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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I went out to check the 3 back yard hives yesterday afternoon and it looked like I had a bee war going on. The smallest of my hives was under attack with a pile of several hundred dead bees on the ground. I suited up, fired up the smoker and checked the entrance of the hive but there was no fighting there, just shoulder to shoulder bees guarding the entrance. But under the hive on the screened bottom board it looks like there was a swarm of bees. The bees in the hive were behind the screen stinging the s... life out of the bees on the bottom but I didn’t see any fighting. I closed down the entrance to about ½ what it was to make hive defense easier. I smoked up the raiding bees real good and they took to the air and clustered on a branch near by. I shook them into a nuck I had set up to capture swarms with drawn comb and a little capped honey from last year and the rest of the raiding bees started marching in. Thinking I had the queen I took a break but when I came back about ½ hour later and all the bees had left the nuck and reformed the cluster under the hive with the screened bottom board again. I don’t have a BeeVac so I was kind of unsure what to do so I left them hanging there for the night. The raiding bees are defiantly a different type with the outside bees being much darker and smaller than the light Italians inside the hive. I guess I’ll see what becomes of this when I get off work today.

My guess is that a queen swarmed from somewhere and took up residence under the bee hive. She probably smelled the other bees working there honey. The reason I say this is that they went from the nuck with comb and honey and clustered under my weaker hive a second time. Do bees make war like this and try and take over hives? It’s not a productive hive so any queen change would be fine by me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
No pictures, I was to surprised at what was going on to take any. I went out today and the bees on the outside are gone and the ones inside the hive were going on with business. I didn't see many new dead bees under the hive so I assume that whatever was drawing them to the hive went away and unfortunately not to the swarm trap I had set up.

On a more positive note, I pulled my first 4 frames of capped honey, crushed and strained it and today I had it on my breakfast. :D And yes it's very good. I got 12 pounds from 4 medium frames.

After straining the honey I took the equipment outside and was swarmed with bees that cleaned everything up in less than an hour. The Bee wars occurred between the times when I pulled the frames and when I bottled it. One question on "recycling" wax; do the bees reuse old wax or do they just go after the honey that’s left in the crushed comb?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Yes, I'm in Southern California. We are in the middle of the AHB area. The attacking bees didn't seem that aggressive, but I have read that you never know if they are AHB's without tests. The attacking bees were definitely smaller and much darker than my Italians, but I chocked that up to old honeycomb or natural cell size I guess. Now that you mention it, I remember reading something about this kind of behavior with the AHB's. Practically about the AHB's tendency to fly when they are hit with smoke and raiding swarms with queens. Maybe I should check on my queen to see if she has been assassinated :eek: and replaced with the invading queen. Last time I checked her she had a blue dot so it won't be hard to find an imposter.
 
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