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Author Topic: Robbing in my weak hive, and just re-queened it!  (Read 249 times)
rubeehaven2
House Bee
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Location: NY


« on: July 21, 2013, 09:08:27 PM »

I am a bit concerned.  I just released a new queen from her introduction frame on Tuesday this past week, in a laying worker hive.  I knew it had been weakened considerably before getting the new queen in there, but I hadn't been overly concerned.  I reduced the entrance size, (now I wish I had reduced it considerably more!) and was going to check on it one day this week.  Well, today was one of those rare days I didn't check on my hives first thing in the morning, so I didn't notice the robbing activity until around 2:00 pm.  I closed off the entrance and just left a very small opening.  Bee were trying to find a way in all over! 

I have a few questions, and concerns.  First, will a robbing hive kill all of the bees in the hive they are attacking?  They weren't very aggressive with me working on the entrance in a pair of shorts!  But, my concern is for the new queen.  Any chance she will still be alive?  I guess I'll find out! 

Secondly, I could see the bees were coming from, and leaving in the same direction.  They were not, apparently, from one of my other two hives.  So, how would I go about finding the hive they are coming from?  Perhaps I can retrieve the hive, if of course, it's not someone else's bees!  (The nearest hives I am aware of are about two miles away in a different direction.)  I'm also quite sure they will be back in the morning to try to finish the job. 

I am thinking of putting a few of them in a jar, and making 3 or 4 stations with honey and mapping out the directions the bees come from to collect the honey.  Seems to be a time consuming process, but I suppose I will give it a shot.

Any thoughts are always appreciated!

Thanks in advance.
Rich
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pkalisz
New Bee
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Location: Mercer County, Kentucky


« Reply #1 on: July 21, 2013, 09:35:47 PM »

I would first determine whether or not the hive is being robbed by one of your other hives. In a sense, being robbed by your own bees is better than being robbed by someone else's bees or by feral bees. You can do this by throwing a little white flour on some robbers as they leave the hive that is being robbed and then watching the entrances to your other hives to see if any "white" bees show up. If the robbers are in great numbers and in a frenzy, I would close off the hive for 2-3 days. Then I would reduce the entrance and install a robber screen. After that, it's every colony for itself! If the bees can't defend themselves after your helping hand, you might be better off without them.
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Michael Bush
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Location: Nehawka, NE


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« Reply #2 on: July 23, 2013, 08:34:09 AM »

>I have a few questions, and concerns.  First, will a robbing hive kill all of the bees in the hive they are attacking?

If it goes on, yes.

>  They weren't very aggressive with me working on the entrance in a pair of shorts!  But, my concern is for the new queen.  Any chance she will still be alive?

There is the chance she is dead, but yes, there is a chance she is alive.

>Secondly, I could see the bees were coming from, and leaving in the same direction.  They were not, apparently, from one of my other two hives.  So, how would I go about finding the hive they are coming from?

You can beeline them, but what will you do if you find out?

> Perhaps I can retrieve the hive, if of course, it's not someone else's bees!  (The nearest hives I am aware of are about two miles away in a different direction.)  I'm also quite sure they will be back in the morning to try to finish the job. 

http://bushfarms.com/beesrobbing.htm
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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
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