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do bees fly at night

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the beehive lodge 

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if a hive was disturbed at night would the bees fly in a mass or just walk around till morning or fly to the nearest light source daft question but just wondering :beatdeadhorse5::banghead:
 

newportbuzz 

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ive been stung installing a nuc at 3 am i had a torch tho.
so id say yes they will come out if disturbed. doubt they do marathons or anything but they come out and will fly at you
 

Tim1606 

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what possesed you to install at 3am? Did you take them clubbing and decide to do it on the way home?
 

gavin 

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From various experiences taking bees to the heather (!) yes, they will fly at night but prefer not to. If you open a hive entrance after a move in a vehicle, some do nothing, some come out en masse running all over the woodwork, and some will fly out of the entrance.

They will generally ignore car headlights a short distance away but on the other hand I once carried a leaking hive passed a friend's garage open door with a light on, and they headed for the light bulb.

They will also forage at night if there is a flow on and it is sufficiently warm.

G.
 

the beehive lodge 

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Cheers Gavin that has answered a few questions i think it's my 40's im in,:beatdeadhorse5: things just pop up and then i cant get them out of my head
 
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Bees can't see red light so it is possible to do manipulations in the dark under red light. I have done this for introducing queen cells to mini-nucs. The only issue is the light has to be a proper red one. I've used a red LED light and the bees could clearly see it to some extent. The old fashioned type of torch with a "proper" incandescent bulb and a red filter would be better. A photographers' dark room red light even better I guess.
 

newportbuzz 

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what possesed you to install at 3am? Did you take them clubbing and decide to do it on the way home?
i bought them of a guy who wanted to give them to me at 10 pm which was fine but he lived 5 hours drive away well 4 hours and a cup of cofee so no clubin for those little bees. the drive seems to have put the queen off the lay. that was a mounth and a half ago and still no eggs so. 5 hours BAD
 

winmag270 

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not saying anymore in case SWMBO reads this... ;o)
i bought them of a guy who wanted to give them to me at 10 pm which was fine but he lived 5 hours drive away well 4 hours and a cup of cofee so no clubin for those little bees. the drive seems to have put the queen off the lay. that was a mounth and a half ago and still no eggs so. 5 hours BAD
have you seen the queen since the move?

if not she may have been squished during the drive and the colony is queenless.....

have you put a test frame in?

if the queen is there but off the lay, a frame of young brood / eggs can stimulates her into laying or will give an indication whether they are queenless
 

oliver90owner 

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Ten o'clock at night. You weren't going to ask to see the queen, then?

Could he have been a 'Fly-by-night' trader. He could have just collected a few frames from the local apiary and just unlucky not to get at least one queen!

So was this a 'dodgy deal' or was the vendor a bonafide dealer?

Looking back at your posts, I see just a faint hint of, shall we say, bucking the establishment.:)

Regards, RAB
 

newportbuzz 

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he was a good lad.
it just went wrong on me.
he wanted 10pm cos then the bees are finished flying seemed sensible. and the queen is there just not laying. ill pm u da details and see if you think i missed something cos they have me beat wouldnt mind but i gave the nuc to my gf
 

gavin 

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Cheers Gavin that has answered a few questions i think it's my 40's im in,:beatdeadhorse5: things just pop up and then i cant get them out of my head
Just wait until you're in your fifties - thoughts might pop in but they pop back out again just as quickly!

G
 

Finman 

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From various experiences taking bees to the heather (!) yes, they will fly at night but prefer not to.

They will also forage at night if there is a flow on and it is sufficiently warm.

G.
it is 100% sure that bees cannot fly at dark. They do not even have dimlight vision like a human. Bees even stop robbing before dark.
 

gavin 

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100% sure, eh?! Well, you should know not to argue with me Finman. I'll cite two sources below who are in my opinion much more authoritative than you.

Gavin

Dave Cushman, Irish List, 4 Sep 2004:

Not all that common, but foraging certainly does occur on warm
moonlight nights as well, but you will not see 'that behaviour'
exhibited by Italianised bees.
Murray McGregor, Bee-L, 27 Dec 2005:

Subject: Re: Apis mellifera working at night
From: Murray McGregor <[log in to unmask]>
Informed Discussion of Beekeeping Issues and Bee Biology <[log in to unmask]>

In message <[log in to unmask]>, Jerry
Bromenshenk <[log in to unmask]> writes
>I'm going to be hard to convince on this one.

Once, just once, about 20 years ago we turned up at 3AM to load hives
for a migration. It was still completely dark.

