Yesterday morning I did a quick hive check, and all seemed right with the world. It was nearly 70 degrees here and my bees were flying. Very shortly after the hive check, my husband dumped out what was leftover of a deer food/attractant (called Final Feast) in our driveway, approximately 250 yards from our bee hive. He was cleaning his car and wanted to throw the bag away, so he just dumped what was left out (probably 2-3 cups). It smelled like peanut butter. Within half an hour, it was over run with at least a few hundred bees, some of which did not look like mine (mine aren't really bright, they are sort of drab colored and were caught from a feral swarm last year). I even witnessed fighting between the bees. So, I walked to my hive, and sure enough robbing was also going on. Bees were fighting, rolling on the ground, attacking each other. The other bees were more yellow than mine, and it was obvious there was a lot of them flying in front of the hive and trying to get in. My guards were fighting like heck, but I did see some make it in to the hive. I have an entrance reducer on, but grabbed what I could (a handful of mud) and reduced it down to about the size of one bee. For a while this seemed to help, but within another hour it seemed that there were tons of the stray bees all over the hive. I put a wet sheet over the hive.
This morning I went to check and the sheet was off of the hive, and I see bees that don't look like mine leaving with full bellies and flying off. I am surprised because it is cooler in the 50's and raining.
I folded a few leaves and blocked the entrance the rest of the way, and then put the wet sheet back over the hive, and added a bucket of water on top so it won't blow off.
Is there any hope at all? Have they killed my queen, or all of my guards? Is that even possible in such a short time? I don't see a lot of dead bees around the outside. Tonight is supposed to drop in to the 20's, and tomorrow and Tuesday will have highs more seasonable, in the 30's. Surely that will at least stall the robbers, right?
My hive seemed very strong with a lot of bees, so surely that is in their favor. I hope.