Today we have a little video of bees on the face of Beatrix taken this morning. This is not bearding but washboarding. Note the more or less straight rows of bees and the roughly coordinated back-and-forth stepping. A video with a larger number of dancers on a Langstroth can be seen here thanks to Alexander Wild. The phenomenon has been much observed but no one has a definitive explanation for why the bees do it, just speculation that it is some sort of cleansing activity. Close examination does show most them merely rocking on their four hind legs while the front two seem to scrub the hive vigorously. Some believe it occurs at the end of a nectar flow. We hope that is not the case here. Surely the goldenrod is not yet done. We have many weeks to go before cold weather.
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