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Clicking Noise in the Hive

Posted by on June 30, 2015

I opened one of the hives today to replace a feeder, and heard a strange sound. Not the usual buzzing, but something more like clicking. Someone described it as a crisp dollar bill being crumpled, but I’d describe it as a geiger counter on the other side of the room (OK, maybe you haven’t heard one of those). A bit of googling showed I shouldn’t be alarmed, and it was probably bees chewing the wood, or building out wax. Since I’ve had my head in a lot of bee hives and never heard this before, I’m puzzled, but I’d go with the chewing wood theory.

Play the video and tell me what you think it is in the comments. And pardon the blurry video – it’s the sound you should be paying attention to.

One Response to Clicking Noise in the Hive

  1. Norma Kawecki

    I just made a split and use the BeeMax styrofoam hive bodies. I heard that clicking sound also for the first time after 16 years of beekeeping. To me it sounded like bees slamming against the side of the styrofoam . Maybe it was magnified by it. I have never heard it before and it was quite loud.
    A friend found this quote “Your ear pressed consecutively against the glass partition of either hive would perceive a sound resembling a sort of chattering produced by the jaws of the workers occupied with the preparatory work of their architecture, a work which is performed upon beeswax only.”–Huber in a letter to Elisa on Swarming, August 10, 1831, in Huber’s New Observations On Bees, Bicentennial Edition pg 600

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