Robbing

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user 21522

New Bee
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Morning everyone,

it's only been a week since i got by first colony of bees, all week i have seen them flying in and out carrying pollen, yesterday morning before i left for work i checked on them and all was normal, after work when i got back home around 1500hrs my daughter said she gave them more water as it was finished mid morning, i had a bite to eat then went out to check on them, my hive is at he back of the garden, i was really surprised to see a lot of bees around the hive, didn't know what to make of it, looked at the entrance and there was more bees then normal, few bees i saw going in with pollen but the entrance was busy, being a new to this i thought maybe a lot of bees had hatched and they were outside flying around, but i was not happy with my thinking and phoned a mentor from the bee course, i explained the situation and he thought it could be robbing taking place but could not be sure or it could be a late flow, no idea what was happening inside, i said i'll suit up and see inside, when i did there were bees everywhere, the 2 frames with foundation near the wall are not drawn (national hive, frames put in the cold way, that's how i got it) the 3rd frame was heavy when i picked it up, 1 side not drawn the inner side fully capped with honey, a lot of bees were on this side in groups eating away at the honey, the next frame was also heavy and lot of bees eating away, i could not check all the frames as there were so many bees and the smoker had no effect, the bees were then buzzing around my face not to happy, i closed up the hive and phoned the mentor who said to reduce the entrance to 1 or 2 bee space and leave it reduced for 24hrs which i did, few times after i saw bees trying to get in but were being chased away, the activity reduced after an hour or so and all went quiet as evening approached.

this morning around 0530hrs just before leaving for work i went to see what was happening, 1 bee flew out and that was it, checked under the mesh floor and there is a small group of bees there, i took a couple of pics with the phone of these bees and left for work, on the train i zoomed in the photos and could see a lot of bees inside the mesh floor with what looks like broken pieces of comb, looks like those bees inside on the mesh floor are dead, i am now really upset if the colony have been completely killed, i also did not see the queen yesterday but i also did not check all the frames, when i get home later this afternoon i don't know if i should open the hive and check what has happened but also don't want to as i will be devastated to find my worst fear.

i am blaming myself for opening up the hive as it must have definitely made it so much easier for the robbers, my inexperience has cost me a lot and i don't know what i will do going forward, i phoned another mentor afterwards to find out if i did the right thing or what else i can do but he said he also doesn't know what to make of it,
basically I'm on my own.

my apologies for the long post, hopefully this will make me feel better.

Mo
 
Certainly sounds like robbing
Can I ask about the water? Do you mean syrup? How was it being given?
 
It sounds like its been robbed out. I have had this happen to one of mine a few years back. The robbers are like bees on steroids and wreck the comb, kill the host bees and take the honey. Basically it will be start again time I’m afraid. It’s really upsetting. It shows how destructive bees can be. It’s best with a small growing colony to have a small entrance that they can more easily defend.
 
just normal tap water in a bowl near the hive
Thanks.
Poot is right. You’ll just have to start again but first look in to see what’s left. The queen and a few bees might still be there.
Look in when the bees have stopped flying. They won’t be happy but at least you won’t have robbers in the air.
If there is anything left you’ll have to move them away to have any chance of saving anything.
It would have been a good idea to close the hive up completely last night.
 
just asked the wife to go and see what activity is happening at the hive, she said there are bees flying around and she now understands what i mean by bees taking pollen in, she saw around 7-10 bees with Red, yellow and white pollen on their legs going in the hive, should i do a hive inspection when i get home or should i leave it for a few more days so as not to stress them, want to make sure the queen is ok, would be grateful for any advice.
 
I think we are reading too much into this. You have had some bees underfly the entrance and think they were in the hive. They have started to build comb on the mesh floor. Firstly block the area between the entrance and the floor so they cannot underfly the hive. They were flying around because the hive is now spliut above and below the mesh floor. They are just confused. The bees were all over you when you opened it because it was evening and they were defensive as they are in the evenings. They were eating heavily because you were smoking them and that is what smoke does, makes the bees eat. I think they will be fine. Just make sure those under the mesh floor are removed and they can't get back.
 
I think we are reading too much into this. You have had some bees underfly the entrance and think they were in the hive. They have started to build comb on the mesh floor. Firstly block the area between the entrance and the floor so they cannot underfly the hive. They were flying around because the hive is now spliut above and below the mesh floor. They are just confused. The bees were all over you when you opened it because it was evening and they were defensive as they are in the evenings. They were eating heavily because you were smoking them and that is what smoke does, makes the bees eat. I think they will be fine. Just make sure those under the mesh floor are removed and they can't get back.
Thank you
 
I hope Enrico is right - without photos it is a little bit of a guessing game. Please update us once the position is clear. Good luck👍
Yes please don't presume any one of us is right. But let us know when you find out!
 
Thank you all, sitting outside looking at the entrance, lot of bees bringing in pollen, i will leave the entrance reduced to 2 bee until i feel it's ok, they still coming out and back in with pollen, another group are at the water bowl, don't know what to make of it, yesterday it was hectic and now it's just busy because of reduced entrance, i will update after I next check or if it kicks of again.
 
Thank you all, sitting outside looking at the entrance, lot of bees bringing in pollen, i will leave the entrance reduced to 2 bee until i feel it's ok, they still coming out and back in with pollen, another group are at the water bowl, don't know what to make of it, yesterday it was hectic and now it's just busy because of reduced entrance, i will update after I next check or if it kicks of again.
Sounds promising, you will get super busy times when bees are orienting and after a cool or wet spell. Let's hope for the best but watch there omf floor!
 
Thank you all, sitting outside looking at the entrance, lot of bees bringing in pollen, i will leave the entrance reduced to 2 bee until i feel it's ok, they still coming out and back in with pollen, another group are at the water bowl, don't know what to make of it, yesterday it was hectic and now it's just busy because of reduced entrance, i will update after I next check or if it kicks of again.
As Enrico said, it looks promising now. There's pollen going in and being a new hive, one would hope that is because the queen is still alive. I have reduced the entrances this week even on my Under Floor Entrances on strong hives, as the wasps are quite persistent this year. With no rain to speak of in my area of Norfolk for weeks now, it is going to be the survival of the fittest. It is unfortunate that you collected your colony late in the year, when extra problems can arise and you now have to nurse it through the Winter. Beekeeping can be really rewarding but also a worry. You have done what you can for now, so try to relax and don't get the sack for looking at your phone. ;)

Linda
 
Just now another attack by the robbers, few trying to find a way to get in walking around the hive looking for gaps, few fights also taking place here and there, there is one bee which is all black and got taken down in flight and wrestled on the ground then took of again, hopefully they are defending the reduced entrance, i got the hose pipe out and mist sprayed around the hive, it dispersed the crowd but they came back again soon, don't know what else to do but wait and see.
 
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