I have a few hives of newly-hived, feral-ish, swarm bees.
One hive is apparently sending bees to another nearby one to in what looks to be honey robbing.
The "victim" hive is smaller, not fully focused to the hive (they are not completetly in their hive, yet, and the queen may still be among the remaining, small, unhived-cluster). Though it has brood comb that it is caring for. Unfortunately during the hiving, two of the frames were replaced with a big section of honeycomb. Good for food to build up the hive, but too attractive, I think, to other nearby hives. Today I noticed that one of the nearby hives had bees leaving the victim hive and heading straight to the entrance of the "robber" hive. Bad, bad, girls!
Just now I opened the victim hive thinking I would take out the brood frames and put them in another deep and use a Varoa screen bottom as a temp bottom to the hive while I scrape and clean out the dumped-in honey comb in the original deep and bottom. Since the victim hive probably doesn't have much (if any) stored in its own combs yet, I thought this might work by removing what the robbers are seeking before they become hardened felons.
However when I looked inside, the big blob of honeycomb has been attached to the side of one of the frames with new comb and propolis. At least it's not leaking honey out the front of the hive any more. But still, it strikes me as bad beekeeping practice to leave it in.
The victim hive seems to have lots of bees in among the combs. I just added a super (above the single deep) a few days ago. There was a little evidence of comb-building in the super, but only a tiny amount.
I still have to try <i>another</i> attempt at sweeping and scooping to get the last cluster of this hive's bees in.
Surprisingly, I did not find evidence of dead defender bees in the victim hive's front porch or below it. I am not missing them in the grass or anything, this hive is on a hard surface.
So my questions: Should I banish the robber hive? Should I just concentrate on getting the last "victim-hive" bees inside to reinforce and build up that hive? Should I try narrowing the entrance hole to make it easier to defend? Was my original idea of removing the great mass of extraneous honeycomb - even at the risk of damage to some adjacent comb - the best idea? Should I just watch and wait? Should I try laying out some honey comb close to the entrance of the robber hive to preoccupy them? (Serve 'em right if that in turn attracted robbers from other hives to the thiefs' lair!)
Any suggestions will be gratefully received.