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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    lewisberry, Pa, usa
    Posts
    6,080

    Smile Anyone have this before???

    I had a small hive get robbed. It was just a few frames of bees and I was busy so I decided to just let it go and save the comb another day.

    A few days later, I checked on the hive. The outside frames that were full of honey was completely cleaned out. But the middle couple frames still had bees. I checked on the frames and the queen is still laying and the bees actually started to fill in nectar around the brood chamber, which is much closer than where it was before.

    I'm not sure if the bees regrouped at some point and perhaps after a nights break, was able to defend the entrance once more. Or if the robbers took what they wanted and left the bees as they felt dying was not worth it.

    The hive had actually swarmed earlier. And the brood being raised was on the middle frames and it appeared that the honey was a frame or two away on the outside part of the hive.

    I did not expect the hive to make it. But I'm not thinking this is something to ever expect again. Those bees were too unwilling to fight or the robbers just stuck to the outside frames. Lucky bees.

    Anyone hear of this before?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Wheatfield, IN
    Posts
    2,068

    Default

    This has happened to me occasionally in mating nucs. However, sometimes the queen will stop laying (especially if she was just recently mated). Its almost as if the stress of the robbing shuts her down. I've had nucs where a few days after the robbing episode the queen disappeared yet a few bees still remained afterward covering the remaining brood. She's never seen again.

    Last year I saw one in which the queen stopped laying for almost a week. Then suddenly she started laying again and went on to be perfectly fine.

    I saw it in one mating nuc this year. Queen was still a virgin when it happened so obviously I didn't see a change in egg laying. The bees were fine though and the virgin appeared healthy. I had to move the nuc and add a frame of food as there was no nectar except for a couple of cells on the frame of brood.
    Dan Williamson
    B&C Honey Farm http://www.flickr.com/photos/9848229@N05/

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    College Station, Texas
    Posts
    6,973

    Default

    I have seen the same thing here and like mr williamson also in mating nucs.

    the robber quite evidently only went for the easy stuff and the well defended core they ignored. a bit of feed and boosting the unit with sealed brood brought them back fairly quickly.

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