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Author Topic: Can rescued bumblebees be robbing my hive?  (Read 2368 times)
yvette97206
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« on: May 29, 2006, 03:27:19 PM »

Last weekend, a friend called and said he had a swarm move into an old log birdhouse on his fence.  I went out to collect it, but found that they were bumblebees...long story, but thanks very much to the beek that told me bumblebees have marble shaped pouches in their hives and not comb, because it was very hard for me to tell just by looking at them.  They were small and black and orange, not big and black and blue and, well, bumbly like the ones I am used to seeing.  I actually thought that they may be Africanized and it freaked me out because they have supposedly not moved this far north yet.  Anyway, when I opened it up, I saw marble shaped pouches, so mystery solved.  We took the hive home because we live way out in the country and decided that we could at least dispose of it if necessary.  Then I read that bumblebees are very docile and good polinators, so I decided that they could live.  I took them about two acres over from my bee hive and placed the log on the ground next to our very back corner fence.  

When I was out on Friday inspecting my hive, I watched one of the bumblebees fly into my open hive.  A few seconds later, I saw her come tumbling out, three of my girls attached to her, fighting mightily.  I squished the bumblebee because when they hit the ground they all seperated.  After I closed up my hive (could not find the queen or any larvae, but lots of capped brood, so am already worried about my package colony), I watched another bumbler fly in through the entrance.  I watched for the violent exit again, but after about two minutes, she came out on her own (about ninety miles an hour, but alone).  I stayed and watched for about half an hour, but did not see any more bumblers around the hive.

My husband thinks I need to destroy the bumblebee colony because he is concerned about robbing.  I like the idea of a little extra polinators around the place.  What do you think?  Is my hive in danger from the bumblebee colony?  Should I burn it?  Thanks for any help offered...

BTW, I do not have any more hives to take brood from...just my one almost one-month-old package.  One other time when I opened the hive I was unable to find the queen, but the next time I opened it, I was, so I am not too awfully worried...yet.  But those bumblers do have me concerned...

Y
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Finsky
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« Reply #1 on: May 29, 2006, 03:45:26 PM »

Quote from: yvette97206
Is my hive in danger from the bumblebee colony?  Should I burn it?  Thanks for any help offered...


If you destroy that bumble bee hive there are surely others somewhere.

It seems that you have not plenty of food for bees, dry or cold, if bumble bees risk their life and try to go into beehive.

Bees must protect their hive and they do. But if you have too much free room in the hive and all frames are not occupied, waps, other bees or what ever may rob honey. - Or waxmoth.

System is so that robber may go in but on frames it meets it's destiny.
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #2 on: May 29, 2006, 08:40:42 PM »

I've never seen bumble bees hurt a hive any.  They hang around and sometimes steal a little when I have a hive open.  Once in a while one tries to get in and fails.  But I've enver seen bumble bees put on an organized assult like honey bees or hornets do.
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Michael Bush
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yvette97206
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« Reply #3 on: May 29, 2006, 08:54:11 PM »

Thanks Michael!  I appreciate it...
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Brian D. Bray
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« Reply #4 on: May 30, 2006, 12:45:41 AM »

I 2nd MB, I have several Bumble bee nest about my property and I see no real conflict.  The Bumble bees with longer proboscis can reach nectar in flowers that honey bees are only harvesting pollen from such as some varieties of clover.
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yvette97206
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« Reply #5 on: June 01, 2006, 01:27:45 AM »

Finsky's post-
"But if you have too much free room in the hive and all frames are not occupied, waps, other bees or what ever may rob honey. - Or waxmoth.

System is so that robber may go in but on frames it meets it's destiny.
.[/quote]

Finsky-
I have a small package colony that I installed May 8th.  I put them into a used hive that already had drawn comb (very safe hive, I got it from the Oregon Beekeepers Assoc.).  Then last week I added a new top box with foundation only.  Last week there was not too much activity going on in that top box yet.  There is lots of room in there right now, how do I keep wax moths out at this early stage?  Or bumblebees?  Your answer just got me thinkin...

Y
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Finsky
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« Reply #6 on: June 01, 2006, 02:04:11 AM »

Quote from: yvette97206


I have a small package colony that I installed May 8th.  


