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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Highland, MD, USA
    Posts
    13

    Question Robbed or Something Else?? Need Advice Please.

    I need advice. 5 weeks ago before we went on vacation I checked my first year TBH. The girls were doing great, new comb, new brood and capped and uncapped honey. They were doing just what I'd hope they would and I saw no signs of pest or oddities going on. We left for vacation for a week, when we got back my mom went into the hospital and needless to say for the last several weeks I've not been out to check the hive. Friday I went out, finally home during the day with free time I was eager to go see my girls, what I found left me incredibly sad and somewhat confused.

    Most of the girls are gone, there is maybe a package worth near the far end. The comb that was gloriously full of bees, brood and honey is all dry and empty. Some comb had holes all the way through it and I spotted small hive beetles as well. However no slime, no funky anything on any of the comb where there are still bees. I noticed that two of the ventilation holes at the top that had screen stapled over them had been chewed through. I made sugar syrup for the remaining bees and put the feeder in the hive with them and I closed off the ventilation holes that had been chewed through.

    Now my girls have been very docile since I first got them, I could inspect without need for smoking with ease. Yes they'd come out to check me out but the buzz from the hive always remained the same. This time though when I started to move toward the bars that still contained bees and comb they were not pleased at all. The pitch of the buzz changed dramatically and they started coming out at me and seemed very irritated. I stopped and decided to give them a chance to settle and feed hoping that they would calm some with a food source close by.

    I checked this morning and added a second 2:1 syrup bottle to the feeder inside. I put the feet of the hive in moats with oil and water to stop the ant march up the legs and into the hive. I've always made sure that no weeds or anything were touching the hive so that pest couldn't get in.

    I'm sad and angry and I don't know if I did something wrong or if this is just part of the 'experience'. In all honesty I'm not very hopeful that feeding them at this point will do any good and fear that they won't make it through the winter.

    Any advice, suggestions or thoughts will be appreciated.

    Angie

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    berkshire county MA
    Posts
    1,472

    Default Re: Robbed or Something Else?? Need Advice Please.

    You didn't mention whether or not there was any queen cells, or sign of the queen.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    owensboro,ky
    Posts
    2,240

    Default Re: Robbed or Something Else?? Need Advice Please.

    My best guess is they swarmed and the new queen did not return from her mating flight. You'll have to suit up and dig into the hive and see if they have any brood.
    It's very close but not TOO late to get a local queen and feed like mad.
    "Wine is a constant proof that God loves us and loves to see us happy" Ben Franklin

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Highland, MD, USA
    Posts
    13

    Default Re: Robbed or Something Else?? Need Advice Please.

    Before this happened there was a very actively laying queen and no sign of cells. As of Friday like I said, when I attempted to move the top bars where there are still bees and activity I was met with less than happy girls. They came out from in between the bars and headed straight for my face even though I was suited. So I opted to put syrup in there and close it up. Today when I went out to add the second bottle of syrup, 1/4 of the first was gone and again I was met with less than happy girls. Since it was very wind, cloudy and chilly today I decided that it wasn't the best time to go in and inspect anything my thought process being that they are already stressed they didn't need additional stress.

    So I don't know for sure what's still in there but for girls that have 'nothing' left they sure are irritated.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Winhall, VT
    Posts
    1,066

    Default Re: Robbed or Something Else?? Need Advice Please.

    A queenless hive is usually not the best tempered group of ladies. I think you may have had a swarm like others have said and the virgin never made it back. Not sure how much time you have to get them back to par but always worth a try if you can find a local queen quickly. Best of luck!
    Raising Vermont Bees one mistake at a time.
    USDA Zone 5A

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    North Tazewell, Virginia
    Posts
    345

    Default Re: Robbed or Something Else?? Need Advice Please.

    Been there dude that exact thing happened to me my 1st yr. Order a queen and hope for the best.

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