I have two native hives that were split in August. Yesterday the bees started to fly around in an agitated manner. This morning I found quite a lot of dead bees at the foot of one of the hives. There has been nothing unusual happening in the garden and no pesticides sprayed. Thoughts?
Hi Poppa this is quite normal. We have many native bee hives, and hives are very strong at the moment. One colony will send hundreds to hang out in front of another almost like intimidating it. They quite often come and go over a few days and other times they will fight and you will see many hundreds of dead bees on the ground.
Nothing to worry about as one way or another you will get a stronger hive if they take over or the hive is strong and repels them.
The other thing it can be is if the hive over heats. The hive should be shade for most of the day from 10am in our heat. Temperatures haven’t been that hot lately so not likely to be that.
Thank you Gaz. set my mind at ease.
Any fighting? could be robbing. Make the entrance as small as possible to give them a better chance to defend themselves.
Dont delay. Rovbbers can destroy a hive in a matter of hours.
Thanks Jim. Fixed the entrances just now. Moved them last night to a cooler position.
Hi Terry did you move them more than 2ks otherwise you will have a lot of bees lost or they will be waiting at the original location? Australian native bees also return to the same location and can only be moved in small increments.
You can move to a spot close buy but many foragers will be lost. They might eventually look for a new spot but normally we would ensure there is still a split box at the original location.
I may be wrong but I think @JimM might be refering to European bees not Australian stingless native bees. My apologies for any confusion.
Yes, I was referring to the Eropean honey bee! Here, frantic activity and dead bees suggests robbing.
We also have the 3 feet/3 mile rule about moving hives (doesnt sound so good in metric). So, either move hives less than 3 feet (1m) or more than 3 miles (5km). Otherwise, the flying bees will return to the original location.
Moved the hive about 1 metre into bettter shade over night. Everything quiet. Fingers crossed