So I came by to look at my hive, and noticed the bees were all outside on the front of the brood box. It looked normal, until I noticed all the dead bees on the ground. It was hard to tell at first, but I realized that another hive had tried robbing them, and they have been defending the hive all day. I put my gear on and tried to help them. I took a video, it was hard to take with the outfit on.
Certainly looks like robbing. You need to do something quickly, or you could lose your colony. This time of year is very high risk for weak colonies to be lost due to robbing.
The easiest thing to do is reduce the entrance down to a couple of inches wide. That will help your own guard bees fight off the robbers. I would close that upper entrance too, with duct tape if necessary. Just do it very soon.
The best thing to do would be to fit a robbing screen. It looks like a Flow hive from the shape of the landing board, so you would need a screen for that size. I have these, and they work pretty well:
Dawn’s advice is sound…as always
Bees are absolutely horrid to each other and I think Italians are the worst robbers.
It’s absolutely paramount to never ever spill any honey around the apiary and never to fill feeders while the bees are flying…
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I put a tray of marbles and put water in it. I think that is also attracting other bees.
I did notice my bees were fighting with Italian bees. However I think I have a black bee problem. Bumble bees usually are fought off, but these black bees just go right in. I killed 9 of them today. I will shrink the entrance as you suggested.
If the photos above are the ‘black bees that go right in’, that’s because they live in the hive, they are drones…
Oh ok I assume I will need to open the hive and find their queen if she is
in there. I wonder why my honey bees don’t attack them like they do with
I opened up the hive and searched and didn’t see anything. I sure did
annoy the bees looking around everywhere. So my guess is they raid the
hive in the afternoon when it is sunny. I checked out the hive around
8am, and did not hear the distinctive buzz that those bees do. I did
hear the day before around 4:00pm
I don’t see or hear any robbing:
Based on your location and the time of season, I’m thinking it’s drone (male honey bees) eviction time.
They are drones, male honeybees, not another species of bee, they are meant to be in your hive. It would be very good if you could find a local beekeper to help you & join a beekeeping club.
OK, I assume that they video had worker bees being evicted. Even those black bees? Are they Male Drones? They are much larger, I was looking at pictures of other hives, trying to figure out if I was wrong. I assume I am wrong, based on what you are saying. Are those bees I killed Male Drones as you say? Hmm, I do need to take a class in the upcoming spring, to learn more about this.
Yes that is what i am saying, you killed male honeybees. So lots of classes a great idea! Good luck & Good Luck to your bees…