Beekeeping, Gardening and Quilting in Eastern Wake County, North Carolina

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Robber Bees

 Yesterday after installing the bees, I checked on them several times during the day and noticed a tremendous amount of activity - more than I thought there should be.  So I called Mr. Ellis and he had installed his package and now had robber bees trying to get to the sugar water in the hive.  I suited up and put a brick in front of the entrance and stopped all the "in and out".  After dark, I went down and had bees clustered under Hive #3 - so these were not robber bees but bees from the package that had been out and couldn't get back in the hive before dark. 
Cluster under Hive #3
This morning the bees were still under Hive #3 (it was a little chilly and early) so I moved the brick over maybe 1/2 inch for the opening.  That will give the inside bees more protection if there are robbers and a big enough space for going back and forth.  I'm not sure I had robber bees but I would be very upset and I don't say this lightly if my bees were gone.  Robber bees will strip a hive of all the honey, run off the bees and you're left with nothing.  So with the smell of sugar water they were coming from who knows where to get a free lunch.
So far so good today . . . . .

Hive #3
I've checked the hives several times today and they're looking good.  The half inch opening is just right to keep robber bees out.  Mr. Ellis called and his hive is fine and if there were robbers, they've gone on to another hive.  So we both gave a sigh of relief.  Our bees are fine for now.
More tomorrow when I'll take the package box out and put in the 5 frames.