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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We're new to beekeeping this year. We have a total of 6 hives now. 2 strong colonies and 4 splits (2 from each strong colony). We have odd behavior between two of the nuc's. For the most part the foragers come and go out of them bringing in pollen and nectar as we still have lots of sources where we are. However, there is also a number of bees we can see that seem to be "sharing" the two hives. There is no sign or robbing inside either, nothing torn up, they're queen right. But if you sit and watch the hives which I like to do a lot, you will definitely see bees going back and forth between these two particular nucs. It's not going on with any of the other hives. These two nuc's are next to each other separated by a few feet.

I'm guessing that I should move one of these two which I think we'll do tonight. But question is what are they doing? Nobody is robbing from either of the hives unless it's a very "passive" type of robbing, but I've never really seen this before. I understand the reality of "drift" but this sure seems like a certain number of bees are just sharing the hives or something like that. Prior to starting the 4 splits our two original hives were not side by side so I never got to observe anything like this before.

Anyway, thanks for any comments from any of you that may have some idea why, or what they're doing and if I'm correct in going ahead and moving one of them away from the other.

Joe
 

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I didnt have an answer to your question earlier but I was just reading in another thread re: Robbing and a beek ...... "OLDTIMER" had this to say to the other poster's question:

"However, there is a thing called passive robbing, possibly you could have that. It is where there is not the usual frenzy of activity associated with robbing, but rather a few bees manage to become accepted by the hive being robbed, and walk in calmly, load up with honey, and return to their own hive."

Maybe this is what is going on.
 

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Joe, These two NUC's that are sharing the bees. Were they from the same original hive? If so the pharmones of the new queens if you allowed them to make their own may be close enough to allow them access either way.

If the queens were bought they also may be sister queens with pharmones close.

In your shoes, I think I wouldn't worry too much about it, unless you see signs of robbing. At that point move them apart and put on robbing screens immediately. Otherwise, try a little experiment.. Use some powdered sugar and see how many are actually bouncing from hive to hive.. Dust them coming out the entrance and watch them..
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Joe, These two NUC's that are sharing the bees. Were they from the same original hive? If so the pharmones of the new queens if you allowed them to make their own may be close enough to allow them access either way.

If the queens were bought they also may be sister queens with pharmones close.

In your shoes, I think I wouldn't worry too much about it, unless you see signs of robbing. At that point move them apart and put on robbing screens immediately. Otherwise, try a little experiment.. Use some powdered sugar and see how many are actually bouncing from hive to hive.. Dust them coming out the entrance and watch them..

Yea it's certainly interesting to watch. It's like they are both community centers that have kids going back and forth. The queens for the new 4 splits were all bought, and these two nucs next to each other were supplied with brood, and honey from two different hives. However the original 2 hives were established hives from the same place, so their queens are probably closely related. I originally thought I'd let it go too, but now we're going on the 3rd week and it's starting to bug me I guess. Might try the sugar to see the number clearer, think we might move the weaker of the two to another location tonight after everyone is back in their own hives. Thanks !!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I didnt have an answer to your question earlier but I was just reading in another thread re: Robbing and a beek ...... "OLDTIMER" had this to say to the other poster's question:

"However, there is a thing called passive robbing, possibly you could have that. It is where there is not the usual frenzy of activity associated with robbing, but rather a few bees manage to become accepted by the hive being robbed, and walk in calmly, load up with honey, and return to their own hive."

Maybe this is what is going on.
Thanks for the note on the other threads. I was looking through them as well, saw one on passive robbing, in that case they saw definite signs in our case it's just like certain bees go one place, then go another place, it's quite odd. But again I've never had side by side observation experience either like I'm getting now.
 
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