Honeyflow.com | FAQ's |

Bee robbing from another species. Stress or increased production

Greetings, I am attempting to be a hobbyist in Thailand using the Apis Melilfera which has its issues with only a 2 month flow cycle each year.

At the moment I am attempting to build a weak hive numbers with sugar water and pollen substitute to get ready for the honey flow in 3 months time (with such a short flow season allowing bees to build themselves is impossible with my experience at this point.

My issue is the native Apis cerana are attempting to enter the hive to rob my girls of the stores and sugar water supply. I am concerned with a weak hive of the effects.

I am hoping since the girls have sufficient supply of feed that this daily threat from another species might induce the queen to lay more and faster to help defend the hive from possible robbing. Although I suspect it is just causing stress and causing harm.

What are the thoughts of more experienced beekeepers?

Just as a side note, in Thailand they raise bees completely differently which includes hardly ever removing old comb. The result is with old comb supplied with my bee purchase the bees are only perhaps 1mm larger than the usual smaller Asian honey bee. I am using foundation to get new larger comb and over the months some of the new bees appear larger. BUT the Asian bees fly much faster than the western bees, have far greater agility and never seem to manage to drown themselves in the sugar water. They are also varroa resistant so I am thinking since they seem more adapted to the environment, I should start looking at using this species instead. Anyone who has Cerana and can advise on the comparison of the two would be a bonus to my first question

You are trying to fight a battle that you might not win against the Asian honey bee. With the robbing happening the queen won’t lay more than she is capable of laying as compensation for the deaths of bees in defending the hive.
Using new foundation is not going to increase the size of new bees, it is very likely that they have genetically become smaller so you thinking the bees are becoming larger is wishful thinking. The only way to produce a larger bee is with introducing a larger queen. But at least new comb will aid in the health of the hive, if you are using bee wax foundation and not the paraffin/bees wax foundation blend that is being made in China.
The best way to cut down robbing is by making the entrance smaller so the bees can defend the hive better.
If your bees are drowning in the sugar water then it is up to you present it in a way that it is not deep enough for the bees to drown in it. I use chicken water feeders that I have bought on EBay and they have an ideal depth for the bees.
Cheers