How is it possible?

Discussion in 'Beekeeping 101' started by srvfantexasflood, Jul 16, 2012.

  1. srvfantexasflood

    srvfantexasflood New Member

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    Made an observation at the front of the hive yesterday that got my attention. I thought one hive was being robbed. They was a fight on the landing board and some serious bee comings and goings. I even got a warning shot on the shoulder. I went to get the entrance reducers and my armour. I hated the thought of putting an entrance reducer on in 100degree weather, but that's the only thing I knew to do. I went into the hive to see how serious the damage was. To my surprise, I think they were bringing in nectar! How is this possible in this drought? The hive was fine, no robbing going on and it looked as though they were adding to the honey in the super. I found recent brood, so I closed it up and checked the other (smaller) hive. HA! That queen showed me! She has been playing catch up to the other hive since being installed as a package in April. Well, she has surpassed the other hive and has produced two brood boxes filled to the rim with eggs, brood, honey and a wee bit of honey in the super.
    Now, my questions for you Old Drones and Old Workers. Is it possible that they are gathering nectar in this drought? Or, are they robbing someone's hummingbird feeder? Is there another way to control robbing other than an entrance reducer? I have screened bottom boards and haven't created any openings for air in the top.
     
  2. kebee

    kebee Active Member

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    Looking for answers for this, because I see the same on the weak hive this morning, I already have a reducer on and they looked to be young bees so I figure they were all out buzying around to place the hive to go out forageing.

    kebee
     

  3. Crofter

    Crofter New Member

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    I have just noticed the start of heavy dripping of honeydew. Parking a vehicle under and oak tree for a day makes it near undriveable! An early sample of my honey said "clover" but that is about dried up and I think the real harvest, around end of August, will have the much stronger taste and colour of oak leaf honeydew plus early goldenrod; more hearty than delicate or subtle!
     
  4. PerryBee

    PerryBee New Member

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    IMHO, if you have screened bottom boards I wouldn't be overly concerned with reducing the entrance, but not too much. If they are not orientation flights and are indeed comings and goings, they have found something. You may never figure out what exactly (hummingbird feeder or...?) but they are content, so you should be too!:grin:
     
  5. brooksbeefarm

    brooksbeefarm New Member

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    If your sure it's robbing going on, Iddee had a picture of how to make a robbing screen on one of the forums, maybe he will post it for you. Jack
     
  6. riverbee

    riverbee Active Member

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    srvfantexasflood,
    stronger hives rob out weaker hives. not sure what you have going on. if robbing occurs, look for bees that fly up and down looking for a way to get in or get by the guard bees. activity is frantic and bees fighting. another telltale sign are bits of wax on the landing board of the hive, or wax flakes on your bottom board. these bits of wax are found because robber bees chew at the comb quickly to get the honey, and the comb will look chewed and ragged, if this makes sense.

    it might be orientation flights as perry said, it is possible that your hive found nectar somewhere, either from a nectar source, a hummingbird feeder, or are themselves robbing another hive, or are being robbed by a stronger hive in the area. if you suspect robbing, i wouldn't use an entrance reducer in your heat, i would screen them in or stuff the entrance with grass.

    just a side thought, you might want to consider providing some sort of ventilation at the top of your hive.

    as jack said, i also use moving/robbing screens to put on. these work great and are simple to make. i posted a picture on another thread, similiar to what i build and use: picture is post #1

    moving/robbing screen
     
  7. PerryBee

    PerryBee New Member

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  8. DLMKA

    DLMKA New Member

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    I too was surprised at how well my weaker hive started from a package this spring was doing. They've been lagging behind everything else this spring and with the drought I thought for sure I was going to start feeding this week. I put an empty medium on about a month ago and for the first two weeks didn't touch it. Checked yesterday and it was chock full of brood and capped honey. They must be working the soybeans is the only thing I can think of but I'm surprised there is much nectar in them as well.
     
  9. Beeboy

    Beeboy New Member

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    I'm in Tulsa, not that far olatha, and experiencing a bd drought, but the girls are finding something out there. The are filling things up with nectar,a dn while I have put out water for them close to the hive they refuse it.
     
  10. srvfantexasflood

    srvfantexasflood New Member

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    This was not orientation flights. I see those every day. The coming and going was like they were on a mission. When I entered the hive, I saw no signs of robbing. All was calm, no chewed comb, and there was more honey in the super than had been there two weeks ago. Since I got into the hive, I was going to let them take the honey from the super on down to the brood boxes. They don't need it yet. Meanwhile, I will be content.
    riverbee-good to know what flight pattern to look for.
    Thanks riverbee and Perrybee for the links. I will check that out.
     
  11. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    sounds like they are finding something. it would be interesting to find out what.
     
  12. srvfantexasflood

    srvfantexasflood New Member

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    I am beginning to realize that nectar plants and timing of nectar flows are a whole subject that I would like to learn more about. I got hooked on beekeeping because of my gardening interests. Can someone suggests possible reading material or someplace I can go to learn more? My bee club's newsletter has a section on honey plants. But, I have found that geography and timing can make the information in the newsletter obsolete.
    Some examples of what I am referring to are: 1. some nectar producing plants only produce during the early morning hours.
    2. Some nectar producing plants may only provide nectar if there is sufficient rainfall. (Dutch clover this spring/summer in Kansas City)
    3. Why honey bees will give preferential treatment to certain nectar producers and not others.
     
  13. DonMcJr

    DonMcJr New Member

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    Around here in Michigan I have clover that's still producing flower with the drought...and folks watering their gardens can be another source as with Farmers irrigating their crop and houses watering their flowers..
     
  14. indypartridge

    indypartridge New Member

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    We're in drought also, and had a discussion on this in our bee club meeting last week. On of our members is a Professor of Biology, and he was telling us that many plant species actually produce MORE blooms/nectar during drought. The stress of the drought is a biological trigger to try to increase reproduction for survival of the species. That's my layman's interpretation of what he said.
     
  15. srvfantexasflood

    srvfantexasflood New Member

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    I have heard of some species of plants producing a great deal of blooms/seeds during stress conditions. It one final attempt to multiple and save the species. We had such a dry and mild winter. I heard tonight, on the weather report, that we are behind 14-16 inches in the last 12 months.