Seeing some activity

So I have been seeing individual bees sometimes in groups of 3-5 over the last 3 weeks or so. I came out to take a look at the hive this morning and there were hundreds, but didn’t look like enough to be a swarm. So it’s leading me to believe they may be robbing the last of the capped honey from before. I was expecting wax moths or SHB to get to it before now but I think the summer may have killed everything in the desert not just the bees.

This data from the scale leads me to believe its robbing, but I am hoping that some bees move in.

The pic doesn’t really do justice to the amount of activity buzzing around the hive this morning.


Could be promising Adam, fingers-crossed for you.

I checked last night, and no body has moved in, but they were all back again this morning. There is no way there was that much honey that it would take 100+ bees two days to clear it out. But would it be normal for a swarm to send this many members to investigate a potential hive site? It seems like an excessive number for scouts, but too many for the amount of resources that could have been left over from the dead hive.

Hi Adam, one day I saw some scouts investigating an entry point at a house. There was a lot of waggling & communicating between the bees. I’m sure that robber bees wouldn’t behave like that. What I would do is look for any waggling between the bees & also look at the honey to see if it’s in the process of being consumed or completely consumed.

If the honey is being robbed, all it took was one bee to find & that starts a chain reaction until the honey is all gone or the bees find something better.

I didn’t see anything like a waggle from the outside/topside. But I didn’t pull any frames either, just observed what I could with the top off.

There was some capped honey but only just a bit around the edges of 3-4 frames. An amount I would have thought they would have cleaned out the first day without needed to come back a second. I guess I will see what happens over the next few days. If it is a swarm they should be making a decision soon on where to move.

Hi Adam, I found that sometimes even with bees in a feeding frenzy, they don’t remove caps unless there’s a large area. What I do is break all the caps if I want them to completely clean it up.

One day I got called out to a bee job that turned out to be scouts checking the house out. The house had wrc cladding with lots of gaps. That was where I saw the waggling, outside of an entry point. I removed a colony from the same house a couple of years earlier.

Well I hope it is scouts from a huge swarm & they move into your hive:)

I broke the hive down to move it, and noticed that there were some pollen stores etc that were looking kind of dark and “odd”. Not moldy or slimy or anything just not what I would expect. Will new bees clean this all out if they can’t use it or should I think about scraping out any comb that isn’t empty? It would be nice to leave as much comb as possible for the next bees to save them work but will they thrive better without having to do the cleanup first?

I would consider freezing them if you have the freezer space. You probably have pollen mites in there, but it could be fungus. Honey bees, when the colony is strong, are also very good at dealing with pollen mites or mildew type fungus in pollen stores. Having said that, I would freeze the frames for now, and then add them to a fairly well-established colony a day after defrosting.