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Author Topic: Bumblee bee robbing hive?  (Read 1115 times)
tillie
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« on: May 20, 2006, 07:55:29 PM »

As I watched over lunch yesterday, a huge bumble bee flew into my weakest hive.  The bee stayed less than 2 seconds and then flew out right where she came in.  I don't think Bumble had time to rob anything but it was obviously the intention.

Bumble was the size of five of my bees put together.  I just saw another bumble bee type bee although much smaller (about the size of 2 1/2 of my bees) but still with the round shiny bright black rear end fly toward the same hive but at the last second, flew under the SBB instead.

1.  What would the bees in the hive have done when Bumble arrived to encourage the departure?

2.  Does this mean that I should use my entrance reducer?  I don't see any hives with those on them in my area.

Thanks,

Linda T in Atlanta  shocked
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Summerbee
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« Reply #1 on: May 20, 2006, 08:02:19 PM »

I would use your entrance red. whenever possible,unless if your hive is crowded (prob. not if it's weak though).   I have seen bumbles buzz around my hive too.  Just one at a time, not a bunch; and my bees dive-bomb 'em though.  They don't hang around.  They could have been robbing (trying).  Unless you see a bunch I wouldn't worry...
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tillie
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« Reply #2 on: May 20, 2006, 08:10:05 PM »

Ooops!  It's a carpenter bee that was the first robber.  The second smaller bee I saw today fits the picture of a bumble bee.....so I guess I have both on the prowl to try to steal nectar.  

I feel somewhat cautious about the entrance reducer because they all (on both hives) beard at night after a hot day like today...and the entrance reducer would also reduce the cooling effects of that, wouldn't it?

Linda T
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #3 on: May 20, 2006, 09:15:04 PM »

Bumble bees will steal a little now and then but they never put on a good assault on the hive.  I've never seen them be a problem.
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thegolfpsycho
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« Reply #4 on: May 20, 2006, 10:37:38 PM »

I've seen handball sized knots in front of my hives, and figured a queen was being balled for some reason.  I started pushing them aside to discover a bumble bee in the center.  Moments later, another knot of bees spill out the entrance and another frenzy started.  Yet another bumble bee being killed.  This was late summer, early fall
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JP
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« Reply #5 on: May 20, 2006, 11:24:13 PM »

Tillie, I don't know your set up, but if you have raw, untreated lumber as a stand or if you aren't painting the bottom boards, carpenter bees will try and nest in the raw, untreated wood.
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tillie
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« Reply #6 on: May 22, 2006, 08:16:02 AM »

I do have painted equipment - but the carpenter bees are nesting in my painted carport ceiling - so that must not totally stop them.  

I did see a cluster of bees about the size of a golf ball at the front of the invaded hive.  I did not try to break it up, but I wonder if they were attacking an invader.

Any other thoughts on putting in an entrance reducer?  I am concerned to do so because even with SBB, the top cover propped slightly open with a stick, and plenty of super room, the bees beard at both hives until very late into the night (last night still large beard at midnight when I went to bed).  

It's hot in Atlanta and I am concerned that the entrance reducer will heat the hive too much for what seems to be only an occasional problem of unwanted visitors.

Linda T in Atlanta
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