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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Dallas,GA
    Posts
    29

    Default What's going on with my bees? Fighting and queen found outside.

    I have 2 hives and other than taking the top off and peeking inside I haven't gone into the hive for an inspection in 2 or 3 months. Went to check on them early this afternoon and they were coming and going like normal. Came out an hour or two later and one hive seemed to have a lot more traffic. I went down to look and found a lot of bees fighting and a bunch of dead bees in front of the hive. Didn't have an entrance reducer on it so I thought maybe they were getting robbed. I placed an entrance reducer on it. On my hive stand I had an old frame with comb that had been left there quite a while back when I switched over to all mediums. Noticed there was some bees on it in a small area. I went and looked closer and there was a queen! Not a huge number of bees with her, maybe 20-30. Well I set up a medium box, took a couple drawn frames out of my second hive that didn't seem to be having any problems (still lots of bees in there) and shook the bees off the frames and put the frames in the new box with her. About half an hour later she was back out on that old deep frame. So I took a nuc box and put the old frame in with her on it and the drawn mediums. She has some bees following her but not many. Not anywhere near like what I would expect to see with a swarm. Both of my original hives seem to still have strong numbers. I didn't want to go in and look for the queens given how they were fighting.

    Any ideas on what happened here?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
    Posts
    2,438

    Default Re: What's going on with my bees? Fighting and queen found outside.

    maybe one of those late swarms trying to find a home everyone's been talking about lately.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Dallas,GA
    Posts
    29

    Default Re: What's going on with my bees? Fighting and queen found outside.

    I wondered if it was a swarm but I've never heard of a swarm invading an occupied hive. Does that happen? Also curious to me that there weren't that many bees with the queen. I always thought you'd have a big mass of bees with her. Are there any other possibilities? The bees fighting at the one hive has me a bit puzzled.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
    Posts
    2,438

    Default Re: What's going on with my bees? Fighting and queen found outside.

    A bunch of recent threads on this very thing you maybe seeing recently. The fighting may be those queen's bees trying to find a new home. I'd help her out as much as you can if you want another hive and can spare some resources. It's a typical trait with Africanized bees, but this late in the season people are contributing it to late supercedures and the old queen doing anything it takes to find a new home, even if it means taking over an occupied hive or at least trying to.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Dallas,GA
    Posts
    29

    Default Re: What's going on with my bees? Fighting and queen found outside.

    Well unfortunately I didn't have a queen cage to put her in and she is no longer in the nuc today. Still some bees fighting but seems much less than yesterday. Would have tried to keep her had I been better prepared for something like this.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    KC, MO, USA
    Posts
    930

    Default Re: What's going on with my bees? Fighting and queen found outside.

    The bees fighting outside sound like robber bees attempting entry. If there is something going on with a hive (like a swarm maybe) it might attract more robber bees trying to take advantage of a situation. I have noticed the afternoon orientation flights seem to attract a few robber bees too.

    The bees are very touchy right now, very defensive and offensive at the same time. if they get robbed they are doomed but if they can rob a sister hive they can ensure their survival.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Dallas,GA
    Posts
    29

    Default Re: What's going on with my bees? Fighting and queen found outside.

    The queen I found didn't look like either of the queens in my hives so unless they have previously superceded and I missed it, if it was a swarm it wasn't from my hives. I think I'm going to inspect both tomorrow for the queens to see if the originals are still there and then I will know for sure.

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