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  1. #1
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    Jun 2013
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    Default Bad Bad Day in the bee yard (Asian hornet invasion)

    First off, thanks to everyone on the forum for posting and helping me out with my amateurish questions. I really appreciate it. This place is a great source of info!

    Last Friday I went up to the farm location(on the side of a mountain here in the tropics) where I keep 4 of my 5 hives and I was greeted with the sight of multiple Asian hornets actively killing off my bees. I had problems with hornets before, but not to this level. Usually, I would kill some when I checked on my bees, but this time, I probably killed at least 10, and they just kept coming. It was frustrating to watch them fly around and grab my bees and then fly off with them.

    Anyway, I knew that i needed to move these hives away from this location ASAP. I waited until nightfall and moved them down off the mountain to my house, which is about 1 hour away. They are now on my roof, where there is no danger of hornets(at least not until now) and I where I can keep a close eye on them and hopefully nurse them back to health.

    I have 5 hives, technically nucs, though they are in Langstroth boxes. They don't sell nucs in nuc boxes here. They just remove some frames and sell it that way.

    I am having a major issue right now as it seems these hornets significantly reduced the population and weakened the hives. I now have multiple hives that appear to be queenless. I checked all five and found almost no brood or eggs. In one hive I found maybe 10 cells of capped brood and that was it. Most did not even have stored honey. I also accidentally killed the queen from the weakest hive, so that hive is now completely dead. I think it was beyond saving anyway.

    So 2 of the remaining 4 hives have empty supersedure cells and i heard a piping queen, so I am hoping they have virgin queens, but I am not sure, though I definitely know I heard the piping.

    So, what do I do about the weak hives with no sign of a queen? Do I combine them with the stronger hives?

    I have been feeding them sugar so they get strong, but even the strongest hive (that was never on the mountain with the hornets) has stopped eating the sugar. Does that mean the nectar flow is on?


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
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    KC, MO, USA
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    Default Re: Bad Bad Day in the bee yard (Asian hornet invasion)

    I saw some youtube videos on those hornets they are mean! Said 30 hornets could kill a full size hive in hours.

    >So, what do I do about the weak hives with no sign of a queen? Do I combine them with the stronger hives?

    I would wait a week check for eggs/brood again give a poss virgin a chance to lay before combining.

    >has stopped eating the sugar. Does that mean the nectar flow is on?

    Good chance of flow, do you have stuff blooming, can also mean they are too small to take very much, honey bound or could be sick.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Bad Bad Day in the bee yard (Asian hornet invasion)

    The one thing i did not see was the hornets actually going inside the hives, so hopefully that helped them from totally destroying the colonies. There is definitely lots of stuff blooming here as it's the flowering season.

    After the piping, how long till I would see eggs?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2009
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    Flora,IL
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    Default Re: Bad Bad Day in the bee yard (Asian hornet invasion)

    Curious, the pics I have seen the hornets seem huge, could you use some sort of excluder and drone escape to keep them out???

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Bad Bad Day in the bee yard (Asian hornet invasion)

    Yeah, i probably could . I would have to build one DIY as there are no beekeeping supply places here. Strangely enough, the hornets don't seem to try and enter the hive so much as they hover horizontally at the entrance and grab bees in mid-air.

  6. #6
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    Feb 2013
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    Casper, Wyoming
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    Default Re: Bad Bad Day in the bee yard (Asian hornet invasion)

    What bee species you keeping? My understanding it the cerena have a defense mechanism once the wasp enter the hive.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Bad Bad Day in the bee yard (Asian hornet invasion)

    Here is a link to a hovering hornet outside an apis cerana hive. This was filmed at another beekeepers apiary in another area.

    http://img51.imageshack.us/img51/316...knsuldigac.mp4

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Bad Bad Day in the bee yard (Asian hornet invasion)

    I am keeping meliferra. You are right, cerana do have a defense mechanism of balling the hornet. However, I actually had one cerana hive that absconded in this location due to the pressure from hornets. Cerana are quite interesting, but very finicky. If they don't like something or feel uncomfortable, the whole colony takes off. I have lost 2 colonies already and can't really deal with that level of loss going forward. Also, the cerana are not comparable(in my understanding) to meliferra in terms of honey production. As far as I know, the big honey operations here all use meliferra.

    Quote Originally Posted by Silverbackotter View Post
    What bee species you keeping? My understanding it the cerena have a defense mechanism once the wasp enter the hive.

  9. #9
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    Aug 2011
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    KC, MO, USA
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    Default Re: Bad Bad Day in the bee yard (Asian hornet invasion)

    >After the piping, how long till I would see eggs?

    If she is piping from inside a cell I would give her a week to tem days

    Do you have many apis meliferra around? Will there be enough drones so she can mate?

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Bad Bad Day in the bee yard (Asian hornet invasion)

    I do have meliferra around. And there are drones.

    Dumb question: will queen mate with drones from neighboring hives?

  11. #11
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    Aug 2011
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    Default Re: Bad Bad Day in the bee yard (Asian hornet invasion)

    Yes, a queen flies far enough away so that she does not mate with her drones.

    Average success rate of a queen mating and returning around here is about 80%.

  12. #12
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    Jun 2013
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    Default Re: Bad Bad Day in the bee yard (Asian hornet invasion)



    Praise God, today when i checked the hives I found two of them had a laying queen.

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