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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So, being bored, I decided to setup an old hive (currently have no bees). Put a little lemon grassoil inside with some Perc/frames. I said what the hay, threw on an old feeder (small super over that) with some sugar water. Did this yesterday.

Well here comes the robbers...2 sets. One set is italians...the other well I am confused on. Most have almost black tails with a black to dark brownish gold upperboday.

Anyways, today, I got up at the crack of dawn (well just a little later) and went for a smoke, walk the dog...all the normal stuff. I though well lets go check the hive. Amazed still being that early the black colored bees were in and out like Atlanta Airport.

This afternoon figured I would watch them, still in and out. A few hornets and wasp landing on the board getting attacked. Ants crawling on the deep getting pecked off. THEN the Italians came, which did not last long. Still flying in and out non stop, the smaller black bees were attacking the italians before they could hit the board. Any sneaky italians, trying to go around the sides got a royal pounding by four or five black bees.

Either the smaller bees are feral or russian, thinking that because they are smaller than the italians.

Anyways, I will check them again before dark, but they took about 1/2 gallon of sugar water yesterday, and again today. I dont mind feeding them, the part of VA we are in, currently 10+ inches short on rain, hell my hanging plants outside are dieing and they get watered daily by us.

Wish thier queen would move in, would be nice.
 

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How cool would that be...I thought about doing the same thing but my luck bees WOULD move in and then I would be like...NOW WHAT?!?!?!...lol...so close to fall here in West Virginia I would be a bit afraid to get a new colony started. But what the heck...I might try it too just to see.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Just kills me to watch them. They act like they are defending thier hive, even though they are the robbers. Ant, wasp, hornets other honeybees go no where near the landing board. I will check after dark to see if any are hanging out.

If they move in, oh well, good luck for me. Waiting until March/April to get bees seems like forever.

I wish I had a camera to get a good focus close up to see if anyone knows what type these are, more than likely a mut feral honeybee.
 

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Who knows? You may get their queen should they swarm in the spring and somehow remember this great setup you have.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Popped the top at dark and there were a few hundred bees still hanging in there. I will refill the feeder again. Like I said, they way the weather has been going here, might as well help them out. Pretty much a small spark would start a massive fire, the ground is so dry and everything is pretty much brown.

Anyways, who knows, I keep reading about late swarms. Have not seen one myself as of yet, but who knows, stranger things have happened.
 

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These bees are probably what we here call Black German honey bees good bees but a tad more hot then most beekeepers would like.
 

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Christopher if you get them you might like them some old timers say they put out a lot of honey.BUT!!!You probably would'nt want them too close to your house.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Well I dought I will catch them, would be nice to have something different.

As for the distance from my house, its a good 3 acres away. I actually am in the process of clearing a very over grown area in the corner of my yard to put my home bee yard. You wont be able to see the hives at all or barely thru the brush during winter. Small trees, plenty of sunshine but lots of shade in the summer. It will also be fences with a standard 4 or 5 foot chain link. I have a 300 acre wheat field behind my house that has been cut and is over grown with dried garbage at them moment.

Anyway I have sat a few feet away from them, they havent minded me at all, even put a reducer on, helped them kill a couple yellow jackets, hornets and wasp. They would buzz me like thanks bro for the food. Hell the italians were the ones all up in my face, buzzing and landing on me while I read a book and watched the bees get a free breakfast lunch and dinner.

Thanks Again for the help. Knowing these might be a rare type of bee, I should consider reporting them or maybe taking a sample to confirm.
 

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Just curious...do yellow jackets, wasps, etc also have an alarm pheromone? I assume they do, but it must smell differently than the honeybees otherwise they might get riled up as you were killing the wasps?
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I dont know.

They are at it again today, in out routine flights in the rain (mist).

They attack the wasp, hornets and ants, but for some reason leave the yellow jackets alone unless landing on them.

I killed a few wasp and hornets and yellow jackets....so maybe different smell or didnt have time to release the odor.
 

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If you think that you have ROBBERS, make robber screens and put them on the entrance. They confuse the robbers but the hive bees will soon learn where the new entrance is. My thoughts.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Its an empty hive with some old plastic frames and foundations.

I know they are robbers, however there were a hundred or so that stayed last night when I checked out the deep under the feeder.

And they are still at it at the moment, but its getting dark. I think I might be seeing more of them. I started bee-lining today and came across a clear cut. More than likely thats where they are from. I did not feel like tresspassing, so I stopped at the property line, but the bees were headed in that directions about 10 ft off the ground. I will stop by and let the loggers know if they stumble across any hives to call me and I will come get them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 · (Edited)
Curiously, what would happen if I caught a crap load of them in the hive with a full feeder, pollen patties and such....? Anyone have any input on that idea?

Well just about dark I went and checked things out. There were around a couple hundred bees hanging out inside, did not bother them to much. I did notice they had coralled a bunch of black ants into one corner. So I covered them back up for the night. Guess they are waiting to resume operation robbery in the morning.
 

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Cristopher, I am not too far from you. I think I may have some of those black bees too. They were caught as a swarm this spring and build the prettest comb I have seen. So far they have produced 2 shallows of honey this summer. They are a little hot and can sting thru a bee suit no problem. Best bees I have !
 
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