Don Varney created the topic: Strange Suicidal Behavior
I have an indoor observation hive. Today I came home at noon and I could hear a lot of buzzing. I lifted the cover and the bees were running around like mad - similar to what they do when a nectar flow is on or they are preparing to swarm. I looked outside where the entrance is and I saw literally hundreds of bees flying around outside. It was in the teens and a breeze was blowing and the sun was shining. They flew a bit and crashed in the snow. Lots of yellow spotting in the snow as well. When I cam home tonight literally a third to a half of the six frame colony was out in the snow. The rest are inside acting as if nothing had happened although I can see their ranks are depleted. I know old bees periodically fly out and die in winter but I've never seen anything like this with literally hundreds of bees flying out at once. I half expected to see them swarming in the nearby tree it was so strange. Any ideas?