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Author Topic: The Battle of the Bees  (Read 1575 times)
tillie
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« on: June 09, 2006, 09:34:19 AM »

This morning at 6:30, I looked out at my two hives on my deck to see a major battle going on at both hives.  The buzzing was angry; bees were being thrown to the deck; there were about 30 bees on the ground in front of each hive.  Small clumps of bees would apparently struggle to the ground.

All of the bees looked like my Russians - I looked up to see if there were a swarm of someone else's bees in any nearby tree and didn't see one.

I tried to take some pictures and will post them in the middle of the day when I can go home to do so.  The bee action was so fast and furious that I couldn't get good focus on most pictures.

I went out and put an entrance reducer with the wide opening in each of the entrances.  I was in my night clothes and slippers, so I didn't push the reducers into their spaces, just pushed them up against the hive entrances.  

When I left for work at 7:45, the action had slowed somewhat but the angry buzzing continued and there were still bees on the ground - about 10 - 15 at each hive.

What could be going on?  Were they throwing out their own hive members?  The bees on the ground looked like workers - not like drones.  Is there anything else I should do?  It's going to be 90 today in Atlanta and I can't leave the entrance reducer on all day.

Linda T in Atlanta huh
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TwT
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« Reply #1 on: June 09, 2006, 09:39:23 AM »

right now we are starting our dearth period, you probably had robbing going on, the entrance reducer's was a good move if you don't have robber screens..
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Summerbee
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« Reply #2 on: June 09, 2006, 09:45:00 AM »

Sounds like robbing to me...
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tillie
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« Reply #3 on: June 09, 2006, 11:16:40 AM »

What are robber screens? Could one of my hives be robbing the other and vice versa?  Or would the robbers be from somewhere else?

I read on another web page that robbing is almost always the beekeeper's fault - I want to do what I should to help with the situation.


Linda T in Atlanta
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tillie
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« Reply #4 on: June 09, 2006, 11:54:22 AM »

I found a robber screen plan through this site at:

http://nordykebeefarm.com/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=17&PN=1

I am not a woodworker - so I need some help in understanding how this works.  It looks like the screen is a frame with hardware cloth that the bees can't get through, held onto the hive with bungee cords.  I assume that you have some sort of hole drilled in the top of the frame that the bees can use for an entrance.  After they go in there, then they go down to enter the hive through the old entrance.....

Am I getting this?
Can I build this with a hammer, nails, hardware screen and a drill?  (I do have all of those and know how to use them.)

Linda T in Atlanta
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randydrivesabus
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« Reply #5 on: June 09, 2006, 02:48:03 PM »

it looks to me like the entrance is at the top of the screen..in the picture there is a cleat blocking it.
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tillie
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« Reply #6 on: June 09, 2006, 03:06:35 PM »

I just went to Home Depot and bought those sliding screens that are designed for windows that have no screens - you can then open the window and put the screen in - slides open to the width of the window - about 8" high and slides to the width of the hive.

I have some scraps from building frames and am going to see if I can use these placing them as shims between the sliding screen and the front of the hive - thus creating an entrance at the top of the sliding screen - I'll bungee cord the contraption and see if it works.

I just got home and there is peace in the bee village.  Everyone is sunning herself outside on the front porch of the hive in front of the entrance excluder - no battles going on and no bees grounded, so the crisis is over for the moment - maybe I'll have enough time to jerry-rig (sp?) my contraption to serve as a robber screen.

Linda T in Atlanta  shocked
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http://beekeeperlinda.blogspot.com
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randydrivesabus
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« Reply #7 on: June 09, 2006, 05:02:51 PM »

it sounds like what you have in mind should work well. dont bungee too hard or i think the screens will bow out.
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tillie
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« Reply #8 on: June 09, 2006, 10:38:12 PM »

I'm so excited - it seems to work for my bees - they have mostly found their way behind the robber screen and are clumped together for the night.  I'll know in the morning if the battle begins again, but I'm hopeful.

Linda T in Atlanta
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http://beekeeperlinda.blogspot.com
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
"You never can tell with bees" - Winnie the Pooh


Click for Atlanta, Georgia Forecast" border="0" height="60" width="468
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