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Author Topic: If a hive is Queenless will they defend against "robbers'  (Read 507 times)

Offline Carol

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If a hive is Queenless will they defend against "robbers'
« on: September 03, 2013, 04:38:54 PM »
Still not sure I have a Queen. Last hive check pictures did show what some on the board think is larva. I did not see it with my own eyes...so glad to have pics. It has been 8 days since that last check. Should I do another to be sure. It must be getting close to do or die ....last swarm July 29th.  I'm concerned they might not make it if I wait too long.

If the hive is Queenless will they defend it against robber bees? I've been watching them each afternoon and every now and then I'll see a bee that spends a lot of time flying around the hive...really looking it over. As soon as it goes near the entrance several bees will come out and the bee leaves. If it lands on the porch it is escorted off. I've not seen more than one or two at a time do this and figure they are successfully defending the hive.


Offline GSF

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Re: If a hive is Queenless will they defend against "robbers'
« Reply #1 on: September 03, 2013, 04:47:04 PM »
Hey Carol, I had a problem finding eggs even with pictures. So I decided to break out the ol manuel and DVD for my camera (Nikon D80). If you're not too versed on your camera and without a lot of expalining, if there's a setting for flowers you may want to try that. Make sure the sunlight shines into the cells and the camera is aiming straight in.

Can you I.D. a drone? It may have been a drone looking for a hand out.
"Life is hard, It's even harder when you're stupid."

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Offline Carol

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Re: If a hive is Queenless will they defend against "robbers'
« Reply #2 on: September 03, 2013, 06:48:50 PM »
I can definately ID Drones.....there are lots of them. I think a few have been asked to leave. I've seen one or two on the tiles in front of the hive. 

Most of the bees are cleaning the deck or coming and going...mostly in a straight line.  Every now and then one acts a little crazy and flys all around the hive...in a hectic pattern...on trying to land it is met at the door and asked to leave. As I said...so far it is only one or two at a time. If I feel they are ganging up on the hive I'll put up a screen.

My husband takes the pictures while I move frames. I have been using the auto focus since he really can't see what he's photographing with is veil on and bright sunlight....we can try that setting.

Offline GSF

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Re: If a hive is Queenless will they defend against "robbers'
« Reply #3 on: September 03, 2013, 09:44:53 PM »
I tried auto focus to start with and it didn't do as good. Get a close up setting such as the flower setting. Like I said, I had to go back into the manual and dvd to relearn my camera.
"Life is hard, It's even harder when you're stupid."

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Offline Wolfer

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Re: If a hive is Queenless will they defend against "robbers'
« Reply #4 on: September 03, 2013, 10:30:14 PM »
I could always see eggs thru my old veil but sometimes bee got inside it. I bought me a new one from HTKrantz. No bees have been inside it yet but I can't see eggs thru it. At Wal mart last night I picked up a small LED pen light. WOW does it make eggs stand out. I tried a mag light but it didn't help much. The LED has the same effect on eggs as something white had on the old black lights.
For me this was 3.00 well spent. Woody

Offline T Beek

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Re: If a hive is Queenless will they defend against "robbers'
« Reply #5 on: September 04, 2013, 08:44:39 AM »
As it turns out...YES.....even without a queen, workers continue to work, including defending, cleaning and foraging....right up to their end. 

There's an article in the most recent Beekeeping Journal confirming this opinion.
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Offline Michael Bush

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Re: If a hive is Queenless will they defend against "robbers'
« Reply #6 on: September 04, 2013, 08:50:54 AM »
Queenless hives and nucs definitely get robbed more often than queen right ones.  And it often happens right after you remove the queen, so it's not just that a queen hive is weaker.
Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm
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Offline Carol

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Re: If a hive is Queenless will they defend against "robbers'
« Reply #7 on: September 04, 2013, 10:08:34 AM »
Wolfer:  I have an LED light...white, correct?   I'll try it next check.

I was hopeing that their vigilance in defending the hive was a sign it was Queen right.. ..guess I'll have to do another check.

Offline tefer2

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Re: If a hive is Queenless will they defend against "robbers'
« Reply #8 on: September 04, 2013, 10:23:51 AM »
Try a magnifying glass!

Offline Carol

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Re: If a hive is Queenless will they defend against "robbers'
« Reply #9 on: September 04, 2013, 10:43:17 AM »
Tried a magnifying glass...still no luck. Perhaps both would work....LED and magnifying glass