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Author Topic: Bees walking on the ground  (Read 654 times)

Offline JimW

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Bees walking on the ground
« on: February 07, 2017, 10:02:26 PM »
Hi all,

I lured a swarm a few months ago into an empty hive box in my backyard. They were small to start but have been building up steadily and collecting honey.

Over the past week or so I've noticed that particularly in the afternoon that there are heaps of bees walking around in the garden and on the lawn across an approx. 5 meter area in front of the hive (rough guess over 100 bees). I've watched one of them climb up a small shrub in front of the hive, fall down on the ground, and try crawling up again. With the naked eye they look ok, and seem to be walking around at a reasonable pace.

Dr Google has suggested in might be Tracheal Mites, but I've since discovered they don't exist in Australia.

I'm in Sydney and we have been suffering through an ongoing heatwave, with consistent temps in the high 30's-low 40's (Celsius) for the past couple of weeks.

I have another hive on the other side of the yard that is older and more established, and they are not showing this sort of behaviour.

Does anyone have a similar experience or theory on what it might be? They have a water source nearby.

Thanks
Jim

Offline Andersonhoney

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Re: Bees walking on the ground
« Reply #1 on: February 08, 2017, 05:47:04 AM »
Wow.  Good one. How are your bees inside the hive?
Are the crawling bees wings intact?
If you grab one of these bees and squash it then open it up, are the guts a nice clear white or a yellowish color?
Are the bees in the hive holding there wings open in the shape of a "K"?
What's the queen laying pattern like.?

Offline sawdstmakr

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Re: Bees walking on the ground
« Reply #2 on: February 08, 2017, 01:09:15 PM »
It sounds like they are definitely sick. I forget which disease causes this. I will try to ask a friend who knows what diseases cause this.
Jim
"If you don't read the newspaper you are uninformed.  If you do read the newspaper you are misinformed."--Mark Twain

Offline Michael Bush

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Re: Bees walking on the ground
« Reply #3 on: February 13, 2017, 11:46:57 AM »
There are several viruses which cause crawling bees.  Deformed wings (another virus) also causes crawling bees.
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Offline JimW

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Re: Bees walking on the ground
« Reply #4 on: February 20, 2017, 03:37:06 AM »
G'day, thanks all for the replies. Had a look inside on the weekend. They seemed ok, good laying pattern. Heard someone on the radio talking about how bad the hot weather has been for his bees. His advice was to put a moist towel over the hive. Since doing this over the past fews days they seem more energetic and have stopped crawling on the ground for now. I'll keep an eye on them though.
Cheers
Jim

Offline sawdstmakr

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Re: Bees walking on the ground
« Reply #5 on: February 20, 2017, 06:53:46 AM »
Add a piece of 3/4 insulation board (with the foil one both sides) under the top board. It will do the same thing.
Jim
"If you don't read the newspaper you are uninformed.  If you do read the newspaper you are misinformed."--Mark Twain

Offline Acebird

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Re: Bees walking on the ground
« Reply #6 on: February 20, 2017, 08:44:52 AM »
Add a piece of 3/4 insulation board (with the foil one both sides) under the top board. It will do the same thing.
Jim
Jim are you suggesting foil faced so the bees don't chew it?  I would put the foam board on top of the cover and hold it down with a rock that way the foil will be reflecting some sun light.  If you are looking to cool the hive a foil wrap without insulation would be best.
Brian Cardinal
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Offline sawdstmakr

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Re: Bees walking on the ground
« Reply #7 on: February 20, 2017, 08:10:46 PM »
Add a piece of 3/4 insulation board (with the foil one both sides) under the top board. It will do the same thing.
Jim
Jim are you suggesting foil faced so the bees don't chew it?  I would put the foam board on top of the cover and hold it down with a rock that way the foil will be reflecting some sun light.  If you are looking to cool the hive a foil wrap without insulation would be best.

That is what I do with my hives. I use caulking around the edges to keep the bees and ants from gettting under it.
Jim
"If you don't read the newspaper you are uninformed.  If you do read the newspaper you are misinformed."--Mark Twain