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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Santa Fe, New Mexico
    Posts
    15

    Default Robbing at a new hive

    Hi all, first time beekeeper here...

    I just installed the bees in my hive 4 days ago. I tried the baggie feeding method, but the baggie had a hole in it (figures) and some spilled down into the hive and trickled out the bottom. I have a screened bottom board and the "floor" insert was in. Anyway, there has been a lot of activity around the entrance and I think it might be robbing brought on by the spill. I am pretty sure that there are two kinds of bees one more black and one more yellow. I have the entrance reducer on the smallest space so I figure that must be helping. I've since removed the "floor" insert from the bottom thus removing some of the spilled syrup. It was covered in whitish flakes, is that wax and bee poo?

    I would like to check to make sure that the queen has been released and remove her cage and get the frames aligned, but am afraid that if I open it, the robber bees will get the upper hand. I don't know what to do... Please help!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Casey, Il, USA
    Posts
    1,186

    Default Re: Robbing at a new hive

    First off are you seeing any actual fighting ? Is it chaos and last all day or does it look somewhat syncronized with everyone facing the hive and only last for awhile usually late afternoon, if it's the first it's probably robbing if it's the second it probably orientation flights

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Santa Fe, New Mexico
    Posts
    15

    Default Re: Robbing at a new hive

    I am pretty sure it is robbing. The bees are like a cloud around the front of the hive and It looks like fighting to me. And there are 2 colors of bees. I read somewhere about putting a wet sheet over the hive and that the bees from the hive can find their way in and out, but the robbers can't does that work? Also, is it ok to open the hive at night when the robbers are gone? It is a bit cold here at night still...

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Casey, Il, USA
    Posts
    1,186

    Default Re: Robbing at a new hive

    Have to wait for someone else as that is beyond my experience when I first got my hive that first eve I thought there was robbing going on and freaked out and called my mentor he came over and just chuckled and said it was orientation flights some of my bees were darker than the others too check out . Orientation flight videos on YouTube and then look for robbing videos and see if you can see the difference

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Santa Fe, New Mexico
    Posts
    15

    Default Re: Robbing at a new hive

    Thank You. i looked at some orientation flight and some robbing videos. I will look tomorrow and see... I don't feel as panicked about it. Thanks.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Aurora, CO USA
    Posts
    129

    Default Re: Robbing at a new hive

    Have you tried to "wash" away the spilled syrup on the ground? I made a bit of a mess on the ground setting up my 1 gallon feeding jar into my hive when I set it up. Spilled a bunch of syrup on some rocks in front of the hive and that attracked a lot of attention from other surag lovers like ants and wasps. So I hooked up the hose and washed all that spilled syrup away and that ended the wasps from getting too close to the entrance of the hive. The gaurd bees were on it though. I saw a lot of aggressive behavior from my bees toward the wasps. They didn't stick around for too long when several bees started to really give them the business.

    Now that I've cleaned up my spillage the wasps dont bother coming around anymore. I still get courious ants. I need to whack that colony of ants anyway. They are trashing my flagstone patio with its sand substrait.
    _____________________________
    Chas Gordon

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Santa Fe, New Mexico
    Posts
    15

    Default Re: Robbing at a new hive

    Yes, I cleaned it up the best I could, it spilled on loose sand/dirt so scooping up what I could and then tossing fresh dirt on top.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Santa Fe, New Mexico
    Posts
    15

    Default Re: Robbing at a new hive

    Ok, I opened the hive today and the queen box had fallen blocking the release of the queen. I pulled the cork and put the queen cage back in so hopefully she will do her thing. The hive is back together and there is tons of activity. I do think it's robbing going on. Here is a video I took minutes ago: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iQOfS1x65DI would someone have a look and let me know if they can tell. I'm thinking about putting on a robber screen anyway...

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Columbia, Missouri, usa
    Posts
    211

    Default Re: Robbing at a new hive

    I did not see any bees fighting, but hard for me to tell. I would put on a robber screen and see what happens.
    My robber screens have of tin sheilding the screen in front of the excape hole. The home bees have a tough job finding their way out of hive. I am going to cut another hole to make it eaiser to find. The robber bees won't find their way in either way.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Santa Fe, New Mexico
    Posts
    15

    Default Re: Robbing at a new hive

    Thanks so much for watching the video. Another opinion is comforting. I am making one of these style robbing screens: http://entomology.ucdavis.edu/files/147611.pdf It seems that it should be fairly easy for them to find their way out.

    I do have one more question. I put the bees in the hive 4 days ago, opened the hive today to check on the queen (as described above). Should I wait a few days to open the hive again to retrieve the queen cage? Should I wait a week? Two? I remember reading somewhere that it is good to leave things alone for a couple of weeks once the queen is loose to let things settle and that opening the hive too soon can turn the bees against the queen (they think the disturbance is her fault). I would like to get the cage out of there so I don't have to cut it out of any comb they may build around it. Wondering how long I should wait.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Casey, Il, USA
    Posts
    1,186

    Default Re: Robbing at a new hive

    Looks like orientation flights to me too see how they climb up take off and face the hive and don't really go anywhere you will know fighting when you see it I installed a new package last week and my other hive had some bees checking it out and 1-2 bees were dragging them off the entrance and fighting untill they hit the ground and they wouldn't leave them alone untill they were dead for me it was real easy to tell the new package was light colored Italian looking bees and my existing hive was darker carniolians and every black be that landed got drug to the ground by a couple of light bees and killed

  12. #12
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
    Posts
    3,048

    Default Re: Robbing at a new hive

    I think the reducer is causing a jam and it looked like orienting to me for the most part.

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