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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Lexington, NC
    Posts
    68

    Default strange behavior...robbing?

    I went to my yard today to release a queen from a cage in a hive that I have been working with for a while now. This was a fairly week hive with 2 deeps and lots of stores but not much brood since it has been queenless for a while and the frames I added are just hatching. Today I noticed what appeared to be thousands of bees hanging on the hive and swarming all over the entrance. They also seem to be trying ot get inside every little crack they can find and are bunched up all over the hive. I know it is not the bees from that hive as there are not that many bees there but there is a lot of coming and going from the entrance. There were also nearly 100 or so bees on the ground around the hive. I did open the hive and it appears that some of the stores are gone in the top hive but a severe storm was hitting so I had to close it up before checking the bottom box. Is this possiblly robbing taking place and if so am I way too late to save them now that they are robbing so strongly. Any suggestion?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Madison Heights VA
    Posts
    396

    Default

    Sorry...not enough information (for me). There could be a lot of speculation, but you really need to check the bottom box.
    Curtis

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Lexington, NC
    Posts
    68

    Default

    Hey sorry, for the lack of info. I plan on doing a deeper inspection as soon as the storm passes and the weather clears. I will report back and hopefully with some pictures as well. Is there anything specific I need to look for?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Starkville,Ms,USA
    Posts
    516

    Default

    If the hive is weak you need to put on an entrance reducer.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Douglasville, GA, USA
    Posts
    70

    Default Agree with Dr.Wax

    That was going to bee my suggestion, "Use an entrance reducer ".

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    owensboro,ky
    Posts
    2,240

    Default robbing

    close the entrance down to one bee space, 3/8 inch, RIGHT NOW if you want to save this hive. do a search here for "robbing screen" tonight but close up the entrance ,storm or not. good luck,mike
    "Wine is a constant proof that God loves us and loves to see us happy" Ben Franklin

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Arundel, Maine USA
    Posts
    1,205

    Default

    I've heard about wetting a white sheet and hanging it over the hive for 12-24 hours. And I've heard of a product that you can use to stop robbing, but I don't know what it's called. Michael Bush is always a great source of info. Here is his section on robbing.

    http://www.bushfarms.com/beesrobbing.htm

    Don't give up on your girls. They are tougher than you think... Good luck!
    Let's BEE friends

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Lexington, NC
    Posts
    68

    Default

    Well my questions were answered at the worst when I rechecked them after the lightening let up. The frames were nearly empty of stores but still plenty of robber bees around. I went ahead and completely closed the hive up with wire and taped it securely so no bees could get in or out. As I read on Michael Bushes page this could be done to force the robber bees to join this hive. I returned about 30 min. later and the number of bees was down to only about 15-20 trying to get in but that could have been my own bees trying to get in before dark. There were tons of bees on the inside of the wire trying to get out. I know my queen is safe as she was still inside the push in cage I had her in so she should also still have enough food for a couple days. Now that the robbing has stopped with the screen how long should I leave it on and will feeding them with sugar water be enough to keep them alive? Also, I as going to release my queen but now an hesitant, should I leave her a few more days? I also posted a few pictures of the disaster in progress. http://www.flickr.com/photos/15508638@N03/
    Final update for tonight: I went back down there about 9:30 pm well after dark thinking they would be calm enough to add a top feeder and some sugar water. Boy was I wrong...they were extremely hot with about 100 bees still on the outside and they came straight for the flashlight and me. I found 1 small hole and taped it shut as best I could bt there may still be a small hoel that they can get through in all the tape I put around the wire on the entrance. When I removed the top to put the top feeder on there seemed to be several 1,000s of bees wanting out. I put the feeder on and put about 1/2 gallon of 1:1 sugar water in it and by the time I got the lid on they had filled the screened portion of hte feeder. Maybe tomarrow I will try to use a little smoke and open it again or I may just give them a few days with just the sugar water and see if they calm down. Any suggestion are welcome?
    Last edited by Lanier74; 07-06-2008 at 07:50 PM.

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