Hi all, I have installed 8 frame nuc on Thursday last week, 5 days ago now. It was a healthy nuc, lots of brood etc, queen identified and marked, some honey. On the evening of day 3 I noticed odd behaviour, bees trying to get in around the lid/roof and crawling in throught the FLO symbol on the roof.
Didn’t think much of it as I am very new to it all. Next morning about 9am the entire hive absconded. I thought they were swarming but it was absconding. The landed about 3m up a nearby tree and stayed put. Called around a friend and when we opened the hive, all 8 fames were COMPLETELY BARE. All stripped clean, no honey, no brood, no eggs, no larvae, no nothin! Total shock!!! They had not even been in there 4 days.
Spent the rest of the day retrieving the bees from very difficult spot. Successfully got them into a styrafoam nuc box and left them under the tree till evening. Robber bees kept attacking them even in this box, lots of fighting etc. Reinstalled them into the brood box late afternoon and observed still more fighting to the death.
So last night (still not being sure of what I was witnessing) I did some serious googling. Found out about robber screens and made one, installed it in the dark last night. Inspected the hive about an hour after sun up this morning but robbers were into the hive again already. I only had a very small opening at the top of the screen but I am guessing the robbers were so familiar with the hive they found a way in. So this morning I have gone last resort and put a wet sheet over and around the hive so none can get in or out.
My friend suggested sugar water out in the open for the robbers to draw them away but everything I read last night suggested this just futher encourages robbing so I have not done this.
I am in East Maitland New South Wales. Has been very hot and dry for several weeks too so probably not the best time to have been starting a new hive…