Need Bees Removed?
International
Beekeeping Forums
December 28, 2014, 10:59:24 PM *
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?

Login with username, password and session length
News: 24/7 Ventrilo Voice chat -click for instructions and free software here
 
   Home   Help Search Calendar bee removal Login Register Chat  

Pages: [1]   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: Nedd help with a swarm / orientation / robbing kind of thing  (Read 767 times)
ChrisT
House Bee
**
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 76

Location: Atlanta, GA


« on: September 20, 2013, 07:03:14 PM »

I went out this evening (6:30) to find all my bees flying erratically like a swarm about to form but then when i got close i saw  hundreds of bees on the ground, in a formation like a triangle/square thing and they were all fanning madly.
So i didnt think a swarm would be in formation on the ground like that fanning madly so I though they were just hot but there was no bearding on the hive just bees flying around everywhere madly and there were masses of bees on the ground in front of the hive (alive)..
So then I thought maybe its robbing. Having never seen a robbing i didnt know. I threw a sheet over the hive and that got all the flying ones back on the ground in front of the hive or under it (and it was ALOT of bees in balls everywhere)
But then i noticed ALOT of them were tiny bees so I thought maybe orientating and just in numbers that i have never seen before.. But why the adults in formation on the ground fanning?
Then I noticed quite a few dead bees in the front of the hive after the balls of bees had dispersed into the hive.

I dont know.. the fanning in formation, the mass orientation flight pattern, the tiny tiny bees, the dead bees, the balls of bees in front of the hive on the ground.. i just dont know what happened but the sheet seemed to calm everythign down


Please anyone have a clue?

Thanks

Chris
Logged
rwlaw
House Bee
**
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 183

Location: Grand Rapids Michigan


« Reply #1 on: September 20, 2013, 10:21:26 PM »

See if you can find any of the smaller bees & post them, the only thing that I could think of that you had a swarm of some other species landed on the hive and your bees freaked out.
When bees emerge from the cells they are fully developed and not tiny by any means.
 If the bees were balling a threat you will suffer fatalities, they generate heat & the invader literally dies from it, along with the inner bees of the ball. Inspect the hive as quick as you can.
Logged

Can't ever say that bk'n ain't a learning experience!
sawdstmakr
Galactic Bee
******
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 3336


Location: Jacksonville FL


« Reply #2 on: September 20, 2013, 11:10:54 PM »

Chris,
What you saw may have been usurpation.
Here is an article from Dr Mangum about it. He saw it and photographed as it happened. He was able to market the new queen before she entered the hive ans was able to determin that the new q was the surviving q after it was all over, three days later. He talked about it at the bee college in Tampa last year.

Usurpation: when one colony takes over another
In the December 2010 issue of American Bee Journal, Dr. Wyatt A. Mangum describes the phenomenon of honey bee usurpation—the taking over of a healthy colony by a summer swarm. Mangum not only describes this unusual behavior in great detail, but provides photographs as well.

Until recently, usurpation sightings have been limited to Africanized bees taking over colonies of European honey bees in the southwestern United States. However, Mangum’s usurped hives are located in Virginia and the resulting colonies did not show any of the aggressive behaviors typical of Africanized colonies. Instead they were “normal” colonies with average European honey bee traits. According to Mangum, other occurrences of usurped hives have been recorded in nearby areas of Virginia and North Carolina.

According to the article, usurpation works like this:

A summer swarm invades an established colony.
Fighting between bees is evident.
The queen of the established colony is killed by the invading swarm.
The usurping queen eventually becomes accepted and begins laying eggs.
The summer swarm, which under normal circumstances could not survive the winter, overwinters on the stores collected by the usurped colony.
In the first usurpation that Mangum documents, the entire process—from the arrival of the swarm until the invasion was complete—took 18 minutes. If this is typical, the process may be more common than we realize. From the outside, at least, the invaded hive looked no different in the evening than it did the previous morning. On the inside, things were unsettled until the old queen was dead and the new one was accepted—a process which took three days.

Mangum cautions that it is extremely difficult to distinguish between a normal supersedure and a colony usurpation just by looking at the queen, so one should not jump to conclusions. However, the possibility of usurpation casts a different light on the survivability of summer swarms.


Jim
Logged

"If you don't read the newspaper you are uninformed.  If you do read the newspaper you are misinformed."--Mark Twain
ChrisT
House Bee
**
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 76

Location: Atlanta, GA


« Reply #3 on: September 21, 2013, 02:18:32 AM »

This whole process did last about 30 minutes I would say.

I initially thought it was a swarm but it acted like no other swarm I have dealt with and they didnt seem to all be going to one place like a normal swarm. Just bees everywhere with maybe 100 troops on left side of the hive on the ground fanning in formation with another couple hundred troops in balled masses in front of the hive. The fanning in formation on the ground a good 2 feet away from the hive was freaky. Never ever seen that before.

The tiny bees I spoke about were tiny honey bees like they had just been born recently but they were smaller than I have seen come out of my hive.

