Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 37
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    Williston, NC, USA
    Posts
    1,779

    Post

    Well, I've finally bought all my beekeeper teacher's supplies, woodenware and his 7 hives. I haven't moved the hives yet--waiting for a couple of good (at least 60 degrees) days in a row, so I can close them up the night before and move them the next morning. Went to the strawberry fields where 5 of the 7 hives are located to feed them (I've got a Miller feeder sitting in the field. Don't have enough to put a feeder on every hive and I was afraid of robbing). The bees were bouncing off my car before I even got out--thankfully, I had brought my veil (I don't usually). When I got out of the car, they were all over me. Fortunately, I was still in my early morning attire--sweatshirt and jeans--so they couldn't do much harm but one did manage to get me on the wrist. Of the five hives, one looks like it's a deadout, two had a few bees buzzing around and the other two were just covered in bees. I took the outer cover off the feeder which had been totally sucked dry. By that time, it was getting worse, so I walked about 100 yards away. Some of them followed me the full distance. I gathered my courage, turned around, walked back to the feeder, filled it, put the cover on and walked in the other direction about 100 yards (couldn't get back in my car--would've brought hundreds of bees with me!). 100 yards out, I just stood there motionless until they got bored and left. As soon as I started to move, a few came back, but I was able to get in my car beeless and drive away. I helped requeen these hives in the fall and they were by no means aggressive. And my previous visits to feed them were entirely uneventful (it was colder, though, and only a few were flying). The only thing I can figure, judging from the empty feeder and the two mobbed hives, is that there was robbing frenzy going on and their attack on me was to protect their hive. Sound logical to you guys? For sure I don't plan on letting that feeder run dry again, but I sure am dreading my next visit! Needless to say, I didn't check the "deadout" hive.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    belews creek,nc
    Posts
    160

    Post

    Tia, do you remember a few years back when we had drought conditions in NC? I had a hive exactly like the one you described. I had it placed near our strawberries. It was the meanest hive I ever saw. I thought that they had killed my neighbors dogs one day while I was working them. I had never heard dogs yelping so loud and wallowing in the dirt. This was the only hive that I had that made honey in the drought. It was the best tasting also. When I would remove the outer cover the bees would come out by the handfulls at the front entrance. I almost got a can of raid to take care of them. These bees died the following winter. The only hive that died that year. I don't know if they were AHB or not but they sure acted like it. Tia, prepare for war. That's what I felt like every time I worked these bees.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Central IL
    Posts
    261

    Post

    SMOKE IS YOUR FRIEND, TIA. USE THE FORCE (OF THE SMOKE). All joking aside, get yursself a good bee suit and enjoy the extra honey!
    Central IL... where there are more hogs than people and more soybeans than hogs and people put together.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Greenville, TX, USA
    Posts
    4,368

    Post

    I am convinced that if you feed, and let the feeder run dry, it's worse than not feeding as far as attitude goes. I feed inside, and it's the same way. I usually fill the feeder and come back tomorrow to work them.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    Danbury,Ct. USA
    Posts
    1,966

    Post

    Don't forget that a queenless hive will get very agressive. Check that soonest.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    san antonio.texas USA
    Posts
    488

    Post

    Wow Tia I agreee those sound a bit testy. Fortunately it is warm enough here that I can turn on the truck AC, crack a window and the bees leave in short order. I don't put up with mean bees, they get a new mom pretty quick if there is no obvious reason for their defensiveness. I am told a quick way to stop robbing is to yank the covers off all the hives in the yard.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    Williston, NC, USA
    Posts
    1,779

    Post

    Have I done irreparable harm, or will they calm down now that they have a feeder full of syrup? I'm going to go back tomorrow and fill it to the brim. I hope I haven't totally discombobulated everything. I can't deal with hot bees and I hate to think that my letting the feeder run dry got a bunch of bees killed and/or demoralized. Another lesson learned. C'mon guys, I'm only going into my third season; show me some compassion.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Greenville, TX, USA
    Posts
    4,368

    Post

    They have short memories. If it's sunny and reasonably warm tomorrow, they will likely be back in a good mood. If they continue to be cranky with a flow on, look for other problems.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Hamilton, Alabama
    Posts
    1,209

    Post

    Based on your description, you have induced a "robbing frenzy" by using an open feeder. Here are the steps to take:

    1. Reduce all entrances to a size the bees can defend.
    2. Make sure all cracks are sealed. Take duct tape.
    3. Discontinue feeding.
    4. Leave them alone for a week.

