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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
In answer to a different question a few people have said that the orphaned stragglers from moves and such would eventually just join a different existing hive. This raises a few questions, since it contradicts some ideas I thought I knew, but as I think about it, I guess I didn't.


To start with, here are some of the things I "know":

1. Drones can go into any hive and they will be accepted and fed and so forth unless they are currently being forced out.
2. Hives next to each other can "drift" bees either by wind or by intentionally swapping positions of the hives for "equalization"
3. When a weak hive is getting robbed out, some of the bees from that hive will leave with the robbers and presumably go join their hive
4. Weak hives can be combined with existing hives (like with news paper)
5. Additional nurse bees can be shaken and added to a nuc that is being built, regardless of their hive of origin
6. Orphaned bees can join random hives in their travels
7. When a virgin queen leaves for a mating flight, she does so alone. When she returns, she brings with her an entourage (where are these coming from)

In other cases if bees from a different hive enter, there is defense and fighting. Perhaps this has to do with intent? If they come in as robbers vs if they come bringing pollen, nectar, or resin? Like I have told my children, when you live here you are family. You are not a guest, so you can help out with chores. Guests, on the other hand, bring wine :)

I had always thought that if bees from a different hive entered they would smell the wrong pheromone on them and they would fight. But I assume that is incorrect, or at least partially incorrect.

Can anyone clarify any of my other ideas that are wrong, or reinforce that they are now correct? And is there a book/author that actually discusses the society of bees to this level?
 

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3. When a weak hive is getting robbed out, some of the bees from that hive will leave with the robbers and presumably go join their hive
Never heard of that.

7. When a virgin queen leaves for a mating flight, she does so alone. When she returns, she brings with her an entourage
Never heard that either.

In other cases if bees from a different hive enter, there is defense and fighting. Perhaps this has to do with intent? If they come in as robbers vs if they come bringing pollen, nectar, or resin? Like I have told my children, when you live here you are family. You are not a guest, so you can help out with chores. Guests, on the other hand, bring wine
I have heard that a foreign be is more likely to be allowed entrance if it is bringing a 'gift' such as pollen. That seems like it would make sense to me but I have no direct observational knowledge of it.
 
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Unless the orphaned straggler that tries to enter a new hive is also a very young nurse bee, it will most likely be killed even if it manages to gain entrance into another hive. People often assume because a bee makes it past the entrance it is left alone once inside. Having watched such things in my observation hive, I can assure you that is not the case. If a singe bee inside the hive smells a worker that does not belong in there, it emits a sound and attacks and all of the bees around them then join in the attack.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Never heard of that.



Never heard that either.



I have heard that a foreign be is more likely to be allowed entrance if it is bringing a 'gift' such as pollen. That seems like it would make sense to me but I have no direct observational knowledge of it.
You may have never heard of such things because they are incorrect. But these are things I either read, or heard in a video, or something of that nature. They could very well be wrong just like so many other things I have learned in life. :) Some of these I accepted when I heard them because I was new and "why would anyone share false information with me?" A few of them I am dubious of, because other things I have learned make them not make sense.
 

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You may have never heard of such things because they are incorrect. But these are things I either read, or heard in a video, or something of that nature. They could very well be wrong just like so many other things I have learned in life. :) Some of these I accepted when I heard them because I was new and "why would anyone share false information with me?" A few of them I am dubious of, because other things I have learned make them not make sense.
LOL! Unfortunately there is no gatekeeper to the internet, who makes sure that everything posted is true. It's like a barroom where some people are drunk and spewing BS, some are sober and can be relied on to tell the truth, and a bunch of others who are somewhere in between...and some people who, though well-meaning, hear something and think it true then spread it without knowing whether it is or isn't.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
LOL! Unfortunately there is no gatekeeper to the internet, who makes sure that everything posted is true. It's like a barroom where some people are drunk and spewing BS, some are sober and can be relied on to tell the truth, and a bunch of others who are somewhere in between...and some people who, though well-meaning, hear something and think it true then spread it without knowing whether it is or isn't.
Oh, no! You can't post anything on the internet unless it is true. I read that on the internet :D:D:D:D:D

Well, that is partly why I ask stupid questions. It relates to the 12 answers from any 10 beek's on a question. Anyway, I try to learn anyway I can. I figure it is worth a try asking the question, I might get new answers. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Unless the orphaned straggler that tries to enter a new hive is also a very young nurse bee, it will most likely be killed even if it manages to gain entrance into another hive. People often assume because a bee makes it past the entrance it is left alone once inside. Having watched such things in my observation hive, I can assure you that is not the case. If a singe bee inside the hive smells a worker that does not belong in there, it emits a sound and attacks and all of the bees around them then join in the attack.
Okay, that's definitely interesting. What happens in "drifting" or when a beek swaps hives around to equalize the populations?
 