If you have 3 lbs package colony it occupies  4 about 4-5 frames.
Now your first new bees have emerged. Perhaps 50% of your original bees have died. It takes a while after old bees have died and new bees have emergeg to enlarge colony

1  full brood frame produces 3 frames  bees and I suppose that your brood areas are about half of frame.

So, I suppose that your colony is same size as you bought it. I suppose that in Langstroth box you have 4-5 frames free yet and colony cannot stand second box super.  

When I have small colony, I restrict the room with movable wall. When colony enlarge I move the wall.  It helps that enemies do not find place what is not guarded.

Small hive is very slow to grow. If you have 6 lbs package, it grows 4 times faster than 3 lbs.

Here is mine "miniturbo". I added frames of emergin bees from bigger colony and now I had to add another box.

Another hive had at same time 4 frames and I did not add frames. It is still on 4 frames.  You see that pic is 2 months old.

http://bees.freesuperhost.com/yabbfiles/Attachments/tiny.jpg

There is electrict heater in that box. When I put it on, bee ball covered whole surafece of all frames.  So they are able to defend larger area when hive is warm. Extra space keeps hive cool.
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yvette97206
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« Reply #7 on: June 01, 2006, 01:04:04 PM »

Finsky, are you saying that I should remove the second box?  I was afraid that putting them in a hive that already has drawn comb that they would fill it twice as fast and then be tempted to swarm for lack of room.  

Also, I do see lots of capped brood and quite a bit of honey, the frames look great that they are using, but shouldn't I be seeing alot of uncapped larvae at this point?  I am not seeing any and am now worried that my queen may have died as I could not find her last week.  How often should I be opening this hive in this weather?  I'm in Oregon and we went through two weeks of 80 degrees, now it looks like we will have several weeks of rain and high in the 60's.  Will I chill them if I open it when the colony is so small?  I appreciate your advice.  Thanks!

Y
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Finsky
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« Reply #8 on: June 01, 2006, 02:17:15 PM »

Quote from: yvette97206
Finsky, are you saying that I should remove the second box?  

You wrote: I have a small package colony that I installed May 8th.

If you had 1/2 langstroth box of bees, it is impossible that hive had raised bigger than it was when you get bees.  First bees emerge 21 days after egg layins. Let's say that queen stated egg laying 5 days after installing. So those brood are  31-13= 18 days.

If queen started at once 31-8= 23. The first are just emerging.
And you have so cold weather that you cannot open the hive.


Quote
Also, I do see lots of capped brood and quite a bit of honey, the frames look great that they are using, but shouldn't I be seeing alot of uncapped larvae at this point?  I am not seeing any and am now worried that my queen may have died


If it is dead, you should see emergence queen cells in frames.
If you had not, queen has stopped her egg laying.

OR, they have renewed the queen at once and you have now a virgin queen inside hive which have killed the queen. But time table does not math to that.

Queen development 14 days and after that worker larvae are to be seen 10 days. = 24 days?  Don't match or it is very near.

 
Quote
now it looks like we will have several weeks of rain and high in the 60's.  Will I chill them if I open it when the colony is so small?  I appreciate your advice.  Thanks!


60 is too low. But if weather is sunny and no wind blow, you may quickly open the hive.  We have here now almost all the time  60C but sun is often shining.  Small hive suffers from opening more than big hive.

Normally it is not wise to open hive under  63F and then it should have bright sun too.

I open even if snow is on ground but it is not wise.

If you have had bad weather and bees not get pollen, worker have perhaps destroyed larvae. It happens. When you open, llook ido they have pollen in combs. If not, they are starving.

And look, if bees do not cover all frames in lower box, you have too few bees and that upper box is harmfull for progress. If you keep it, put it under brood box.
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TwT
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« Reply #9 on: June 01, 2006, 02:47:15 PM »

also with a young hive you should have a entrance reducer until the hive is big enough to protect itself.....as the hive's population grows you will start seeing a traffic jam in the small entrance, then it is time to make the entrance larger but not opened all the way yet, as the population grows enlarge the entrance.... I do it in 3 steps, small entrance then half open entrance then opened all the way as the population grows... entrance reducers also help a hive keep the temp warmer in the hive during cool temps thus helping to keep brood warmer...
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yvette97206
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« Reply #10 on: June 01, 2006, 11:45:15 PM »

Wow, and right now it's really raining...I have alot of work to do tomorrow!  Thanks guys...newbies, sheesh cheesy
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