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Saturday, July 12, 2008

More of the Robbing Story

Toward the end of the day, the robber screen became crowded at one corner with dead bees. I'm sure the house bees who still were alive were working to clean up the mess left after the robbing.

I had shut the propped top cover and had put a top bar blocking most of the access to the hive at the top of the robber screen. Bees continued to gather on the side of the hive - you can see the beginning of the gathering here. By the end of the day, the cluster was about 3 times as big as in this picture.

I determined that the clustering bees were hive foragers who returned to find the hive closed up and hung there because it was as close to home as they could get. So right at dark, I opened the top cover and propped it with a stick. By the time night had fallen, all the bees were gone back inside. I went out and removed the propping stick so tomorrow they will not have a back door, at least for a while.

After dark I opened the top of the robber screen to give about a 3 inch access space. We'll see what tomorrow brings.
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2 comments:

  1. Anonymous5:08 PM

    We are having some robbing. We know they are fighting, and are finding body parts in the tray as well and downed bees in front of the hive. So we made a robber screen and installed it the night before. By 2:00 pm the next day, there were at least 100 bees clinging to the shady top part of the hive. 99% of them had huge sacks of pollen, so we determined they were the "home bees". We removed the robber screen so they could get in.

    Is the conclusion that the pollen laden bees belong to this hive correct?

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  2. The robber screen should have a top opening so that the bees resident to the hive can get in. They go for the queen pheromone while the robbers try to get in the main entrance. The bees with pollen would eventually find the entrance, assuming your robber screen has a top entrance as it should have.

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