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Author Topic: Possible Robbing  (Read 1215 times)
afretired
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« on: August 15, 2007, 09:45:04 PM »

Last week I traded for another hive and brought it home. It was made up of one deep brood box and two shallow supers.  The brood box was full, however it was a very old and dilapidated box with holes all over it, which needed changing out.  So Saturday I put down a new SBB and deep box, then took the old frames out and put in the new box.  I also added a new second deep for growth.  To top it off I added a top feeder and started feeding HFCS. Sunday and Monday everything looked great there was a normal flow of bees coming and going.  However, when I came in from work this evening - total chaos.  There were bees flying everywhere.  A lot of them were just hovering around the entrance.  The only thing I could think of was other bees possibly robbing this hive. Since I have never seen this, are there any other possibilities?  I went back down after dark and all was calm, just a small clump hanging out on the entrance.  I went ahead and smoked them to run them back in the hive and put a screen over the entrance. Was that correct, or do I need to run down there on my way to work in the morning and take the screen off?

Dave
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FordGuy
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« Reply #1 on: August 15, 2007, 09:49:20 PM »

another possibility is orientation flights.  Look for bees fighting onthe ground in front of the hive as a sign of robbing, also look for wasps and yellow jackets trying to gain entry, that is a sure sign of robbing as robber bees will cooperate with other attackers to get inside the hive.
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Bennettoid
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« Reply #2 on: August 16, 2007, 08:46:00 AM »

Yep, Sounds like orientation and then some bearding. nothing to worry about.
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Cindi
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« Reply #3 on: August 16, 2007, 01:33:46 PM »

Dave, you need to get the screen off.  I don't think that your colony is being robbed.  As was said in the other post, when robbing occurs, you will see the bees fighting, it looks like they are tumbling around with each other.

When bees become the age of foragers, before they head out to door the foraging duties, they perform orientation flights.  They do this for a couple of days before venturing out into the field.  They will leave the hive in numbers and fly around the front of their hive, looking at its orientation to things, then they will fly back in.  You will see many at a time and then you won't see too many after a few minutes.  It looks like the hives are really really busy (which they are).  These orienting bees face the hive, hover infront of it lots and it looks really cool.  You need to get the screen off so that they can get out to get their nectar and pollen  Smiley  Have a wonderful day, best of this beautiful life, and don't worry.  Cindi
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There are strange things done in the midnight sun by the men who moil for gold.  The Arctic trails have their secret tales that would make your blood run cold.  The Northern Lights have seen queer sights, but the queerest they ever did see, what the night on the marge of Lake Lebarge, I cremated Sam McGee.  Robert Service
afretired
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« Reply #4 on: August 16, 2007, 09:43:11 PM »

Cindi
I would say you all are right.    I checked this morning and then again when I came in from work this afternoon. After I put the screen on the activity stopped. I pulled the screen off and it started again. So the activity was coming from within the hive.  Thanks for the great information.  And you say don't worry? With all the work and cash that I've got invested to this point.  I've pretty well have it figured out, if all works out and we have good flows for the next 5 years, I might break even.  I know, I'm not in it for the money.  It's just like my farm and cows, I do it cause I enjoy it  huh.

Thanks
Dave
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reinbeau
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« Reply #5 on: August 17, 2007, 09:57:28 AM »

Orientation flights can be pretty intense, I'll never forget the first time I saw my hive during one, I thought they were going to swarm!  But they didn't, of course, and I've seen plenty of them now, so they fascinate me, instead of worry me.  Now we won't discuss my first sighting of drones, I was sure something was horribly wrong with the bees!  shocked grin
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annette
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« Reply #6 on: August 17, 2007, 12:36:59 PM »

Orientation flights make me happy. That is the only way I can describe how I feel when I see all those babies in front of the hive doing all those circles. I know things are going well with the hives.

Annette
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Brian D. Bray
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« Reply #7 on: August 17, 2007, 09:07:45 PM »

With a few hives the orientation flights can look like a swarm in progress in the mid-late afternoon.  You'll also notice a mass orientation flight after moving a hive.  I just return from moving 2 to my brothers place.  The bees from 1 hive took off without orientating, the other hive looked like it was swarming.  The next days there was little activity from the 1st hive that went to work before finding out where they were parked.  The other hive , however, had a good number of bees coming and going.
The 1st hive will catch up in foraging in a few days as more hurse bees become forager bees the replace the ones that got lost.
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Cindi
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« Reply #8 on: August 18, 2007, 01:08:35 PM »

Brian, awe, that is a bummer about the "lost hive bees.  I still wonder if they will eventually figure out where they live?  I hope that they do, do you think that it is possible that they will?  I am curious.  I always remember you saying that the bees surprise us alot.

I also remember reading somewhere, maybe on this forum, that when the hives are moved it is a good idea to put something infront of their hive that forces them to orient to their new location.  For example, a bunch of grass stuck on the front of the bottomboard or a tree branch, something that makes them really observe their new location.

I am also curious why this hive you are speaking about did not perform orientation flight.

I remember that one of the good characteristics of the Carniolan is that they are extremely good orienters, and that they rarely drift from hive to hive and do not rob hives.  Some of the good characteristics of this breed of bees.  I have one hive that is still Carniolan.  The queen from last year has not been superceded and she is still laying really really well.  It is kind of cool to see this one hive that has such dark bees, the other hives being very light in colour, Italians

I hope all works out well, have a wonderful day, great life.  Cindi
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There are strange things done in the midnight sun by the men who moil for gold.  The Arctic trails have their secret tales that would make your blood run cold.  The Northern Lights have seen queer sights, but the queerest they ever did see, what the night on the marge of Lake Lebarge, I cremated Sam McGee.  Robert Service
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