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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Dawson, PA USA
    Posts
    105

    Default Hive Under Attack (Pics)

    I was sitting out in the yard watching my newly hived swarm when all of a sudden I started to hear the buzz of a bigger bee. Before long it sounded like an air strike. I had a bunch of big bees flying down and going into my hive. I was able to catch one, and it looks like a honey bee only double the size. They were going in and out and I figured they were robbing the hive of honey. This really ticked me off cause I just got this swarm, and they cant have all that much to begin with. I put my entrance excluder back on to try and help them out a bit. My bees were going crazy flying all around the outside of the hive but I didnt see them really fighting other than landing on them every so often. I'm new to this so I dont know what a bee fight really looks like. I am trying to get batteries for my camera so I can post pics to get a positive I.D. Is there any other advice as to what I could do to help my girls out? Did I do the right thing by putting on the excluder? I may leave some drones out but I figured that would be better than letting these bumbles clean the girls out. Thanks in advance!

    Aaron





    Last edited by DiverDog; 06-01-2009 at 04:08 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    North Bend, WA
    Posts
    504

    Default

    I'm hoping you mean "reducer", and yes that's a good thing to do.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Dawson, PA USA
    Posts
    105

    Default

    No it's a queen excluder my mentor cut down to fit the hive entrance. The queens inside so she's fine, and the workers can get through it. The bumblebees can't. Thats why I put it on. We made them for catching swarms. When we first catch a swarm and we know the queen is inside we put them on so that she stays that way they dont abscond. We leave them on for about 3 days then pull it. We heard of the idea after talking to some other beeks about the swarm I caught last month leaving the next day.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Anderson County, Texas
    Posts
    1,254

    Default Invading bees

    On the first picture towards the right it looks like a queen honey bee, she is longer but not as big and fat as the invaders. Could this be your queen? The other darker bees, being they are so much larger and darker, almost look like some type of hornet which makes a paper nest usually somewhat round and oblong and basically enclosed save for an opeing or two.

    Danny

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Tucson, Arizona, USA
    Posts
    5,403

    Default

    All the insects in your photographs are honeybees, the larger, all-dark ones are drones, and some drones are a combination of light and dark as are some of your worker bees. All the others are workers. You should probably remove the excluder so the drones can come-and-go as they need to.
    48 years - 50 hives - TF
    Joseph Clemens -- Website Under Constructioni

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Bloomington In
    Posts
    788

    Default

    could also be drones.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Anderson County, Texas
    Posts
    1,254

    Default Re: Drones

    I may be mistaken but these bees do not look like drones to me. Their butts are not rounded like a drones normally is. However, the bee which I previously referenced as looking like a queen, could be an optical illusion with another bee's head hidden making the body look longer. Take a look at the first picture and the bee right of center which looks longer and narrower.

    Danny

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Dawson, PA USA
    Posts
    105

    Default

    Thanks, I was questioning myself whether they were drones or not. This is my first year and my mentor is a truck driver so he is usually gone through the week. I am going to pull the excluder cause they are still there trying to get in and the girls arent paying any attention to them whatsoever. We'll see what happens.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    west point, ms
    Posts
    381

    Default

    They are drones and drones make a louder buzz, but will do you no harm.
    Don't think you are on the right road simply because it is a well worn pathway.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    OKC, OK USA
    Posts
    2,870

    Default

    Yep...them there is drones!!
    Mike Forbes
    Red Dirt Apiaries

  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Covington, Ga, USA
    Posts
    1,549

    Default

    Dont feel bad, I mistook one for my queen.....lol. Then once they corrected me(the forum), i went and read a LOT about how to tell the difference....

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Dawson, PA USA
    Posts
    105

    Default

    So when a hive swarms, they will also take some drones with them too? I didnt notice any this size when I picked up the swarm on Thursday. Last evening I pulled the entrance excluder off and I've been gone since Friday so that is why I didnt see them until today I guess. It just seemed weird. I was sitting out there then all of a sudden there was a whole new buzz and these bees were flying in and out like crazy. Since losing my last swarm, and moving my other hives away I didnt want to lose this one. Since they are a swarm, and have only been in the hive for 4 days I didnt want what little food they have accumulated stolen from them. They hit the lotto on pollen today though, every bee coming in was loaded up. You could see it from about 10 feet away. Thanks again

  13. #13
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Covington, Ga, USA
    Posts
    1,549

    Default

    when i trapped my 2 swarms, neither had drones...neither...i looked at these bees 100 times over i swear. The other day, quite a few were now in the hive. As it was explained to me, they will just show up sometimes. Sad part is they came, and my queen left.....

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Knox County, Ohio
    Posts
    2,694

    Default

    Last year, I discovered (after the fact) that a bumblebee had invaded one of my beehives.

    I found the bumblebee in a honey super. Hairless, wingless, and completely covered in propolis.

    It was also deader than a doornail.

    After seeing firsthand how honeybees treat invading bumblebees, I don't lose any sleep over the thought of bumblebees getting into a hive.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Kiel WI, USA
    Posts
    2,368

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Countryboy View Post
    Hairless, wingless,
    I've got one somewhere around here like that too, took me forever to figure out what it was when I found it!

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Algonquin, IL, USA
    Posts
    638

    Default

    When observing my hive I can always tell when a drone is in the air. They make a different sound. Funny thing is that I swear that the drones follow each other around. It always seems like one lands, and then there is one right behind it.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Dawson, PA USA
    Posts
    105

    Default

    Yeah I wouldnt be worried about 1 or 2 but there were a ton of them flying around the hive. One second it's normal the next second there were tons of them flying all around the hive and yard. The didnt seem like they knew where the entrance was either cause they were flying around the hive and going underneath and bouncing off the screened bottom trying to get in. It was just a brand new experience for me.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Jacksonville, Florida, USA
    Posts
    33

    Default

    it could be that your swarm had a virgin queen and she was returning from a mating flight with a bunch of drones following her home. they will most likely hang around hoping that she will fly out again on another mating flight. virgin queens can take more than one mating flight and the drones try to be first in line if and when.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    collbran, co
    Posts
    546

    Default

    well, I have noticed since this is my second year...that the drones seem to follow each other.one day there not in the hive and the next day or two there back..Other wise i find them outside of my new hive dead the next day i guess my girls don't want them inside my second year hive has few drones. I hear they have 10 percent drones in a colony..and yes them are drones

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,341

    Default

    Drones are bug eyed, just like the ones in the picture...

    You have an "entrance guard" on the front which is preventing them getting in as it's made to block drones and queens. I would remove it.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

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