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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Berrien County, Michigan USA
    Posts
    20

    Default Bees guarding upper entrance

    I recently put on a super and queen excluder (QE) on two full deep brood boxes. Following the advice of some threads on this forum, I put wooden strips(approx .75") between the QE and the supper to create an upper entrance above the QE. I put the wooden strips on all side, but left approx 6" out of the front side for the bees to use as the upper entrance (see picture ion below link). I also added an entrance reducer to the bottom entrance, so the bees would not have two large entrances to guard. The bees really hadn't been using the upper entrance at all for the past few days,however there has been a lot more activity in the hive the past two days (I think goldenrod flow started).. While watching the hive today I noticed several bees trying to enter through the upper entrance but there are a few bees hanging out in the upper entrance, chasing off any bee that comes close. I'm fairly certain that all the bees are from my hive and I'm not getting robbed, as I know of no other nearby hives and I never saw any honeybees before I got my hive. Is this normal behavior (bees to be guarding entrances from their own sisters)? Thanks for your help.


    https://dl.dropbox.com/u/26337625/IMAG0154.jpg
    Last edited by bpeters2; 08-23-2012 at 06:58 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Myrtle Beach, SC, USA
    Posts
    874

    Default Re: Bees guarding upper entrance

    If they are fighting them off, then they would have to be bees from another hive. Who knows what is out there, there could be a ferral hive within a mile or so of yours, you never know. Steve
    https://www.facebook.com/stevesbees99
    Please visit my page, Thanks

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Winhall, VT
    Posts
    1,066

    Default Re: Bees guarding upper entrance

    IF they are fighting them off they are not your bees.

    On another note was that super drawn out before you put on the excluder??
    Raising Vermont Bees one mistake at a time.
    USDA Zone 5A

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Berrien County, Michigan USA
    Posts
    20

    Default Re: Bees guarding upper entrance

    Thanks for the replies. Just to clarify, I saw only 3 bees over the course of several minutes get deterred from the upper entrance and these 3 were the only bees that tried to go in the upper entrance and there is no fighting at the lower entrance. The fighting is not nearly as prevalent as I've seen in some of the youtube videos of robbing. My thought was that maybe this upper entrance has not been established as an "entrance" by the colony, so the bees are guarding it against all bees....?? Just to be safe though, I think that I'm going to remove the shims tonight and eliminate the upper entrance, and leave the entrance reducer in-place in the lower entrance. I'm also going remove the excluder (unless I find they're starting to store honey/nectar above it).

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Santa Monica, CA, USA
    Posts
    1,492

    Default Re: Bees guarding upper entrance

    When I decided to provide a nice "balcony" for my bees (top entrance), bees covered it by their bodies (like a rope) and stayed this way for two weeks day and night. When bees left, the entrance was sealed with wax and propolis. My bees are very particular. Similarly,my bees were very clear that they need more opening when I reduced the bottom entrance - apparently they needed space for gathering and cleaning... Sergey

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