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Happenings in the insect world
Comments:
by Andy C
on January 24, 2013 at 2:54 AM
My bees do the washboard motion all the time. It appears to be temperature related. On a hot evening there are loads of them out front washboarding, when it is cooler there are none sitting out front.
by Joël laberge
on October 20, 2013 at 6:35 PM
Observed wash boarding in summer 2012. first time observed in 53 years of experience beekeeping  
With 1200 beehives.  
My observation was a great probability of intoxication of neonicotinoids. Very dry summer plus a high collection of corn pollen. in these bee yard a high percentage of these hive didn't survive the winter, coincidence or not? No wash boarding behaviour seen this year.
by Joël laberge
on October 20, 2013 at 6:35 PM
Observed wash boarding in summer 2012. first time observed in 53 years of experience beekeeping  
With 1200 beehives.  
My observation was a great probability of intoxication of neonicotinoids. Very dry summer plus a high collection of corn pollen. in these bee yard a high percentage of these hive didn't survive the winter, coincidence or not? No wash boarding behaviour seen this year.
by Kathy Keatley Garvey
on October 28, 2013 at 9:56 AM
Joel, thank you for your email. Bee breeder-geneticist Susan Cobey of Washington State University, formerly of UC Davis, says: "My guess is coincidence. The behavior seems to have a genetic component, as certain colonies perform this, others not in the same yard/same conditions.  
I tend to see washboarding when the forage is scarce. If this contributes and sounds like it with the conditions described - he (Joel) mentioned a dry summer and corn pollen (not very attractive unless it's only whats available). Maybe the bees are eating more neonic contaminated stores or getting this from the corn?"
by J D Provence
on June 17, 2014 at 2:08 PM
One of my hives was washboarding yesterday morning. They continued doing it all day and throughout most of the night. The mesquites are in full bloom, so there's ample pollen and nectar very close to my hives. The only changes made in the last few days, I had added a second deep brood box on top of the first and a screened inner cover. They're washboarding again today, but not near as many of them participating.
by C Yirka
on August 4, 2014 at 11:54 AM
I only have one hive this year and this is a new hive and queen from very hygienic bees who haven't been treated for varroa for years. They have wash boarded all year long, all the time. Is there any possibility that this is a hygienic behavior? It's been interesting to watch, first hive I've ever had to do it. Is it possible that they are cleaning up mites that possibly come in on the bees from mite infested flowers and fall off when the bees land? Whatever the reason they do it, it's been fun to watch.
by Joe Barnick
on July 3, 2015 at 10:34 AM
Have two hives this year. Just added second brood box and they started the washboarding, do it all day every day. This hive is expanding at a rate 3 times of my other hive. Weather does't seem to effect them.Will see what an added honey super brings.
by Ginger Berglund
on July 8, 2015 at 5:12 PM
I've seen this behavior every evening in good foraging weather since 2007. I have always just assumed this was normal and that they were "vacuuming the porch.". With so many landings per day, some pollen is sure to have jostled off. When it's so precious in the first place, this seems like sensibly conservative and hygienic behavior.
by Gary
on July 9, 2015 at 4:37 PM
This is my first year. I have two hives. One is doing the washboarding and the other one has never done it and they are about 20 inches apart. it's odd to see this done but it's funny that one is doing it and the other one has never done
by Helen Wilson
on July 12, 2015 at 6:39 PM
I try to attract bees to my yard with my plantings. I live in the very hot and dry city of St. George, UT. This year I have noticed bees lighting on my birdbath to get a drink and so was researching to see if this was a normal behavior. I have learned that it is not only normal but life sustaining. Thanks for the info.
 
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