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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
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    Default Strange goings on

    There's a bunch of dead bees on the ground. I watched for a while and bees are carrying off other bees and they are fighting. There is plenty of food to go around so I didn't think I had to worry about robbing. Killing off drones? All the bees look the same to me except once in a while a larger bee will show up but always leaves. Should I be worried or leave them be.

    Gene

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2012
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    Rockford, MI
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    Default Re: Strange goings on

    Sounds like robbing to me.

  3. #3
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    Jul 2010
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    jackson county, alabama, usa
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    Default Re: Strange goings on

    dead bees and fighting sounds like robbing. are there bees flying around the hive and trying to find ways to get under the cover or into the cracks between the boxes?

    even with enough food to go around strong colonies will exploit weak colonies.

    when i see this i usually find out that the hive being robbed is queenless.
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  4. #4
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    Jul 2013
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    Default Re: Strange goings on

    Never seen the queen but I only see bees trying for the front door. I checked it today and there Are plenty of bee s inside along with eggs. Only at this for 2 months so I could be wrong. It's raining and they are still at it. Bees flying off in pairs fighting or carrying of dead, not sure which but its happening

    Gene

  5. #5
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    jackson county, alabama, usa
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    Default Re: Strange goings on

    that is strange gene.

    seeing eggs is a good thing. maybe you are right about the drone eviction.

    I guess it's also possible that some of the foragers got into some poison and are dying after they got back. they will carry off their dead like that.

    if they are still fighting you could try reducing the entrance to one or two bees.
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Santa Rosa County, Florida
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    407

    Default Re: Strange goings on

    Reduce the entrance to about an inch and make sure there are no cracks anywhere.That's classic robbing.

  7. #7
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    Jul 2013
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    Palm beach Florida USA
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    Default Re: Strange goings on

    I reduced the entrance right away. I stood there for a while watching closely. They are bringing out dead bees and carrying them off. I don't see anything trying to get in. They all look the same to me Except a small beetle which they promptly swarmed and I squashed. It seems like there are some dead bees inside that they are clearing out. I checked my beetle trap and it didn't leak. The rolling around on the porch is the bee wrestling to get a good grip on a dead bee to carry it off. Why? Carry it off and why are they dead ?

    Gene

  8. #8
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    Jul 2010
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    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
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    Default Re: Strange goings on

    They could be either being killed in fights with robbers, or they could be dead larvae being removed killed by varroa mites, or the hive could be getting poisoned.

    You have taken the right first step in reducing the entrance. You did not say if you are feeding the hive. You should also measure varroa mite numbers somehow, varroa weakened hives are often robbed.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Louisville, KY
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    1,570

    Default Re: Strange goings on

    Sounds like robbing to me. Like sqaurepeg mentioned other than fighting and dead bees, an easy way to tell robbers is hovering around the hive, under the bottom board, near cracks, near top cover. The permenant residents, rarely hover around the hive, in and out.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
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    Palm beach Florida USA
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    Default Re: Strange goings on

    Will putting a screen hurt anything. I can make one easy enough. Tonight would be a good time since they will find it immediately leaving in the morning. I was to focused on the dead bees to notice any hovering earlier but they did their normal evening hover. I did go to Mr Bush's site immediately and educate myself. For some reason I had it in my mind robbing wouldn't be an issue because of constant food source

    Gene

  11. #11
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    Jul 2010
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    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
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    Default Re: Strange goings on

    Gene as per Squarepeg, you need to figure if it actually is robbing, and as he said one giveaway is robbed hives usually have bees trying to get in any gaps between supers, under the lid, etc. They are bees from other hives trying any which way to get into that hive, not always via the front door. The hives own bees know where the front door is so use that.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  12. #12
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    Jul 2013
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    Palm beach Florida USA
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    152

    Default Re: Strange goings on

    Made a screen and put it on. I'll look in the morning for bees trying to get in.

    Gene

  13. #13
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    Jul 2013
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    Palm beach Florida USA
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    Default Re: Strange goings on

    Some bees trying to get in. I guess I needed the screen. The bees are stil bringing out dead bees.

    Gene

  14. #14
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    Jul 2013
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    Palm beach Florida USA
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    Default Re: Strange goings on

    http://youtu.be/GD4sdrFIMwM if you look closely some bees have pollen. I didn't think robbing bees came with pollen. I think my bees are just a little bit dumb and can't find the entrance

    gene
    Last edited by Genemiller; 09-03-2013 at 03:41 PM.

  15. #15
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    Jul 2010
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    jackson county, alabama, usa
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    Default Re: Strange goings on

    looks like the fighting has stopped. any more dead bees being hauled out?
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  16. #16
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    Jul 2013
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    Palm beach Florida USA
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    Default Re: Strange goings on

    No I didn't see any more bees being drug out. Is there any harm leaving it on until the weekend or permanently. It also makes it harder for shb's to enter. I only had window screen and if I tighten the edges they can't get in as easily. If they are guided by smell the same as robbers then the same rules should apply. Any body test the screen for shb stoppage.


    Gene

  17. #17
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    Jul 2010
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    jackson county, alabama, usa
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    Default Re: Strange goings on

    my vote is leave it on. it should make it more difficult for shb's to get in, do you have a beetle trap inside? is this a single deep hive with no supers?
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  18. #18
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    Jul 2013
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    Palm beach Florida USA
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    Default Re: Strange goings on

    Quote Originally Posted by squarepeg View Post
    my vote is leave it on. it should make it more difficult for shb's to get in, do you have a beetle trap inside? is this a single deep hive with no supers?
    Single deep with a plastic sign trap inside. The bees seem to handle them fine but I hate them.
    Trying to completely stop them is strangely enough the funniest part for me. I enjoy problem solving.

    Gene

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