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Thread: FIghting bees

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Jefferson Co, TX
    Posts
    700

    Default FIghting bees

    So my hive is 2 medium supers with a unfinished miller type feeder on top. Basically it is more like a shallow with a bottom board and holes in the middle of the bottom board so bee can access the top chamber. I have some badly damaged comb with honey in it stashed in a frig in a container. Placing pieces of that in small aluminum baking pans to not make a mess. Bees appear to really making good use of it and clean a piece out within 24 hours. Think I have about 14 to 15 frames (or partial) frames of comb we recovered from the tree, and the comb are getting heavy. None of it is capped yet, but they are filling it up. Building new comb very slowly. Hoping I have a mating queen from queen cells. Will look for eggs at end of next week.

    Lost a lot of the forages when we gathered the hive.

    Yesterday when I placed a new piece of comb in the top, I gently moved some bees with the pan and pushed a single bee into about 3 others that were grooming and bam there was a fight. One bee jumped on the one getting pushed and they were rolling all over, biting and looked to be trying to sting each other. Occasionally another bee would join the bee that jumped the other and bite a few times then move away. Other bees would mainly move away. This went on a minute or two and then I realized the noise of the bees and the attitude of the bees in the feeder area were getting nervous or jumpy, so I closed the lid.

    Opening in the hive is 2.5 inches by 3/8" and to get to the top feeder, they would have to go through the two mediums, cross across the bottom of the feeder box and then steal honey and leave. I watch the entrance daily and don't see any conflicts or aggression between bees as they come in. I have some additional comb I placed in the open about 50 feet from the hive and no bees are hitting it, just melting in the sun. So it doesn't seem to be much as other hive foragers around here. Think my foragers are busy in the feeder moving the regular supply of honey to the comb.

    Could this have been a robber bee or did I possibly hurt the bee and the other was killing the hurt bee?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Louisville, KY
    Posts
    1,563

    Default Re: FIghting bees

    Feeding invites robbing. Torn apart comb is a sign robbing. Fighting is a sign of robbing. Suprising they havn't touched the honey comb, put it right near the hive it should be gone within in a day.

    If you must feed, feed all hives at once. It won't stopping robbing but seems to help. Also feed in spurts. Feed for a few days stop for a few days, feed, etc until you hit your target weight. I have entrance reducers on all my hives. I close the inner cover top entrance with 8 mesh or a piece of thin metal when feeding internally.

    When I feed with a top feeder especially this time of year there is a noticable roar or hum from the hive even if there is no robbing. The bees are still nice.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Jefferson Co, TX
    Posts
    700

    Default Re: FIghting bees

    Yea, guess those were the first of the robbers. Today it appeared that there was a steady stream of bees in and out the front, two lone bees trying to tangle with them. The robbers are little black boogers that are fast, they would land and race straight in. There was no hovering or anything, little jet fighters.

    That looked different so I opened my miller feeder and man, about 7 of them came straight out the feeder and bam one went under my glasses and nailed me under the glasses. Knocked my glasses off and had my eye squinted shut and the bee was stuck there. Me swiping at the bee with my eye squinted shut and the darn bee wouldn't brush off my eye. finally realized what was wrong, relaxed and the bee crawls to the side of my face for a splat moment. It was one of those little black beggars. Then had to head back over to find my glasses. Did I mention I am far sighted, trying to see brown framed glasses in mowed vegetation, then put the lid back on.

    Yet these critter are not the same as they were yesterday.

    Closing the front down tonight and going to leave it closed for two days. They have honey and I will put a small tray of water in the feeder. Thinking of moving them across my yard so the robbers will have to relocate them.

    Grrrr, but had to look around to make sure the neighbors didn't see me jumping slapping my face .

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Rupert, Idaho, USA
    Posts
    86

    Default Re: FIghting bees

    If you only move them across the yard, the robbers will likely relocate them in less time than it takes you to make the move. Better use of your time would be to build and install a robber screen.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Louisville, KY
    Posts
    1,563

    Default Re: FIghting bees

    cool buddy. Remove the feed and put on some robber screens. No need to feed 24/7

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Norfolk, Va.
    Posts
    23

    Default Re: FIghting bees

    A feeding station away from hives has worked for me. No fighting or robbing. I used a top feeder from Manlake and a spare bottom board and cover. Easier to load at first light in the morning before bees get active.
    It is a short 15 foot flight around a tree and the girls seemed to be cool with it...it can be loaded with up to 4 gallons of feed...I usually only fill with 2..

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