Robing in December??

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Queen Bee
Nov 7, 2008
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I could hear one of my hives from the house buzzing angrily and see lots of bees in the air. It is warm today so all the hives are flying, but the front of this small colony seems just too busy. Have a look. Robbing or am I worrying for nothing?
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Thanks Admin. What is going on is much wilder than that. Like they are having a party!!!

I will see if can take a video on my phone. Will put a veil on first though, since they didn't like me taking photos and that was quicker!
There are lots of dead and dying bees in the grass. There was some fighting going on. (I did OA last week and this is warmest day since) Now it is starting to cool, and get dark, all calmer. Do not have the technical skills to post the video. Quite a lot of them were doing the back and forth flying that newly emerged bees do. Fortuantely all family out shopping so hope the bees that have followed me in will fly away again before they return.
Poly If you want to add the video send it to me as an attachment in an email and I can convert it for you.
Yes, fighting, full loaded honey robbers come out. Hairless robber bees.
So reduce entrance finger tip size or close whole hive.
Or move the hive to a new location,once robbing starts it is very hard to stop.
Some fool (me) doesn't know which way is up on the cameraphone video function, so this video is upside down. It had got cooler and most of the bees had gone... so looks normal not like robbing. If things are wild tomorrow I will try again.
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interesting one, i thought i had a case of robbing during summer, lots of bees darting left and right in front of the hive, large numbers at the entrance - however no bees entangled in combat so i decided it must just bee orientation flights.

I hope i never see it happening for real.

But i guess if there is a starving colony nearby, with this mild weather, they may fancy their chances.
who knows, would like to see some footage, the more experienced may know the answer by subtle clues, i would have to see bees entangled in combat to get my answer.
Nice video.

Looks quite busy for the time of year, not particularly like robbing as such. Are you sure the hive is occupied? i.e have the original colony swarmed or died and others are now cleaning up?

Also you have quite a big entrance there with no mouse guard on!

There is a real difference between play flights as seen in the active season and robbing which is VERY furtive looking and once seen is unmistakable.

If you want to stop it happening it is very easy though it goes against all the conventional advice. ;)

Thanks Admin!!

Yes hive is occupied. Is a small colony. On 4 frames. Took me a while to work out how to make the video work, by which time all the wild action had passed.

No mouseguards because I can't get them to stay on the polystyrene. It crumbles when I try to pin them.

Shall I reduce the entrance even though I am on solid floor??

What is your unconventional advice then PH??
If colonies have free access to feed there is no need to rob.

Set up an outside feeder.

It really is that simple.

Clever.... thanks PH. BUT I reckon there are at least 2 or 3 other apiaries in flying distance. Whereas I don't mind feeding their bees, I would mind importing disease. Are you sure that if they sup from the same pot as my bees they won't give them something nasty (EFB or AFB???)
Scratches head...


Normally the nasties are spread via infected honey.

Sugar syrup contains no honey so?

There is a disease obsession in England which to quite an extent puzzles me. Either the extreme vigilance works or there is a paranoia. I suspect the latter.

Just an observation.

Merry Crimbo


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