Saturday, March 18, 2023
HomeBeeKeepingFestooning Bees: A Distinctive Habits

Festooning Bees: A Distinctive Habits

One may assume that in spite of everything these years we all know every thing about honey bees. Alas, this isn’t true. There are nonetheless some mysteries now we have but to unravel. One such conduct is festooning bees. Whereas we perceive a few of the causes for this motion, a lot of it’s merely educated guesses. There’s nonetheless extra to study.

What’s Festooning?

Worker bees hanging in festooning chain in hive frame image.

Festooning bees is a conduct the place honey bees grasp in a line or chain making a lace sort sample between frames contained in the hive.

Could comprise affiliate hyperlinks. Learn my privateness and affiliate disclosure coverage for more information.

They’re hooked up to 1 one other by a pair of hooks on their legs – it seems to be just like the bees are holding arms.

When the beekeeper first notices festooning inside a hive, it’s a very thrilling expertise. It’s apparent that the bees are doing it for a particular cause and it seems to be so organized. 

How do they convey in a method that lets everybody know what to do? That is a kind of mysteries we nonetheless don’t perceive utterly.

Chain of honey bees holding on to each others legs image.

Why do Bees Festoon?

Actually, this conduct continues to be considerably of a thriller to beekeepers and analysis scientists. We’re not precisely positive why they festoon however we do have some concepts or attainable explanations.

It’s a very fascinating conduct to look at within the hive for the primary time. While you gently pull the frames aside, bees will appear to cling to every aspect. I can take away two frames with festooning bees within the center they usually might keep linked!

One concept, the perform of the residing chain might have one thing to do with comb building.  Researchers have hinted at this as a risk.

But, bees have been recognized to festoon in different areas of the hive. Maybe there are multiple goal for any such bee conduct.

This lacework of hanging employee bees can create new wax comb or restore previous comb that has been broken.

Colonies with a small quantity of wax moth harm should restore the wax cells. Cleansing and restore is a continuing job for staff. Something that makes the job simpler could be a plus.

Be part of Our Beekeeping Group

Free “Secrets and techniques to Profitable Beekeeping” plus weekly e-newsletter with information about bees, beekeeping and extra…

Within the picture on the high of this text, my bees are festooning whereas constructing new comb in an empty body. In time, the entire body will fill with comb.

Advantages of this Lacework of Bees

A few of the high theories for why honey bees grasp in a festoon are:

  • it makes comb constructing simpler
  • they might use if measuring areas
  • clustered bee our bodies produce warmth that promotes wax manufacturing

It’s believed that festooning bees are in a position to recreate sections of comb sooner than could be attainable by particular person bees doing their very own factor.

The ladder of bees serves as a type of scaffolding. Although they don’t all the time get into festooning place for comb constructing.

Bees on foundation making beeswax comb image.

Every bee secretes small flakes of wax (known as scales) from wax glands on their stomach – the underside of a employee bee. Then, it’s formed and used to construct hexagonal cells on the body within the correct place. 

On this method, honey bees kind comb to create their nest within the hive. Isn’t it a great factor that honey bees have 6 legs. They want some to govern the wax and a few to hold onto their sisters within the chain.

Honey bees are fairly explicit about the place they place frames of comb. We all know that they’re able to measure areas contained in the hive.

Combs are inbuilt any house bigger than 3/8 of an inch “bee house” – maybe festooning helps bees hold the correct spacing between combs. The colony makes an attempt to fill any open areas with comb.

Younger employee honey bees are essentially the most environment friendly wax producers within the colony. These within the 14 -18 day previous age group are simply coming into their peak manufacturing. In a hive the place hundreds of wax cells are wanted, wax manufacturing is necessary.

These cells will likely be used to carry honey and pollen. Some develop into brood cells and function a spot to rear younger or bee brood. The colony wants loads of cells to supply house for all these wants.

One of the best temperature for secretion of wax and manipulation is over 91°F. One attainable principle on the aim of festooning is that the cluster of bees creates extra warmth.

Workers inspecting new comb in a hive image.

Nonetheless, regardless of these nice examples of why bee festooning is helpful – it’s not required. We all know that honey bees can construct comb with out hanging in chains with their sisters. 

Why do it in some areas and never others? Except it includes the “measurement” of the development space – we simply don’t know.

Jürgen Tautz is a world-renowned German bee biologist. His ebook – Buzz about Bees Biology of a Superorganism is fascinating for anybody really thinking about honey bee life. It’s certainly one of my favorites.

In certainly one of his newest books – he submits the concept the chaining bees we see in festooning – might certainly be a carry-over conduct from wild bees.

Wild bees grasp in teams across the building space – forming a type of web construction. The web doesn’t essentially have something to do with precise comb building however serves different features maybe.

If you wish to study extra about his ideas – learn: Wild Honey Bees. This isn’t a how-to beekeeping ebook however it’s a treasure for any bee lover. The images is excellent.

Honey bees hanging in small cluster from tree.

Honey bees additionally cling collectively in a cluster once they swarm from the hive. This small cluster exhibits linked bees however they don’t seem to be hooked up in lengthy chains. Why the distinction?

If most researchers are not sure – I can’t hope to provide a greater reply. We do know that this a typical conduct in hives throughout the heat season.

One factor is for certain, festooning bees are a pleasant sight to see within the hive. This is without doubt one of the joys of being a beekeeper.

We get a singular view of the lifetime of the honey bee – even when we don’t all the time perceive why they do issues.



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Most Popular

Recent Comments