Apr 21, 2012

Greedy Honey Bees

Only a few days in and already all is not well. The two days after the honeybees were installed, the weather was cold and rainy. The bees decided to pretty much stay in the hive. The first nice day I noticed honeybees hovering outside the entrance. I looked it up and figured that they were doing their orientation flights, which enables them to find their way to their new home. I thought - Great, my bees are coming along well. The day afterwards I noticed that there was a bit more buzzing in the air, more bees hovering around the entrance and some tussling going on around the hive. Since that point it has been an ongoing barrage of neighboring bees messing with my hive. I would say robbing, but they are so new I don't see there being anything to rob.

I tried putting a wet sheet over them yesterday. It helped for a little while, but today is back to full-on attack mode. Today I put a queen includer on the entrance, which keeps the queen in the hive and prevents the hive from absconding (leaving). That is if there is still a live queen in there. Since they are being bothered so much, there is a high likelihood that they'll find another home. But with the includer on they won't leave without the queen, she's too big to fit through the opening. The includer also minimizes the size of the one hole I do have open so the home bees can defend their hive better. I doubt that this package of bees will make it, there are just so many other honeybees. There are even what looks to be German or Black honeybees around which, from what I've read are a bit rare.

With all the raucous going on, I haven't even been able to open up the hive in order to take the queen cage out. I was barely able to feed them in the empty space of the hive! Even the smoker does little to calm them down. Therefore, I've just left the queen cage in, it's laying on the bottom so I don't have to worry about messed up comb from it yet. 

Underneath the hive - I like being able to see into the hive without actually opening it up and bothering them
On the bright side of things, I'm fairly confident that with all these honeybees everywhere that I'll be able to bait a hive. Therefore, I won't have to spend another $86 for a package. It's about to rain so hopefully, the other bees will go home and leave my newbies alone.