Robbing, Spraying or something I have done?

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Juststarting 

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Having just got first nuc I may just be worrying unnessecarily but rather than keep asking my husband why are they...? as he has no knowledge of bees thought it best to ask the experts!

Got a lovely nuc last week (Thursday) and transfered to hive on Sunday - very windy so did not inspect just transfered as quickly as I carefully could. Spotted eggs, added two frames foundation, a frame feeder (1:1 sugar : water) and dummy boards - bees very calm, hardly needed smoker (which was good as it went out when wanted and then wouldnt go out afterwards!).

Yesterday as it was a lovely day and I couldnt resist , mid morning I opened hive for closer inspection and to top up feeder. Bees had emptied feeder, were drawing out new comb,all stages brood present, spotted queen - laying well, one frame full of stores, pollen being brought in. Again bees very calm. Great i thought all going well

In evening went up to watch them (sitting fairly near hive as I had done previous days) all seemed ok but noticed dead bee being removed from hive and on closer look saw 15 -20 dead bees on ground outside. :confused:

Read books and website for info :
two possibilities came up

1. Robbing - This is possible but nearest hive is two miles away (would they travel that far to rob? -whole village of flowers between us!). Feral bees - unlikely as I am at altitude (1000ft) and no evidence of them locally.

2. Spraying - could be but surronded by grass fields (sheep and few cows) and no sign of spraying locally.

As result of this today I have narrowed entrance to about 2cm - but bees were very grumpy and when going to observe them I am unable to get close and am being followed by odd bee. Couldnt see if anymore dead bees.

Is there anything else I should do? Have I done something I shouldnt of?

Was planning to leave alone for a week except for topping up feeder.

Will they settle down again ? I dont need to go near them but I was enjoying watching them and the fact they were so calm to handle.

All advice welcome.
 

Poly Hive 

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How about natural mortality from moving bees and them removing corpses?

How about relaxing and enjoying them getting on with it?

Spraying evidences it's self in hundreds if not thousands of dead bees. You are reporting a mere handful.

Everything sounds fine so relax.

Cure for smoking smoker is a whiskey cork. Can I suggest a very good bottle of malt, say Lagavulan, and use the cork to advantage when bottle is empty.

Welcome to the forum.

PH
 

thedeaddiplomat 

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Can I suggest a very good bottle of malt, say Lagavulan, and use the cork to advantage when bottle is empty.

Though to be safe, I have heard it suggested that you use a new cork after bout a week!
 

Juststarting 

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Thanks - Chill pill taken or rather large glass of wine - although the cork is probably not quite as good as a malt one!

Its great to be able to call on you all for advice reading bee books is a bit like googling medical matters - you always end up fearing the worst!
 

BKF Admin 

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If a cork does not fit then try what I do.
I use some green grass rolled in the hand and stuck in the smoker end,I then lay the smoker on its side and it always goes out leaving any unburnt fuel ready and dry for the next time its used.
 

Poly Hive 

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Silly man. I keep "losing" my cork and wailing to Julie that I must have another bottle... ;)

PH
 

Somerford 

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If a cork does not fit then try what I do.
I use some green grass rolled in the hand and stuck in the smoker end,I then lay the smoker on its side and it always goes out leaving any unburnt fuel ready and dry for the next time its used.
:iagree:

I also do this, although the grass worked loose one time and there I was , merrily driving along in the Landy, thinking I must air the old beast as it's starting to smell smoky, when I suddenly realised the interior was getting somewhat foggy....by the time I finally managed to pull over smoke was bellowing out of the old thing.

I got some pretty surprised stares I can tell you, and the smoke trail looked like a Red Arrow had done a low flypast.

I always make sure the grass plug is secure now !

S
 

Rosti 

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Can I suggest a very good bottle of malt, say Lagavulan, and use the cork to advantage when bottle is empty. PH
Ah! nice selection and nice irony, probably one of the smokiest whisky's to block up a smoker .... and my favourite as it happens, sweet!
 

Poly Hive 

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Well done I wondered who might spot that one.. LOL

PH
 

madasafish 

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>JustStarting.

As a beekeeper of three weeks' experience :) I had exactly the same experience. On day two there were no new corpses and all the old ones had gone..

After that I have not seen another dead bee (crosses toes).

The box the nuc came in had about 20 dead bees in it, so I assume journey mortalities accounted for my losses...
 

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