I did inspections on all my hives today. I put some syrup back on my hives last week to see about them building some more comb (may be wrong, may work, jury's still out). Not much blooming here. It's been VERY dry and the girls were, for lack of a better word, stagnate.
Today, during the inspections, there were no bees dead under the floats in 2 out of 3 of my one gallon home made frame feeders for my TBHs. There have never been more than 1 or 2 dead bees with my feeders. But, today, in my third hive there were probably 1/3 cup full of dead bees under the float. The interesting question I have is that these bees were honey bees but they were BLACK. I don't have any truly BLACK bees. I've got some black and gold bees that the fellow that gave them to me claims are Russian Carniolans. My bees are tiger striped.
Could these be robber bees that got greedy and got trapped under the float and held at bay by the residents? I know that's putting quite a bit of "narrative spin" on what I saw but it was really interesting. There are no solid black bees in my hives. I haven't seen any real robbing behavior but this particular hive did have an issue this last week with a little gap in my follower board that allowed for a single bee sized back door entrance right next to the feeder. I looked through the windows and there were no racing robbers on the frames or hive sides and there was no fighting at this single bee entrance or on the landing board so I hadn't been concerned. I waited to fix the back door (blocked it over) until today's inspection.
Anyway, if they imprison beetles, would it be unreasonable to think they imprisoned some robbers? All, and I mean ALL of the bees under the float were solid black.
What do you think?