    You are due for the first spring nectar flow in about a week. Once nectar is freely available in the field, the robbing will disappear.

    I would not use an open feeder in the early spring! Its a surefire way to get any weak colonies robbed out.

    Fusion

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    tulsa, ok usa
    Posts
    2,264

    Post

    Are they buckfast?
    Home of the ventilated and sting resistant Ultra Breeze bee suits and jackets
    http://www.honeymoonapiaries.com

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    Williston, NC, USA
    Posts
    1,779

    Post

    Fusion: Thanks for the constructive response. I'll take entrance reducers with me when I go there today. What do you mean, "Make sure all cracks are sealed." Cracks in the hive body? "Discontinue feeding." These hives had no food stores whatsoever and I was afraid they would starve. I don't have 5 hivetop feeders; that's why I field fed. No one ever told me not to field feed in the spring before. I field fed at my home hives last spring without incident, but then again, I kept the feeders full and the nectar flow was very early last year. Guess I should've gone with Boardman feeders, but they're a distance from me and the rate these bees are sucking up the syrup, I'd have to refill them twice a day! If I stop feeding with the nectar flow a week a way (at least a week, I would guess. We're behind season here--10 degrees below normal), couldn't they starve? Thanks for the great info. As you can see, I'm still learning!

    Magnet-man, they started out as buckfast many years ago, but they've been requeened several times since with Italian queens.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    Danbury,Ct. USA
    Posts
    1,966

    Post

    Rob Mountain has a system that may apply. It consists of some newpaper on top of the frames and a couple of pounds of sugar (not syrup) poured on it. It would prevent starving and keep the feeding indoors. I've never done it but it sounds do-able. It may need an empty super as a topper. Rob? You listening?

    Dickm

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Langley, B.C. Canada
    Posts
    413

    Post

    Tia
    --I use inner cover with a 2 inch hole in the middle .Fill the inner cover with sugar 3/8 thick.


    Terry

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    hermiston, oregon
    Posts
    458

    Post

    Tia,

    Im curious... what was the distance from the miller feeder to the hives??
    ------------------------------------------<br />Colton<br />------------------------------------------

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    Williston, NC, USA
    Posts
    1,779

    Post

    oregonsparkle: 15--20 feet at most. I'm not good with distances. Was over there again today but it's very windy and in the mid-40's with off-and-on showers, so they were all clustered. I put entrance reducers set at one inch on all of them. Saw only a few dead bees on the landing board of the hive that was really inundated yesterday. Didn't see any dead bees on the ground! I was expecting to see a pile of them! Terry, I forgot about the dry sugar on the inner cover trick. I've even read that some people trickle a stream of syrup in the center of the sugar, the dry sugar acting as a bank, keeping the syrup from running into the hive. I want to go back again tomorrow to see how they're doing and if they've "cooled down" any. If so, I'll put the dry sugar in. Thanks.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Grifton, NC
    Posts
    1,302

    Post

    I'd be requeening those girls sooner rather than later.
    Banjos and bees... how sweet it is!

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Langley, B.C. Canada
    Posts
    413

    Post

    Tia
    I use plastic frame feeders in the fall after the honey suppers are removed,I keep them in until next years nectar flow.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    Williston, NC, USA
    Posts
    1,779

    Post

    Terry, don't a lot of the bees drown? All the beekeepers around here hate those frame feeders and I've been emphatically warned against using them.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    hermiston, oregon
    Posts
    458

    Post

    "oregonsparkle: 15--20 feet at most. I'm not good with distances."

    That could explain the robbing. I thought that open pail feeding should be kept about 100 feet or more away from the hives. This is to prevent robbing. Hopefully michael bush can add his input. I believe he does the open pail feeding method.
    ------------------------------------------<br />Colton<br />------------------------------------------

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    North Georgia mountains
    Posts
    923

    Post

    All I use is frame feeders. I put a piece of window screening in mine to give 'em a landing/eating platform.

    BubbaBob

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Ads