Got out of the truck and got a be in my hair. Turned the torches on
because we could hear bees flying.

The whole yard were working like mad, the flying was fast, and close to
silent, beards of bees were forming on the outside of the hives, and the
rank smell of ripening Lime (Basswood) nectar filled the air. These
hives had been prepared for shifting only two days before.

Came back later the same day and they were stuffed full.

Have seen minor cases of it the last two summers, again on Lime flows
and once only on Himalayan Balsam, but nothing like this memorable
morning in the 1980's.

Sorry to those who are trying to make a case for a fictitious new bee
strain for whatever bizarre reason, these were simply normal black
A.m.m. bees and some Yorks Midnites that I had at the time. They were
all doing it, so it is, in this case at least, down to circumstances
alone, and nothing to do with mysterious racial characteristics.


ps. Those of you who know the Balsam, it is really wierd in the early
half light in the morning as these 'ghost bees' are coming home, perhaps
having been out all night, and arrive back all dusted with white pollen,
as if they had been in a flour tub.
--
Murray McGregor
 

oliver90owner 

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First is inapplicable in the context of Finman's statement. The second, might be a little subjective as he finishes stating that some bees had been out all night and were returning to the hive the following morning - or at least that is how I read it (ie, not foraging all night long).

So need a bit more substantive evidence.

RAB
 

Repwoc 

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Bees can't see red light so it is possible to do manipulations in the dark under red light. I have done this for introducing queen cells to mini-nucs. The only issue is the light has to be a proper red one. I've used a red LED light and the bees could clearly see it to some extent. The old fashioned type of torch with a "proper" incandescent bulb and a red filter would be better. A photographers' dark room red light even better I guess.
Bees have trichromatic colour vision, ie they have three types of receptors that are predominantly sensitive to green, blue and ultra-violet regions of the em spectrum. However, due to the nature of light absobtion by pigments (ie they don't just absorb a narrow band of light), the 'green' receptor does absorb some red light so red may appear as dull green to a bee. The more orange the light is the brighter green it will appear to be.

If your LED emitted any UV then of course they would see that while you wouldn't.
 

gavin 

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First is inapplicable in the context of Finman's statement. The second, might be a little subjective as he finishes stating that some bees had been out all night and were returning to the hive the following morning - or at least that is how I read it (ie, not foraging all night long).

So need a bit more substantive evidence.

RAB
??? Eh?

Maybe just read it again then.

G.
 

oliver90owner 

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Finman specifically said 'dark'.

First excerpt said 'moonlight. Not quite the same. Same as thread heading, but not ythe same as Finman's comment.

Second excerpt: as these 'ghost bees' are coming home, perhaps
having been out all night'
No mention of foraging all night long, seemed to me to indicate bees that had been foraging in the dusk and returned at dawn.

Earlier mention of dark - days are long and nights are short in Scotland, unless this was post autumnal equinox.

RAB
 

justme 

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Quote Gavins Quotes, (my multiquote not working)


I shut my last hive up at 11pm last night, (some needed moving today, long story on another thread), the moon was close to full but not full, however where the last hive was was in complete darkness, bees came out twice while I was trying to shut the front up, wrong entrance block and no grass near due to free range guinea pigs (another story). They wandered around the front of the hive but didn't take off. Light was from the screen of my N95 phone.

An hour before that, at my temp apiary, bees were still flying back in, a little moonlight no other. Not italian bees.
 

gavin 

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Thanks Justme.

RAB, this really is tiresome. Finman decided to contradict my advice that bees can fly at night: 'it is 100% sure that bees cannot fly at dark.' The discussion was about 'at night' and not 'in absolute pitch darkness' as was implied by Finman's: 'They do not even have dimlight vision like a human.'

Even if you'd like to go down the pedantic semantic route of taking Finman's comments to mean that bees are somehow physiologically incapable of taking to the air in complete darkness (which wasn't what we were discussing), I'll bet that could be disproved if anyone really wanted to. But I don't care about that and I doubt that anyone here does.

The statements from two beekeepers I respect were clear enough, and all I can suggest is that if you are having difficulty understanding the quotes just go back and try again.

Gavin
 

Finman 

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when you have beehives, it is easy to see that bees cannot see in poor light. They collide against hive if they attack in dark or you disturb them.

Why bees stop robbing before dark?

have you any seen bees flying into hive when it is almost dark?

Bees can fly in dark and hit onto entrance by the help of odor. But mostly they hit on wall and run to to the entrance.


I have seen wasps and bumblebees fly in quite dim light.
 

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