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Author Topic: Dead hive in less than a week...  (Read 2252 times)
Matz
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« on: September 16, 2005, 01:22:50 AM »

Just wondering if anyone could explain what happened.  I'm a first year BeeKeeper in Canada and started with 2 hives of Cornolia's.  One of the hives has been really strong right form the get go, but the other one has been struggling all summer.  As i was getting ready to start feeding them for winter last week, I took 2 brood frames from the really strong hive (had 3 deeps of brood) and placed in the weaker one hoping that it would help.  As I was rearranging the weak hive, I found 2 superceeding queen cells and 2 swarming queen cells all were already empty and could not locate the origonal queen.  After placing the lid back on the hives and placing my feed containers on the tops of the hives. I noticed that there were numerous black bees (not my cornolia's) gathering on the weaker hive and taking any dripped syrup as well as fighting with the bees on the outside of the super and entrance.  Now less than a weak later, my weak hive is completely dead, there thousands of dead cornolia's and black bees everywhere including inside the hive, the frames have all been robbed and the foundations are being demolished.  I realize that its too late and there is probably nothing I can do now, but is it normal for other strains off bees to raid and kill off entire hives just like that, in less than a week and any ideas on how to prevent that in the future???  Any info or help would be more than appreciated, "Thanks" in advance...  BTW this site and all the info people place on it is great!!!
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #1 on: September 16, 2005, 09:14:29 AM »

>As I was rearranging the weak hive, I found 2 superceeding queen cells and 2 swarming queen cells all were already empty and could not locate the origonal queen.

They swarmed sometime in the past and currently aren't so happy with the queen.

>After placing the lid back on the hives and placing my feed containers on the tops of the hives. I noticed that there were numerous black bees (not my cornolia's) gathering on the weaker hive and taking any dripped syrup as well as fighting with the bees on the outside of the super and entrance.

They are being robbed.

>Now less than a weak later, my weak hive is completely dead, there thousands of dead cornolia's

They starved or were killed in the melee.

>and black bees everywhere including inside the hive, the frames have all been robbed and the foundations are being demolished.

They are cleaning up every last drop.

>I realize that its too late and there is probably nothing I can do now, but is it normal for other strains off bees to raid and kill off entire hives just like that, in less than a week

Yes.  You ahve to keep an eye on them ESPECIALLY if you are feeding them.  Feeding is the LEADING cause of robbing.

> and any ideas on how to prevent that in the future???

o  Leave them enough honey so you  don't need to feed them.
o  Try not to let them get that weak.
o  Keep an eye on them and stop any robbing as soon as you can.
o   As soon as there isn't a flow reduce the entrances on all your hives so the strong ones will have a traffic jam if they try to rob and the weak ones can defend theirs.
o  Build robber screens and put them on any hives that are weak.
o  If robbing breaks out, shut down the entrance immediately.  Open the hive back up the next day (with a severely restricted entrance) about mid morning the next day.  Make sure you have enough ventilation for the current weather conditions (You may need to use screen or #8 hardware cloth to block the entrance).
o  Reduce the entrance one ALL your hives (strong and weak).  The entrance should be as small as 3/8" by 3/4" but make sure there is adequate, BEEPROOF ventilation.  In other words an open SBB or a screened in top vent or popscicle sticks on the inner cover (nothing thicker) or something thicker on the inner cover and hardware cloth over the hole.  Make sure if there's a notch on the inner cover you have the top slid back to keep the bees out of that.  Don't let them get too hot or suffocate.
o  If one of your other colonies is doing the robbing, open the lid on that hive until the bees there settle down.  They will start nasonoving and all the field bees will stay to get reoriented.  This can quickly stop the robbing.
o  Hunt down the colony that is robbing yours and steal them out of the tree or whatever they are in if they don't belong to anyone.  Use the "cone method" to get the bulk of the bees out of the tree and take them 2 miles or more away for at least three days until they settle into your new box and then move them to your apiary.  You can do this several times a year to siphon bees off of the feral colony so they won't be so strong and you can either boost your colonies with them or give them a queen and have another hive.
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Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
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"Everything works if you let it."--Rick Nielsen
Matz
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« Reply #2 on: September 16, 2005, 11:51:45 AM »

Thanks for the help, much appreciated Michael.  I had already placed my entrance reducers on, but feeding is a neccessity so I couldn't skip that.  Had to give them there medication and up here in Canuck Ville as we get long cold winters.  I've never heard of a robber screen and will have to look it up, try to build one myself or if anyone has a pic that would be fantastic, inexperienced, but wanting to learn.  My poor poor girls, murdered so young, but atleast the othe hive is thriving although I guess its not that bad seemed like maybe that one weak hive was no good.
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #3 on: September 16, 2005, 03:06:44 PM »

>Thanks for the help, much appreciated Michael. I had already placed my entrance reducers on, but feeding is a neccessity so I couldn't skip that.

