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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Henry County, IN
    Posts
    532

    Default Tips for spotting robbing during the cold winter months.

    This time of year we get a few warms spells here and there that get the bees flying. I don't like to tear into a hive because we could still have plenty of very cold weather in my neck of the woods in Indiana. In the winter when we have a warm enough day for the bees to be out flying are there any characteristics you look for around the entrance to suggest it is robbing bees Vs. an active hive that is out and about? I've watched a weak hive in the summer start to get overtaken and see the fighting and such. But if a hive died out in the middle of a cold snap and then it warms up and they start getting robbed is that easy to spot?

    We had a warm up about three weeks ago and all of my hives had plenty of bees flying. I went back over today with temps near the 60's and one of the hives had little activity. I checked and it was dead. I'm wandering if it was likely dead last month or if it has died the last few weeks. There was still a good amount of stores in the hive. Given the time of year I was expecting it would have been robbed out by now if they have been dead too long since we have had some warm weather recently.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    lafargeville ny usa
    Posts
    2,061

    Default Re: Tips for spotting robbing during the cold winter months.

    you do not get much robbing in late winter/ real early spring. once there is a nectar flow watch out.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
    Location
    beaver county pa usa
    Posts
    169

    Default Re: Tips for spotting robbing during the cold winter months.

    seal it up or they will rob it out

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Henry County, IN
    Posts
    532

    Default Re: Tips for spotting robbing during the cold winter months.

    If I know a hive is dead I bring them in. I am looking for ways to spot intruder bees versus normal bees from that hive. I assumed there would be more robbing this time of year with no flow and hungry bees out on warm days.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Location
    Rutland County, Vermont,USA
    Posts
    418

    Default Re: Tips for spotting robbing during the cold winter months.

    I have the same question. I have 2 hives and it was 55 today so I checked on them. One hive was very active with lots of bees coming and going from the upper entrance. The other hive had none coming and going from the upper entrance, but a few meandering in and out of the lower entrance. I am wondering if its a dead out and its the bees from the other hive checking it out. Too cold to open it up, but it doesn't look good.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Massillon, Ohio
    Posts
    5,016

    Default Re: Tips for spotting robbing during the cold winter months.

    If you see bees bringing in pollen, ... relax.
    To everything there is a season....

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Henry County, IN
    Posts
    532

    Default Re: Tips for spotting robbing during the cold winter months.

    Not much pollen in the winter. At least I've never seen it come in.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Sedgwick Co. KS
    Posts
    618

    Default Re: Tips for spotting robbing during the cold winter months.

    We've had several days in the upper 60's & low 70's recently, and the pollen has been pouring in from somewhere......pollen pouches full. It's a light tan color, but I have no idea where it's coming from. No trees budding out yet................??

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    Champaign, Illinois
    Posts
    1,736

    Default Re: Tips for spotting robbing during the cold winter months.

    I think the light tan is either maple or elm tree pollen.
    Been seeing some pollen coming in here in central Illinois the past couple days.
    Trees are popping all over the place. Usually we're having ice storms around Valentine's day historically.

    Robber bees act funny like they're trying to sneak up on the entrance.
    Internet credibility is an oxymoron

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