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Robbers coming to the hive


#1

A couple weeks back I noticed more frenetic activity at the front of the hive and louder buzzing than normal. Got to looking close and saw some bees coming in individually that were slightly larger and just a hair different color than my bees. Definitely honey bees, just different breed. Wild colony. I routinely sit in my open scooter nearly in front of the hive and only a few feet away and my bees don’t care at all and it gives me a great look for things like this. They didn’t bother me, but it became obvious pretty quick there was some fighting going on. I’d see one of mine hanging onto the back of an invader who was running out of the hive stinging it continuously, but not deep enough to lose its’ stinger. So I shortened up the entrance to about 4" and left the entrance feeder empty. On 3 different days I went down and squatted by the entrance with a pocket knife. When I’d see an invader coming in and landing in front of the hive to crawl in, I cut it in 1/2 (mean, I know)…when I saw one of mine chasing out the intruder, I’d carefully do the same thing and mine would just leave it and head back in to continue defending. It wasn’t a massive invasion, but went on for a few days. Looked like they were going into mostly rob the feeder…mostly. I don’t know that I helped by killing some invaders with them, but it sure did make me feel better. When I did those things, the invaders numbers dropped noticeably and by the 3rd day they were gone. My bees are back to being busy and happy doin’ their bee stuff. Just felt like yakkin’ about it.


#2

Sounds like you handled it well - reducing the entrance is always a good thing when there is robbing. The problem with entrance feeders is that they are very prone to robbing. That is why I prefer in-hive feeding with a pail (bucket) feeder, or a Miller hive top feeder. :wink:


#3

I think what I had was robbing and I didn’t know what to do about it. After not checking for two days one of my hives is totally wiped out- not a bee or drop of honey left. I understand the robbing but why would everyone leave the hive??


#4

No food left, and “winter is coming”… :cry: