publication but not enough signs to make any judgement of yes or no. I came to the same conclusion without any proper investigation.
I think Chronic Paralysis shows by leaving bees with little hair left making them look greasy and bald.
Also guard bees try to stop them getting back into the hive.
Any chance that these bees might have a few Varroa, Busy Bee?

Well I am a complete beginner and don't have the proper hive with Varroa floor, currently getting a new hive with all the trimmings but I need to wait until the weather is warmer so i can shift them to their new hive. I have been told to be carefull as opening the hive below 17C can cause brood chill and the bees seem quite good at the moment but will need to be re-hived.
Hi BB,

Your concern about chilled brood is a little bit of beekeeping talk without foundation.

Chilled brood is caused by the outer edges of brood not being covered by house bees to keep the brood temperature between 33-35 degrees C.
This normally occurs during the spring build up where there is more brood to be covered than the amount of house bees to cover it.
So opening a hive at 17 degrees C will not cause chilled brood, as at that temperature the hive will not be open for any length of time.