If you leave them enough honey it's not a neccessity.

>Had to give them there medication and up here in Canuck Ville as we get long cold winters.

Ours may not be as long, but ours are pretty long and cold.  What medication do you feel is necessary?  I've never used fumadil and haven't used Terramycin since 1976.

>I've never heard of a robber screen and will have to look it up, try to build one myself or if anyone has a pic that would be fantastic,

This one is made from a Brushy Mt. "front door".  You could make it simpler.  You just need a square frame the width of the entrance covered with #8 hardware cloth and a notch on opposite corners so the locals can get out and the non-locals will get confused.

http://www.bushfarms.com/images/RobberScreenHiveSide.JPG
http://www.bushfarms.com/images/RobberScreenOutside.JPG
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Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
-------------------
"Everything works if you let it."--Rick Nielsen
Matz
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« Reply #4 on: September 16, 2005, 03:17:22 PM »

I placed Apistan strips in top boxes, gave a dose of Foul Brood medication and fed mixed with syrup Fumaglin for nosema.  Thanks for the pics BTW I'm gonna hit my carpentry shop and throw some screens together today.  Do you think that I will need to place a robber screen on my thriving hive as a percautionary measure, that is the one that was 3 deep supers of brood that I made into just 2 for winter storage, but now they are all over the outside of the box  and don't have enopugh room for all fit I guess. I already have the entrance reducer on the hive, but the feed container is still in place inverted on the top box being fed through feed hole.
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #5 on: September 16, 2005, 06:05:43 PM »

>Do you think that I will need to place a robber screen on my thriving hive as a percautionary measure

You can but it's not necessary on a strong hive.

> that is the one that was 3 deep supers of brood that I made into just 2 for winter storage, but now they are all over the outside of the box and don't have enopugh room for all fit

Give them another box.  You can pull it off later.  But they need to be able to get in.
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Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
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"Everything works if you let it."--Rick Nielsen
Joseph Clemens
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« Reply #6 on: September 16, 2005, 06:49:12 PM »

BTW it's spelled Carniolan.
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Finsky
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« Reply #7 on: September 17, 2005, 12:55:32 AM »

That may happen even to strongest hive. It means that destroyed colony did not smell robbers and they were able to come in allmost freely. That is more usual at spring.

I can see it on my own yard. There are small hives, only 1/2 a frame bees and they defend they hive. Then 2-4 box hive let robbers in and they clean the hive.

There is 2 ways to handle:

1) to give something which gives  hive different scent at nigt
2) move hive at once 3 miles away to get a peace and different scent.

I have made boath somethimes.
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #8 on: September 17, 2005, 08:43:53 AM »

I did leave out the solution put forth by a person that used to be on another board.  Daisy uses Vicks Vaporub around the entrance to confuse the robbers.  I've used it and it does help.
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Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
-------------------
"Everything works if you let it."--Rick Nielsen
Finsky
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« Reply #9 on: September 17, 2005, 09:30:46 AM »

Quote from: Michael Bush
I did leave out the solution put forth by a person that used to be on another board.  Daisy uses Vicks Vaporub around the entrance to confuse the robbers.  I've used it and it does help.


New odor does help at same day because robbers attach al the time. But after nigt when the first robbers came and they will be killed one by one, those do not go home to dance:"Come on, let's take it!".

I put perhaps sugar solution and with onion juice, and surele they have different odor next morning..
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Matz
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« Reply #10 on: September 18, 2005, 02:53:34 AM »

Thanks for all the help, I have made a robber screen for my one still good hive, but unfortunately its too late for the weaker of the colonies.  I will also try the other ideas about doing something to change the scent on the front entrance.  Once again "Thanks"...
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