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Author Topic: Fighting Bees?  (Read 2240 times)
TonyBOD
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« on: July 03, 2007, 11:17:42 AM »

I'm a new beekeeper and I haven't seen or even read about what I am seeing in my hive - bees fighting each other. I see it happening just outside the hive. It seems that one of the bees is trying to pull the other bee from the hive. They lock up - sometimes they tumble off the landing board and go to the ground, sometimes one of the bees flies off and literally caries the other one off.

I see this happen about once every minute or so. It's not mass fighting where all the bees I see are engaged in a struggle. It's been going on since Thursday evening. The intensity and rate at which I see bees fighting has not changed.

My first though was that this was robbing, but the feedback I've had from the senior people in my local bee club is that this isn't robbing (they say in a robbing situation I would have hundreds of bees bearding out of the hive and climbing up the side of the hive and I'd also have lots of bees trying to get into the hive via the top - I am currently seeing neither of these things).

Any opinions as to what I am seeing?
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MrILoveTheAnts
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« Reply #1 on: July 03, 2007, 11:32:37 AM »

One of my hives was doing a similar thing with the Drone bees. There were way to many drones in the hive and the workers were casting them out. Some still fly back in but they're eventually booted out again.
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Patrick
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« Reply #2 on: July 03, 2007, 11:35:04 AM »

It sounds like robbing to me. Fighting on the ground is a good sign. I have also noticed bees crawling over the side of the hive in small numbers and bees flying around the top and back of the hive looking for ways in.
Put a robber screen on and the fighting will stop.  If you are feeding, feed inside the hive from the top.

Cheers,
Patrick
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TonyBOD
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« Reply #3 on: July 03, 2007, 11:36:32 AM »

One of my hives was doing a similar thing with the Drone bees. There were way to many drones in the hive and the workers were casting them out. Some still fly back in but they're eventually booted out again.

That's the weird thing - these aren't drones. If they were I'd assume the hive was under some sort of stress. These are workers. My assumption is that these are bees that are NOT part of my hive, but if that's the case, why isn't this a big robbing situation that looks like what more expereinced beekeepers say robbing looks like? I'm confused!
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TonyBOD
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« Reply #4 on: July 03, 2007, 11:39:39 AM »

It sounds like robbing to me. Fighting on the ground is a good sign. I have also noticed bees crawling over the side of the hive in small numbers and bees flying around the top and back of the hive looking for ways in.
Put a robber screen on and the fighting will stop.  If you are feeding, feed inside the hive from the top.

Cheers,
Patrick

Thanks. I am not seeing the bees on the sides or flying around the top trying to get in. I have a telescoping outter cover and certainly bees can get in via the top if they want, but few are doing this (certainly no more bees using the top than before the situation started). I have a robbing screen on order and will try that when it comes in if the fighting doesn't stop, but I am curious to see if there is another explanation for what I am seeing rather than robbing.
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #5 on: July 03, 2007, 06:46:21 PM »

If it's workers and not drones, then it's robbing:

http://www.bushfarms.com/beesrobbing.htm
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Michael Bush
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BeeDog
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« Reply #6 on: December 11, 2013, 11:18:47 AM »

That happens also sometimes with my hive when I forgot/skip feeding them during dearth period. They become aggressive.
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It is highly recommend that split be done with only strong healthy hives that have at least two Brood Chambers with Brood in all stages of development. Frames with capped Brood should be split evenly between the two hives.
GSF
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« Reply #7 on: December 11, 2013, 06:54:37 PM »

I'd play it safe and reduce the entrance. Then you can observe the smaller entrance and it being smaller it will be easier to guard if it's robbing. Something else I've read is close it up tonight. If bees show up in the morning then it's most likely robbing. I could be robbing on a small scale if there is such a thing.
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johng
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« Reply #8 on: December 25, 2013, 08:51:07 PM »

Its robbing your hive has just been strong enough to fight them off so far. Once one or two robbers successfully get some honey that is when you will see the all out robbing the old timers where telling you about. I would reduce your entrances just to be on the safe side. They don't need a big opening this time of year anyway. 
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