A common sight on my booming swarm hive, a behavior known as washboarding wherein the bees march back and forth in unison on the face of the hive, as well as fanning to keep the hive cool. It's time to make a split or two off of this one already. The bees coming in from the field, heavy with their loads have a bit of a time figuring out where to land with a good portion of the hive on the front porch.
You can get a feel for a what's going on inside a honey bee hive without ever opening it up: just be observant. How many orientation flights have you witnessed in front of your hives? What does it smell like? How heavy are the boxes when you heft them? Are they defensive at the entrance or mellow? This is one wonderful sight to behold. These hives have been orienting quite a bit lately = this is great!
Tom Davidson is the owner and beekeeper at T's Bees.
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