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And is there a book/author that actually discusses the society of bees to this level?
Here one you may find useful:

An earlier thread regarding that book:
 

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The entire idea of re-balancing hives is based on the fact that foreign bees can enter a hive.
There is nothing new about it and this example alone is a sufficient proof outside of many.

I am talking about well known method when you flip the hives with their places so to capture the foragers into a weaker hive.

The critical fact is HOW the foreign bees enter the hive and what is their intent (which to the bees is very clear).
Otherwise, the bees move around rather routinely (partially why this mite infection also spreads about seemingly from nowhere).
 

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I just set up a trap out with a weak queen right hive as the bait hive. Returning foragers in the trap out hive were entering the bait hive within minutes. I did see a few bees doing the bug tussle and come tumbling out, but not really any dead bees on the ground.
Foragers are only looking to dump their load, tell others where the bounty is and get back to work.
 

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Occasionally I will get a hive with that one overzealous guard bee that seems to briefly confront nearly every bee coming in the hive. This is when the entrance is still reduced somewhat. It makes me wonder if she is new at her post. Wish I had taken a short video, it is funny to me. My wife thinks I spend enough time watching those bees already.
 

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Occasionally I will get a hive with that one overzealous guard bee that seems to briefly confront nearly every bee coming in the hive. This is when the entrance is still reduced somewhat. It makes me wonder if she is new at her post. Wish I had taken a short video, it is funny to me. My wife thinks I spend enough time watching those bees already.
I have some bees that seem to insist on 'grooming' every single be that wants to go in. Makes for a heckuva traffic-jam at the entrance.
 

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These are all good questions even if some are based on incorrect assumptions. It's interesting to question and ponder what we know and don't know.
I remember a thread about guard bees and JW observing that some are overzealous thugs and some seem more laid back. I have observed this also. The first guard bee checks out a bee landing and lets them pass and another guard bee does her check and it's a knock down drag out fight. Why? I don't know, but it is interesting to observe and ponder their behavior. Sometimes the questioning is more important than the answer. J
 

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The first guard bee checks out a bee landing and lets them pass and another guard bee does her check and it's a knock down drag out fight. Why?
Keeping in mind we have 10-20 different cohorts of bees cohabiting in the same hive at once, it only makes sense that they behave differently. One cohort maybe more defensive to the outsiders, the other cohort - not so much.
Different cohorts - different traits.
The cohorts could be very similar (virtually identical if the queen is AI) OR very different (open mated queens in some settings).
All in the same colony.
This is how the bees basically operate.
And so, such discriminatory guarding behaviors can be explained very much logically.
 

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If it hasn't already been pointed out the real answer, with all things bees, is that it depends.

I've had queens fly into the wrong colony after mating and be accepted to where I have two laying queens.

I've introduced nurse bees to swarms and had the swarm kill every last one of the foreign bees.

I've swapped laying queens from hive to hive without an introduction period and been fine.

I've also never noticed a mated queen bringing home any amount of bees. I've even seen them return with no added activity - but others swear it's on every hive.

There are a lot of variables to consider as well, such as the flow. Bees seem to be fluid and get along with anything during a heavy flow. During a dearth they seem to want to kill everything that isn't quite "right", including drones.
 

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Okay, that's definitely interesting. What happens in "drifting" or when a beek swaps hives around to equalize the populations?
Swapping hive locations is one of those things that sometimes works and sometimes doesn't. Beekeepers come back later and sometimes see the hive functioning normal and think everything went smoothly, which often isn't the case. I tried it with two nucs once just to see what would happen and I ended up with both queens getting balled and killed and a lot of the older workers were killed. Drifting is one of those things that depends on a lot of variables for it to happen successfully. I have sat outside and watched workers carrying pollen on windy days land on the wrong landing board and immediately get attacked, when they get away they take off and then enter the right hive.
 

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In another thread I posted about having a split that was queenless and a hive with a nonperfoming queen who i nixed. I gave both hives a frame of eggs / larva with a decent amount of bees. I then combined the two and gave them another frame of eggs / larva. The success of them making a new queen is questionable. However to the point of the original post, they don't seem to be killing each other.
 