Once the sheet was put on the hive, the show very quickly died and all the bees went to the ground and joined the balled masses of bees on the ground and the troops to the side of the hive on the ground stopped fanning and broke formation. It "ended" rather quickly and so I thought maybe I just interrupted a swarm or thought maybe it was just a crazy orientation thing when i saw the tiny bees. So I removed the sheet and they all started marching slowly into the hive but there were lots of bees wanting to stay outside and the balled mass of bees in front of the time took a long time to get in. Thats when i saw all the dead bees.

I did lift the top after this whole show was kind of over and the bees looked like normal behavior inside as well. After about an hour everything looked normal except for the large amount of bees still outside the hive and the mortician bees trying to clean up all the dead bees.

Jim, I have never heard of usurpation before but your description seems to match part of what i saw. It did seem to be alot of bees all at once (not anything like normal rush hour in the evening). i will open the hive saturday and see what happened inside. If you are correct, I will assume it will look like nothign ever happened.

Rlaw, I will try to get some of those tiny bees and take a pic, it freaked me out seeing such tiny honey bees (tad bigger than house fly size maybe)

Thanks Guys
Chris 
Logged
rwlaw
House Bee
**
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 183

Location: Grand Rapids Michigan


« Reply #4 on: September 21, 2013, 07:57:09 AM »

Make sure you put some of those bees in alcohol, if that was a upsurp, which I have read about but the thought never crossed my mind, you will want to get them identified. Keep us in toop!
Logged

Can't ever say that bk'n ain't a learning experience!
ChrisT
House Bee
**
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 76

Location: Atlanta, GA


« Reply #5 on: September 22, 2013, 05:43:19 PM »

rwlaw,
3 pictures of the tiny bees that were everywhere during this event
the adult worker bee is the same bee in all 3 pics (sacrificed from my hive today and normal size worker of what i have in my hive).. the tiny bees are differnt bees in every pic. the blurry image is the smallest example that i could find.

It seems as though they look like newborns but i just cant figure out why all the other stuff during this event if it was a massive orientation flight (and they didnt look to be orienting, they were flying back and forth like a swarm)

Hundreds of these dead tiny bees were onthe ground after this was over









Thanks for any input.. although im not sure what we can tell from the piics.. my hive seesm to be unaffected. It rained  all day yesterday so I couldnt go in. but today all looks fine... but also, it was fine on friday after not too long.
Logged
sawdstmakr
Galactic Bee
******
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 3336


Location: Jacksonville FL


« Reply #6 on: September 22, 2013, 08:34:42 PM »

With all of the dead bees, sure sounds like usurpation. The only question now is which queen survived. Do you know what the queen in this hive looked like? Was she marked? It would be nice to know which queen survived.
Jim
Logged

"If you don't read the newspaper you are uninformed.  If you do read the newspaper you are misinformed."--Mark Twain
ChrisT
House Bee
**
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 76

Location: Atlanta, GA


« Reply #7 on: September 22, 2013, 09:19:53 PM »

I swept up a whole dustpan of these tiny bees so im hoping that MY bees (the larger ones) killed alot of these small bees

Also, the IPK that i got, that I think you educated me to get (from greenbeehives and which works awesome btw) had a bunch of these tiny bees in it. they were tiny enough that they got through that mesh that they use on the IPK and drowned a whole bunch of them (ok normally a bad thing but in this situation, not a bad thing)

My queen was marked in spring but has long since lost the mark. She is a great queen too.. one of the strongest hives i have had.

I wasnt able to find the queen today but i wasnt too thorough becuase I didnt want frustrate them too much. I hope this hive makes it to spring. I dont even know what a hive with 2 queen sounds like but the hive was kind of buzzing today.

Chris
Logged
rwlaw
House Bee
**
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 183

Location: Grand Rapids Michigan


« Reply #8 on: September 23, 2013, 12:35:55 AM »

From those pics that sure looks like a adult bee of some other breed or species, the abdomen is thicker & closer to the body, the antennae are different, and notice the difference on the wing length. Maybe somebody can give a positive id on em.
Hopefully it was just a robbing attempt and your hive broke out the 55 gal drum of whup ass on them.
Logged

Can't ever say that bk'n ain't a learning experience!
greenbtree
Field Bee
***
Offline Offline

Gender: Female
Posts: 594


Location: Stone City, Iowa


« Reply #9 on: September 23, 2013, 09:05:26 AM »

As a pointy eared character used to say, "Fascinating".
Definitely put some in alcohol, maybe you can pass them on to your extension office and get a positive id.

JC
Logged

"Rise again, rise again - though your heart it be broken, or life about to end.  No matter what you've lost, be it a home, a love, a friend, like the Mary Ellen Carter rise again!"
Anybrew
House Bee
**
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 223


Location: Dubbo Australia


« Reply #10 on: September 23, 2013, 08:09:21 PM »

Well this is a good thread I witnessed a Swarm come from one of my Hives and watched as they tried to Invade "Usurpation" a new word for me.

I basically closed the hive down and later that after noon the invaders returned to their hive. But swarmed into a tree the next day. They were caught and hived.

Very interesting.
Logged
Pages: [1]   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Beemaster's Beekeeping Ring
Previous | Home | Join | Random | Next
Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.20 | SMF © 2013, Simple Machines | Sitemap Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!
Page created in 0.274 seconds with 21 queries.

Google visited last this page December 24, 2014, 11:51:42 AM
anything