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Bees cluster up weirdly when I do inspections

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Bees cluster up weirdly when I do inspections


I haven't noticed this on youtube videos of hive inspections and my beekeeping club members haven't seen this behavior during their inspections.

My bees like to congregate around the edges and particular sides of the boxes, especially near the hand holds. I'll hit them with smoke, but after 20 or 30 seconds they're all right back in their usual spots. It's the worst when I get to the bottom brood chamber. It's like they come pouring out over the sides of the box.

It makes it hard to pick up the box to put it back on the stack when there's a cluster of bees in the hand holds and the edge of the box has a two inch deep cluster of bees. I'll wipe them off the edge, but in the few seconds it takes to go around the entire edge, the bees are already starting to cluster up again.

Thoughts? What can I do differently to prevent this behavior?

Edit: BTW, no entrance reducer because I applied formic acid treatment. Yesterday was two weeks, so I removed the strips and replaced the entrance reducer on it's smallest size.

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