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Here are some individual behaviors from the bees:


Clover flower

80% of the world's honey is produced from clover flowers. The flowers and honey bees are native to Europe, so bees happily service them.

Video: Foraging clover (0:16, 15MiB, MP4)

Morning glory flower

Morning Glory is not a convenient flower for bees to get nectar from because of its wide, shallow cup. But bees will work it!

Video: Foraging morning glory (0:07, 7MiB, MP4)


Bees use water for hydration, cooling the hive, and for working comb. They prefer somewhat dirty water. This young hive is building comb quickly and can be observed taking advantage of the dog's water slop on the pan next to his outdoor bowl all day long.

Video: Foraging water (0:16, 15MiB, MP4)

Hygienic Behavior


A bee applies propolis ("bee glue") to the hive to seal a crack. In fact the spot she is focusing on is where another worker was crushed between the two boxes, so she is gluing up the dead bee to prevent the spread of diseases and attracting pests.

Video: Propolis (0:20, 19MiB, MP4)

During rain

It is raining on the hive, and the bees at the door are sucking up any drops of water that collect.

Video: Keeping the front stoop dry (0:20, 19MiB, MP4)

Cleaning bees

Bees will clean each other off. This may be related to varroa mites, or maybe washboarding (listed below), or not. They will self-clean, clean the hive, and clean each other. It's easily visible if you pour honey or sugar water on a bee, other bees will come to her aid.

Video: Bees cleaning bees (0:00, 32MiB, MP4)


Especially during Spring cleaning, when the hive is recovering from the Winter; and during Fall cleaning, as much of the hive dies and is not replaced, there is a lot of undertaking that will be visible. Summer bees die as the weather turns cold. Overnight and initially, they will eject dead or dying bees as simply as they can, sometimes letting them dry on the front stoop. But come warmth, they will try to fly the dead as far away from the hive as possible to reduce pestilance and attacting pests.

Video: Undertaking (0:00, 23MiB, MP4)

Climate Control

Fanning the hive

Bees have to control the temperature to prevent wax from melting, keep themselves from overheating, and maintain brood production. In this media, there are numerous bees facing the entrance, fanning their wings to pull hot air out of the hive. Other bees are also flying in and out to create air flow. When the hive is hot, "spare bees" will evacuate the hive to create space for air to circulate.

Video: Cooling the hive (0:20, 19MiB, MP4)


As part of cooling the hive, spare bees will line the outside of the hive (to insulate), and form a "beard" nearby to collect spare bees.

Video: Bearding (0:19, 18MiB, MP4)



The Nasonov pheromone is emitted by workers from a gland near the end of their abdomen. They drop the tip of their abdomen down and reveal the gland between the plates of abdomen, and fan their wings to spread the pheromone around.

The pheromone is used to indicate to group up - when the queen or other workers are outside the hive, or they're going to swarm, among other times.




It is not known what purpose washboarding serves. Observe the conga line!

Video: Washboarding (1:23, 85MiB, MP4)