Bees definitely have a way of doing things that they like. Some studies have shown a bee’s brain is amazing. Quote: The honey bee brain can figure out about 10 trillion computations in a second, which is 625 times greater than what the most advanced computers can do. There most certainly are patterns that the bees will show you, and you can (if you watch closely) figure out how to read what a bee is thinking.
Please watch this video below so I can explain further.
Bee psychology modes and what to do.
A mating congregation – Bees flying in a swarm with lots of queens. I watched a swarm like this for two weeks and it would not move into any hive. Great for catching queens from and making micro colonies.
Bees in searching mode – Hovering bees up and down fences , logs trees etc. Set up a hive to catch them. Old hives that have had bees in them work great.
Bees post queen hatching – Bees excitedly running around hive 2x as fast as normal. This lasts usually only 1-2 days post the bees selecting the right queen.
Bees in normal hive building mode – Bees walk at a normal speed and everything is great. Leave them to do their thing.
Bees in a defense mode – Bees leave hive very quickly and join swarm. Double speed for bees leaving hive- tight swarm no bees falling locked together. Calm them by taking hive inside or solving the reason they are defending, move other new hives further away. Set up visual signals for them to distinguish their own hive eg.. change appearance of entrance hole, placing large coloured objects nearby (not white) and changing the height of entrance hole by propping hive up on something.
Bee modes can be put into a group.
Bees in attack mode – Landing on a hive and marching in with a swarm that has bees locking together. Move hive to another area and place a new hive in its place loaded with a small amount of brood inside placed near the entrance hole. Honey and pollen pots may work also for very aggressive swarms. Dean Haley did a lot of work on this some years back and we have him to thank for cracking a lot of the codes on swarm capture.
Defeated depressed mode – Bees walk 3x slower with head down and wings together- post pest attack bees become sluggish – Boost their numbers by hooking them up to a strong hive or adding brood.
Absent queen – Slow walking and construction. Few flyers- structure changes to stringy pattern, cells are made in an odd pattern. Add brood with queen cells and normal cells.
Bees with pests within hive – Fast running and panic look with wings flapping. Open hive, clear out all visible pests, continue to monitor and if the pests continue, make a trap for them. Trap for phorid fly shown below. Add water, touch of stingless honey, pollen and a very very very small amount of dish soap. Too much soap and you will get no fly in your trap.
Bee psychology and learning to read what’s going on.
Sometimes it can take a while to learn to read what your bees are thinking. Our stingless bees are very small and the sheer amount of reactions to their environment is huge. This can create confusion in what you are seeing when trying to identify what is going on. My tips here are to spend as much time with your bees as possible. When they do something watch closely. Spend and hour or two with a chair to see what they are doing. With time and testing things you will see the bees do new things. One test is not enough, try several and then several more. In the end you will discover things you never knew, you never knew. ?
A clear, easily recognised description of bee behaviour that newbies like me don’t easily recognise. It can be confusing at times as the different bee behaviours can appear similar to the inexperienced observer like me. I have TH, TC and AA hives. 3 TH are happy only 100 mm apart, the others scattered around. I have printed your summary so I can refer to it when out with the hives and make better sense of the behaviours.
I had to dim the lights and recline on the lounge couch to watch the Psych video 🙂
I appreciate you sharing your knowledge in your usual KISS way.
Keep it up Nick !
No problem!! I hope it helps you and everyone who sees it.