My brother put out a few stickies next to his hive a few days ago- and within 20 minutes a swarm of robbing bees turned up. There was a lot of fighting and chaos. He had to remove the frames and reduce his entrance right down. Robber bees kept returning for a few days. In his case it was obvious who was who as has pale yellow Italians and the robbers were very dark bees.
Interesting info Jack, I put my stickies in a box and put it on my weakest hive, the rest of the gear I put 10 metres away from the hives and have had no issues. all the bees on the gear you would think are from the same colony but there are 6 hives feeding. Maybe it is because of the amount of nectar and pollen about up here all the time.
Hi Peter, I’d say that is it. Any time I have ever had extracted honey frames back in the hive (or wax scrapings with honey on them) or made an attempt to feed honey to the bees, it seemed to create a good deal of excitement amongst them, prompting fighting and tussling around the entrance and some robbing attempts. Very similar to what Doug Somerville warns about in the article that I provided a link to actually. This has generally been when the nectar resources are low and I seem to get a very short nectar season.
I’m very careful now. Once bitten, twice shy. I don’t like the increased aggression I have witnessed. I will still put stickies on but late in the day and off early in the morning.
It is funny how what applies in one area is an issue in another. There is a lot to learn for me with a location change of 1100 klm’s to a more stable sub-tropical climate. Our coldest day so far this winter has been a few days down to 22c and from the flora winter is very much on its way to being over already. The bush is yellow with wattle now.
Yes pretty cold in SW West Australia.
Only 14 deg C today and the bees did not fly.
There were just a few hive monitors just walking around on the landing pads. Yesterday 17 Deg C and plenty of activity even though showers were coming through spasmodically.
There is plenty of blossom around with 3 species of Eucalyptus flowering and 10+ Grevillea for nectar and wattles for plenty of pollen
I figure as much- it’s been very cold here lately and it’s likely there is a lack of resources around. I haven’t seen robbing like that myself. In summer I had two hives side by side- and was inspecting them- I left the cover off one for about ten minutes and the other one started robbing it. It escalated pretty quickly.
As Costa says, the debate has been valuable. The John " Tractor" Ferguson clip is interesting too.