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Wandering bees

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SixFooter 

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In my home apiary which is about 4m square and paved, I have 4 full hives and a nuc. Most days, I can see about 30 bees including a few drones, just walking about on the flags over the whole apiary site. This isnt a lot of bees, I know, so I'm not worried about disease, but what is going on? It's curious to watch as they seem lively enough and often 2 bees will meet, have a little conversation (exchange food?) then cary on on their separate ways. They never seem to fly off again.
I thought at first that they were probably young bees that I had spilled on the ground during inspections and I put ramps up into each hive. This hasnt made any difference and it's 6 days since my last inspection, so I wouldnt have thought they would survive that long out of the hive.
Can one of the experienced beeks offer an explanation.
 

Black Comb 

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It could be deformed wing virus caused by varroa.

I'm sure you'll get other ideas.
 

Bcrazy 

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It's probably nothing to worry about. Why does everything the bees do which is new to a beekeeper have to be a disease of some kind?

Mo
 

kazmcc 

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Are there wasps about? Daft question probably lol. I know I am new to this, but I have spent quite a while stood, biting my finger nails, watching the bees as they battle with the wasps. One thing I noticed was when the wasps were about, there seemed to be quite a few bees walking about on the floor in front of the hive. Even if they weren't in a wrestling match with a wasp, they were walking about the ground. When there were no wasps though, there were no wandering bees, they all seemed to have taken flight. I may be wrong, but that's how it looked to me.
 

madasafish 

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I'm a newbie with grass in front of my hives. Lots of drones on the grass - cast out. Lots of workers collapse with exhaustion and rest on the grass. Before treatment, bees with DWV on grass. Bess fighting each other/wasps on the grass.

I ignore them : the numbers are in 10s to 50s.. There are hundreds of bees flying outside the hives in the late pm so a few on the grass are of no concern to me...

Edit: our local apiary has bees on the woodchips round the hives...

Seems normal to me..
 

oliver90owner 

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What is that?; about 6 bees per colony?

How many are dying each day as normal 'bee attrition'? It will be less than she is laying eggs when expanding, and more than her egg-laying rate as the colony contracts. Most will be lost in the field, a few in the hive and the rest somewhere else. How many did you say there were?

I might do a survey (get each one to fill in a questionnaire) and make sure they were not all from the same hive, see if their flying gear was operational or worn out, etc but probably would not be too bothered........

Regards, RAB
 

SixFooter 

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What is that?; about 6 bees per colony?

How many are dying each day as normal 'bee attrition'? It will be less than she is laying eggs when expanding, and more than her egg-laying rate as the colony contracts. Most will be lost in the field, a few in the hive and the rest somewhere else. How many did you say there were?

I might do a survey (get each one to fill in a questionnaire) and make sure they were not all from the same hive, see if their flying gear was operational or worn out, etc but probably would not be too bothered........

Regards, RAB
LOL. I just wondered why they wandered! I'll try not to care.
 

oliver90owner 

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I just wondered why they wandered

Maybe they are wingless, but not legless!

Not wingless in the strictest sense but they need good 'non-worn-out' wings and a lot of energy to fly, compared to ground level crawling. Drones may be in the same boat - just short of energy to fly - the workers have stopped feeding them and they have been turfed out to fend for themselves, of which there is no chance!

I would think it is a bred-in 'trait' to crawl away from the hive, rather than curl up and die at the entrance, so crawl they do! Simple as that.

Regards, RAB
 

kazmcc 

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That sounds so sad Rab, cruel nature.
 

SixFooter 

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There are more of them now and a larger proportion are drones, but I'm still not worrying. Thanks Rab.
 
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