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In answer to a different question a few people have said that the orphaned stragglers from moves and such would eventually just join a different existing hive. This raises a few questions, since it contradicts some ideas I thought I knew, but as I think about it, I guess I didn't.


To start with, here are some of the things I "know":

1. Drones can go into any hive and they will be accepted and fed and so forth unless they are currently being forced out.
2. Hives next to each other can "drift" bees either by wind or by intentionally swapping positions of the hives for "equalization"
3. When a weak hive is getting robbed out, some of the bees from that hive will leave with the robbers and presumably go join their hive
4. Weak hives can be combined with existing hives (like with news paper)
5. Additional nurse bees can be shaken and added to a nuc that is being built, regardless of their hive of origin
6. Orphaned bees can join random hives in their travels
7. When a virgin queen leaves for a mating flight, she does so alone. When she returns, she brings with her an entourage (where are these coming from)

In other cases if bees from a different hive enter, there is defense and fighting. Perhaps this has to do with intent? If they come in as robbers vs if they come bringing pollen, nectar, or resin? Like I have told my children, when you live here you are family. You are not a guest, so you can help out with chores. Guests, on the other hand, bring wine :)

I had always thought that if bees from a different hive entered they would smell the wrong pheromone on them and they would fight. But I assume that is incorrect, or at least partially incorrect.

Can anyone clarify any of my other ideas that are wrong, or reinforce that they are now correct? And is there a book/author that actually discusses the society of bees to this level?
i switch some hives around once in a while the loaded filed bees enter with no problem. had some nucs i was going to sell some of them were weaker than i like. i switched places with them and some hives that were a hive body and a med super to build up the nucs worked great. i found a hive with a bad queen i killed her put a fram of honey in the middle took out 4 frames set a 4frame nuc in that side. i had sprayed both with sugar water before the combine. they never slowed down. lots of stuff will work at times. what i hate is to big swarms settel togeather, they fight each other and make me put a bee jacket on. mean as hell and a pile of dead bees. it was 24 degrees here when i got 10 queens i had bought, had to get them in some bees i took frames of brood and bees set them in a nuc box spraying them with sugar water, turned the queens out, sprayed a little on them. 9 out of the 10 were accepted, i dont usually do it that way, but i was happy. have a great day mccalls bee farm
 

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In answer to a different question a few people have said that the orphaned stragglers from moves and such would eventually just join a different existing hive. This raises a few questions, since it contradicts some ideas I thought I knew, but as I think about it, I guess I didn't.


To start with, here are some of the things I "know":

1. Drones can go into any hive and they will be accepted and fed and so forth unless they are currently being forced out.
2. Hives next to each other can "drift" bees either by wind or by intentionally swapping positions of the hives for "equalization"
3. When a weak hive is getting robbed out, some of the bees from that hive will leave with the robbers and presumably go join their hive
4. Weak hives can be combined with existing hives (like with news paper)
5. Additional nurse bees can be shaken and added to a nuc that is being built, regardless of their hive of origin
6. Orphaned bees can join random hives in their travels
7. When a virgin queen leaves for a mating flight, she does so alone. When she returns, she brings with her an entourage (where are these coming from)

In other cases if bees from a different hive enter, there is defense and fighting. Perhaps this has to do with intent? If they come in as robbers vs if they come bringing pollen, nectar, or resin? Like I have told my children, when you live here you are family. You are not a guest, so you can help out with chores. Guests, on the other hand, bring wine :)

I had always thought that if bees from a different hive entered they would smell the wrong pheromone on them and they would fight. But I assume that is incorrect, or at least partially incorrect.

Can anyone clarify any of my other ideas that are wrong, or reinforce that they are now correct? And is there a book/author that actually discusses the society of bees to this level?
I haven't had a chance to try this yet but Michael Palmer has said if you put a regular size queen excluder on top of two four frame nucs and put on a ten frame honey super, bees from both nucs will work the honey super jointly with no fighting.
 

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Occasionally I will get a hive with that one overzealous guard bee that seems to briefly confront nearly every bee coming in the hive. This is when the entrance is still reduced somewhat. It makes me wonder if she is new at her post. Wish I had taken a short video, it is funny to me. My wife thinks I spend enough time watching those bees already.
Yep, most likely a newbie guard !
 
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