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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
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    United States
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    93

    Default My Bee Grabbed a Beetle and Took it in the Hive

    This evening I was watching my Top Bar Hive entrances and saw a beetle landing on the alighting board. A bee grabbed it and pulled in in the hive. Is that normal?

    The hive is a 7 week old top bar hive. It appears to be pretty strong, we have had great nectar and pollen since I installed it and it has 11 bars of comb, 7 are 80%+ built and has had tons of emerging brood. I inspected the hive just yesterday and that is the first beetle I have seen. I suspect that the bees will put it in jail before it can lay eggs, but is that normal? I would have thought a guard would have grabbed it and taken it elsewhere. I was surprised to see it captured and taken inside the hive. Any insights on this behavior?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Hudson, WI USA
    Posts
    2,172

    Default Re: My Bee Grabbed a Beetle and Took it in the Hive

    Bizarre. Taking it hostage, and asking for ransom money?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Hephzibah, GA
    Posts
    116

    Default Re: My Bee Grabbed a Beetle and Took it in the Hive

    That's a new one! I hope the beetles don't have some previously unrecognized ability to win over the good guys to their evil schemes!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Kingston Springs, TN
    Posts
    112

    Default Re: My Bee Grabbed a Beetle and Took it in the Hive

    Quote Originally Posted by Jon Wolff View Post
    That's a new one! I hope the beetles don't have some previously unrecognized ability to win over the good guys to their evil schemes!
    Actually they have. I found this paper from online Univ of Arkansas....." The beetles have developed the ability to stimulate the mouthparts of worker bees with their antennae, similar to drones begging for food, and are able to trick their guards into feeding them.
    This behavior allows the beetles to survive in confinement for extended periods. Opening hives for inspections may free the beetles from their confinement."

    http://www.uaex.edu/Other_Areas/publ...F/FSA-7075.pdf
    My blog and website: FromtheHive.org

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Hephzibah, GA
    Posts
    116

    Default Re: My Bee Grabbed a Beetle and Took it in the Hive

    I knew about that, but the idea that the beetles might be able to trick the bees into also putting out a "welcome mat" disturbs me.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Casey, Il, USA
    Posts
    960

    Default Re: My Bee Grabbed a Beetle and Took it in the Hive

    why would they feed them, that makes no sense?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Jacksonville, Florida
    Posts
    1,620

    Default Re: My Bee Grabbed a Beetle and Took it in the Hive

    My guess is your bee just grabbed the SHB to try and sting it like they normally do. But, they rolled inside the hive as they were wrestling. I don't think she intentionally pulled it into the hive. I have witnessed a bee grab a SHB and fly off with it away from the hive. But, I'm sure the beetles just fly back.

    Steve is right the beetles have learned to beg for food and the bees will feed them. But, as long as the hive stays strong they will keep them confined and not let them run loose in the hive free to lay eggs.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    St. Louis, Missouri, USA
    Posts
    626

    Default Re: My Bee Grabbed a Beetle and Took it in the Hive

    Today I opened up a nuc and saw a SHB on the underside of an empty bar in the back of the nuc. There were a few bees on the bar too so as I tried to smash the beetle I wasn't that efficient because I was avoiding the bees. I got the head but it was still moving. One of the bees went after it and seemed to be trying to bite it on what was left of its head. She didn't try to sting but instead looked to be biting, then she took the beetle off the hive. I've seen them go after SHB and try to sting them but this is the first time I have seen a bee try to bite one. Has anyone else observed this? Maybe your bee was doing this same thing?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Lutz, FL, USA
    Posts
    77

    Default Re: My Bee Grabbed a Beetle and Took it in the Hive

    Quote Originally Posted by Harley Craig View Post
    why would they feed them, that makes no sense?
    Geneva Convention. You have to feed your prisoners.

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