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Help, I'm being robbed!

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psafloyd 

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Probably about 5/6 at the moment
Or more accurately, my colony is.

I have only just got my first colony and was feeding them, but like others in my division, suffered from some shoddy quality control and our feeders leaked. BADLY.

As a result, I have had robbing going on and now the 'silent' robbing has gone a bit far. They're not even wiping their feet now...

I cleaned up everywhere I could the other day so there was nothing seeping out any more, just the sweetness that was on the wood of the hive. I spilled no syrup in removing the feeder.

I also blocked the entrance and later opened to one bee way. But it was like Victoria Station at ruch hour when I got there this morning, so I blocked the entrance (the rear was also closed the other day), and spent some time spraying those coming in with water from a hand pressurised garden spray as I don't have mains water where I am.

In the end, those on the hive were moving around in this fashion and I didn't know if they were robbers or my bees or a mixture.

See the links below and I'd be glad of any advice.


http://youtu.be/BCGIgB9Klc0

http://youtu.be/89nB2K1vwkQ

http://youtu.be/pAXav9Qh_IA
 

Mike a 

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They are very patience and well behaved for robber bees. From the times I've seen robbers they spend most of their time flying in front of the entrance looking for a gap to fly in if the entrance is well guarded. Even though your entrance is blocked with grass I would of expected to see them running all over the hive looking for an alternative entrance and crowding by the ventilation vents.

How big is the colony in the hive?
If its taken a heavy loses or a weak colony it may explain why they look very casual.
 

psafloyd 

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Probably about 5/6 at the moment
They are very patience and well behaved for robber bees. From the times I've seen robbers they spend most of their time flying in front of the entrance looking for a gap to fly in if the entrance is well guarded. Even though your entrance is blocked with grass I would of expected to see them running all over the hive looking for an alternative entrance and crowding by the ventilation vents.

How big is the colony in the hive?
If its taken a heavy loses or a weak colony it may explain why they look very casual.
Well, I had soaked them a great deal, so many were looking for somewhere to dry off.

Many of them were indeed looking for alternative ways in and many also coming in to land in that zig zag way before alighting, which made me think they were robbers.

Is it worth going back later tonight (very early tomorrow might be too late, mightn't it?) to see if they have disappeared?
 

justme 

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try putting a piece of perspex or a twiggy branch, pile of long grass accross the entrance. May work.

Di.
 
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I'm inclined to think that they are your bees. On a normal day I have more bees in and out in 1 minute than what is shown in your vids.
 

victor meldrew 

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Look for fighting ! saw none in the vid . Better let your bees in, the milling about is an attempt at access .

Panic not ! It does more harm than good :)

John Wilkinson
 

PaleoPerson 

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I'm inclined to think that they are your bees. On a normal day I have more bees in and out in 1 minute than what is shown in your vids.
I would agree, compared to my bees, this is very quite behaviour. For me, the signs of robbing would be fighting at the entrance. If there is no sign of fighting, then either your hive has succumbed or they are not robbing at all, but queuing to get in.

I always check to see if the bees are bringing pollen in, if they are robbing, they will not be bringing pollen with them.
 

kazmcc 

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I saw this behaviour after we put the entrance block in for a while
 

psafloyd 

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Thanks, people. There was a good bit of fighting just before I blocked up the whole again with many guards and attackers fighting eachother at the entrance.

I will open it up again, provide a bit of camouflage and keep my fingers crossed.

Thanks again for the prompt replies.
 
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I saw this behaviour after we put the entrance block in for a while
On my observation hive the entrance hole is only small and therefore restricts entrance/exit. Traffic jam situation. A lot of bees sit in a big cluster for quite a long period during the day. Might just be being lazy or because its too hot in the hive. Returning workers land and walk over them to get inside.. Queue jumpers. I had to put a plastic canopy over the hole (made from a plastic drum that blank cd'd come in) because if it rains and they get wet and silly sods just sit there until they dry out... As it cools down and gets less busy in the afternoon, the crowd gets less and less and mum calls them in as they slowly come in for tea and honey.

Pic blurred as I took it quickly as I was in their flight path.
 
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Better pics. These bees are always out and about earlier than those from 2 normal hives.
 

Polyanwood 

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It is hard to tell from photos.

Are there dead and dying bees lying on the ground?? Robbing isn't pretty and always results in casualties in my experience.

Other possibilities that could be happening, don't result in such casualites.

If the colony ends up wiht 2 queens at this time of year and the weather is too bad to swarm, but the bees want her to, sometimes she and her crew hang out at the front of the hive... I had a cast that got very cold and wet waiting for the opportunity to leave once.

The other thing is that it does look like a strong colony...sometimes if the entrance is restricted there is a bit of pushing and shoving at the entrance... but this does not result in casualties.

Karin
 

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