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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I seem to have noticed that there are a few guard bees out front that are intent on jumping on ANY incoming bee. They will perch up on their hind legs and use their front legs as Velcro. If any bee happens to land near her, she jumps on them and the rustle a bit, and then go back to their business. There hasn't appeared to be any stinging or deaths, but I've never quite witnessed this before. There have been a couple of times where TWO of the bees will hold down an incoming forager, seemingly smelling her, and then let her go about her work. I did happen to see a yellow jacket nearby hovering about, but I'm not sure if the girls are just being over protective of their home, or what?


I added a video....
 

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Dakota, I've seen this with a few of my hives. Usually the ones i see it the most on are the smaller hives that aren't as strong as the others are yet. I'd almost say it's their way of making sure that the hive isn't getting robbed.. lol
 

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Looking at your video, I think i'll revise my answer a little and say what I seen looked more like a Robber bee trying to get into the hive. They warded it off and it flew around the side of the box. You may want depending upon how large your population is in this hive reducing the entrance a little..
 

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That's what I was afraid of....
Like drlonzo said, looks like robbing. I have seen established hives get robbed out. Robbers seem persistent and over time just wear down the guard bees. You might want to nip it in the bud quick. Once robbing starts in earnest, it is very hard to stop.

Shane
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
First Hive, yes, package no. It was a swarm caught an installed May 10.

How do I go about "nipping" it? I mean, I only have one hive, so they are coming from somewhere else. also, that probably explains why one flew in my face and stung me on the nose for just standing there... They were probably a little edgy. I can easily reduce the entrance, so is that really all I CAN do?
 

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Reduce the entrance size to half or less of what it is now. This will give the bees less area to defend and give them a real chance to build up. You say this was a swarm capture, have you been feeding them at all? This will help them build up quicker, but if you do feed them, do so in a hive top feeder of some kind till the robbers can't get at it. Other than that, it's about all you can do to help them out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I fed them for the first 2 weeks to get them going. By then, they had capped honey on all the frames, so I reduced feeding for a few days, and then took it off entirely. They still have capped honey on all the frames, so they are getting lots of nectar. There are around 11 bars of full comb, and they aren't expanding at the moment (this is a top bar hive btw) but I had to CUT a few because of some drifting comb, and they are finishing up drawing that back out. Also, I had put on blank bar near the front they are finishing drawing as well. I reduced the entrance this morning, so hopefully that will help.
 

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It's typical once the main flow drops off for bees to start looking for "easy" sources of honey -- namely other hives. Bees flying around the hive investigating cracks, flying behind or under the hive, or landing on the front and walking DOWN to the entrance are signs someone is fishing for someone else's honey!

The cure is to reduce the entrance so the bees can defend it well. I have not removed the entrance reducer on my package hive this year, and may not -- put reducers back on last summer when I lost a hive to robbers and didn't take it off, will put them back in sometime in August on the strong hives. A small entrance doesn't slow the bees down much and goes a long way toward keeping intruders out.

If you have wasps, hornets, yellowjackets, or bumble-bees attempting to enter the hive, the guard bees rapidly become quite aggressive, ditto for skunks and other larger pests. This usually also causes the bees to become more defensive when you work the hive, too, so be prepared.

Peter
 

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How do I go about "nipping" it? I can easily reduce the entrance, so is that really all I CAN do?
Reducing the entrance helps. Do a search on robber screens. They really help. Once robbers learn of a food source, they return again and again. In severe cases, I have had to move hives.

Robbing is the pits,

Shane
 
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