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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Location
    Spring Hill Florida
    Posts
    32

    Default Bees moving from one hive to another

    Ok so I have a question. I have seen this happen a couple times in more than one of my yards, the bees swarm or absconded out of one hive go into the air like a swarm, and then land on the entrance of another hive and go in and take over.
    I have also seen when inspecting hives my notes on the lid say it is suppose to be an unmarked queen and its a marked queen instead inside, one of my marked queens
    These are not mean bees(Africanized).

    What is this and how do I stop it.
    Central Florida.


    Thank you in advance.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2016
    Location
    Central Virginia
    Posts
    191

    Default Re: Bees moving from one hive to another

    Are they absconding or swarming?
    Swarm control is a well-covered topic here. Absconding is much less common. What is left in the hive just after the bees move?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Location
    Salt Lake City, UT
    Posts
    546

    Default Re: Bees moving from one hive to another

    Sounds like robbing. Robbing is a frenzy and it could look like a swarm.
    Zone 5B

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Location
    Aroostook, ME, USA
    Posts
    48

    Default Re: Bees moving from one hive to another

    Queens don't move during robbing and they don't paint themselves. *grin* So I don't think it's that. I would look at why they wanted to leave the first hive.

    Are you ensuring they have enough space to keep them busy? Keeping the mite loads down? Is there too much light/wind coming in through an open bottom board without the inspection board in place? (Just posting things to think about as I am not a mind reader.) Something made the bees not like their original location and you said swarm OR absconded figure we have to answer that question first.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    West River, MD, USA
    Posts
    113

    Default Re: Bees moving from one hive to another

    Do a search for usurpation and read up on it. Has been observed in non-africanized bees and documented by Wyatt Mangum in his ob hives in Virginia. I have personally observed it in my hives in Maryland twice.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Location
    Spring Hill Florida
    Posts
    32

    Default Re: Bees moving from one hive to another

    On the one I seen where they came from they left eggs and brood and stores. Mite count was low, plenty of room to grow. That hive went from an 8f to a 5f nuc to take over 2rows up. Screen bottom boards on all. The ones I didn't see I dint find an empty box in the yard just a new queen in tge hives that they were not suppose to be on that's why I mentioned swarm/abscond.
    I did read about ubsertion and sounds like that would be it, just never seen this before and now it happened like 4or5 times this year

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2016
    Location
    Central Virginia
    Posts
    191

    Default Re: Bees moving from one hive to another

    Sounds like you should keep some bait hives near your apiary.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    Champaign, Illinois
    Posts
    2,153

    Default Re: Bees moving from one hive to another

    Had the same thing happen but it was a swarm. Had to be shelock holmes to figure out what exactly happened.
    Watched the swarm exit so I knew where to start looking.
    Looked inside and the marked queen is still in the original hive. Found where a new queen had emerged up in a super with a hole in it.
    The swarm exits hive then lands on fence about 30 feet away. Recover swarm, put into top bar with all drawn combs. They re-exit after about 20 minutes then usurped a mating mini nuc that had a virgin queen in it. Seven pounds of bees tried to get into half a 4-frame nuc.
    Later I looked into the mini nuc and swapped the mini for two 4 frame nucs stacked. They liked that better.
    In process I found an unmarked mated queen.

    It appears that the virgin in the super stayed up in the super, went and got herself mated, returned, then was forced to leave with a whole lot of bees. My back yard was chaos last Saturday. Fun fun fun.
    The mama-bear next door is finally cooling down.
    Internet credibility is an oxymoron

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
    Posts
    8,324

    Default Re: Bees moving from one hive to another

    Usurbation is documented in the USA and has to do with the genetics of certain of the bees and they are not always mean.

    In my country with a fairly restricted pool of countries that our bees came from, the kind of usurbation you describe is unknown.

    In Africa in lines of demarcation between species such as say, scutelata and capensis, it is common. I have read descriptions where a fist sized swarm clusters just outside the entrance of another hive, and over a few days works it's way inside, protecting their queen and themselves from the other bees. Eventually they manage to despatch the other queen, and take over.
    "Thinking Inside The Box"

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Location
    Spring Hill Florida
    Posts
    32

    Default Re: Bees moving from one hive to another

    Quote Originally Posted by bentonkb View Post
    Sounds like you should keep some bait hives near your apiary.
    had one up a swarm landed above it had to talk them into it lol

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    9,724

    Default Re: Bees moving from one hive to another

    Quote Originally Posted by sebashtionh View Post
    Screen bottom boards on all.
    Try closing off those open screens.


    For further reading ... http://www.beesource.com/forums/show...-bottom-boards
    Graham
    USDA Zone 7A Elevation 1400 ft

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Location
    Washington
    Posts
    303

    Default Re: Bees moving from one hive to another

    Aunt Betty, what happened to the virgin queen in the mating nuc?

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