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I watched a very large bumblebee enter one of my two moderately busy hives yesterday, with no objection from the guard bees. I'd think even a solitary robber would be challenged. Any comments?
 

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I would guess a nectar eating bumblebee who is pilfering a bit from someone else's pantry. I see them occasionally here... sometime they go in, get caught and don't come out alive.
 

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I had a couple of bumblebees checking out the full top bar i had just put on my stand. I was kind of surprised that the honeybees didn't try to chase them away...but I guess maybe they were too focused on me and what I was doing.
 

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I suffer from "wood-eating" bumblebees. They burrow into the walls of hives and raise their brood there. They've damaged a lot of my hives--walls, floors. roofs, -- that way. :frustrated:
 

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i see the wood eating bumble bees alot when there are old wood barns where im surveying....they get in your hives alot huh...this is gonna sound stupid but i dont remember seeing all that much wood in the pics of Isreal i've seen....is that why they tune into your hives EM ???
 

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Kooldad, I guess I wasn't clear enough--they don't enter the hives, they burrow into the wood of the hives. I don't recall them setting up in the wood of the hives that are occupied, only empty, stacked equipment. The bumblebees I know of here only attack dead wood. As far as woods in Israel, we have a lot of reforested areas, but nothing like the natural forests of the US. For about 400 years, the Ottoman Empire (that controlled also what is Israel of today) cut down the natural forests here and used the logs for fuel, especially for their trains. They never thought of replacing cut down forests in those days so we lost most of our natural woods. Our main trees in those days were oaks. Most of the reforestation today is done with Aleppo pines. Some areas have real thick forests--too thick. This past winter, during a bad dry spell, we had a major forest fire on Mt Carmel and a large (for us--all is relative) area was burnt down to the ground. We have yet to master the art of planting just the right amount of the right trees to fully return the natural, sustainable forests here. :cry:
 

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Really...kool....i thought Isreal was a desert country....shows what i know....thats why i like this fourm...i learn something new all the time...just learned the other day Texas is'nt all desert either...just the long part i went through...lol

what kind of bees do you have...are they feral or european bees....i heard that feral honey bees over that way were kinda mean.
 

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I first started out (1972) with feral bees I extracted from the walls of wooden cabbins. Mean isn't the word for them. I could probably write an interesting blog story about them. Quickly enough I changed over to Italians--productive and gentle. Since the appearance of Varroa in Israel (1982) all feral hives have pretty much disappeared (been destroyed would be a better word). Today, without being cared for by beekeepers, unfortunately, the hives don't have a chance.
As to Isrrael, the southern half is pretty much dessert (but not wilderness without anything). From the central area north,it becomes more and more green.
 

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Barry,
You hit the male on the head. I only wish the carpenter bees BUILT things out of wood instead of destroying.
 
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