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Robber bees or swarm scouts?

4199 Views 5 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  Brad Bee
I put out a swarm trap a couple days ago about 75 yards from my hives. I baited the hive with 2 old frames of brood comb and lemongrass oil.

Yesterday I noticed 100-200 bees or so checking out the hive. Today there are more bees. They approach the hive like they are bringing in pollen and nectar, buzzing around the landing board before entering. I thought I might have hived a swarm, but nope. I would guess that between the bees outside and the bees inside there may be 300-400 working the hive.

I'm almost positive there was no honey or pollen in the 2 frames that I put in the box.

So are they robber bees attracted to the smell of the hive or do scouts act that way also?
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My guess is they are cleaning up anything that is left. Do you see any kind of frass or wax debri at the entrance. In time you will find the answer to your question ;-)
I would think that many are scouting it out. The swarm I captured and was able to watch move in three weeks ago acted like that. There were bee's checking out every box on our farm. They were realy interested in 2, a 2 shallow trap I had set up in a tree, and a deep trap that was on a 10 foot high deck. They accepted the deep. I tried to move them to the apiary. The field bees went back to the old spot so I ended up moving the hive back after putting it in a real deep with a screened bottom board. They had drawn 6 frames of the 10. One half foundationless. Soon it will have to be moved off the deck. Afraid to move it much... foundationless. That new wax is soft. Any advice out there.
Do you see any kind of frass or wax debri at the entrance. In time you will find the answer to your question ;-)
None and I figure you're right about finding out in time.
I found out, I think. I think they were scout bees, although I don't know 100%. I was working and my dad called and said he found a swarm of bees while he was mowing the grass behind the hay barn. That's about 200 yards from my hives. He put on my bee jacket, grabbed the trap and put it on the the deck of the flatbed trailer the bees were clustered on. I came home after I got my guys settled in on the job and went to put them in the hive. I opened the box and it had a couple hundred bees flying and crawling around inside it. I pushed 5 frames to one side and stuck the box under the swarm. They were hanging from the bottom of one loading ramp. I kicked the ramp, they fell in and I shut the lid. Took about 30 seconds.

I asked my dad how many bees were around the trap when he moved it from where I had it. He said none were around it. I'm fairly certain that the bees came from one of my hives, but they flew 200 yards, and over or around two 40x500' barns (closed down poultry houses) and in between 3 other barns to get there. OR they came out of the woods about 200 feet away. I don't think we have any ferals close by though.
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