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I began this blog to chronicle my beekeeping experiences. I have read lots of beekeeping books, but nothing takes the place of either hands-on experience with an experienced beekeeper or good pictures of the process. I want people to have a clearer picture of what to expect in their beekeeping so I post pictures and write about my beekeeping saga here. Along the way, I've passed a number of certification levels and am now a Master Beekeeper! Enjoy with me as I learn and grow as a beekeeper.


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Friday, March 02, 2007

More thoughts about the hive that died

My hives are outside my sunporch door on my deck where I can see them if I eat on the sunporch. It has only been warm enough to do that over the last two weekends. When I've sat and looked at the two hives, I noticed bees going in and out of both hives, but the bees going in to Destin were acting a little strange.

Instead of following up that observation, I thought I'd check it out later. What I saw was that bees entering Bermuda made a "beeline" for the entrance, went into the hive, and never hesitated. Bees entering Destin flew up and looked at the hive and seemed to hesitate, going toward the entrance, and then flying up again before finally entering.

During bee season, Destin always was a less active hive, so I chalked the odd entry up to that.

Tonight in re-reading Hive Management by Richard Bonney I found a paragraph on page 70 that spoke to what I saw:

He is writing about robbing behavior. He says:

"Such robbers have a distinctive action. They tend to be sneaky. They do not approach a hive entrance directly but ease in from the sides. Their flight pattern is somewhat erratic as they bob about looking for a way in......It is this type of activity on a nice day in late winter or early spring that may cause the beekeeper to believe that a hive is alive and well, when actually it has died out and is being robbed of its remaining honey."

I believe that this hive has been without a queen for quite a while - there was no evidence of any recent brood raising. The bees may have died weeks ago. So Destin was a great target for the robbing behavior of the other hive. Today when I took the cover off of Destin for another look around, several bees flew out of the hive - robbers caught in the act!

1 comment:

  1. Interesting thanks for sharing Linda, I hope i don't need this information in the future, but one day i just might.

    Thanks Chris

    ReplyDelete

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