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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've got a trap out that I started July 16th. Things are progressing well and I'm seeing no bees leaving the cone any more (there for 15 minutes). They've completely filled a 5 frame deep nuc and I'll either steal some of those bees for another hive or put them in a 10 frame deep. I'm planning to remove the cone on Aug 17th to allow the new hive to rob out the old hive. How long does it normally take for an old hive to get robbed out?
 

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When you remove the cone, go back the next day. If there are bees carrying pollen into the old hive, replace the cone.

If they are in a total frenzy going in and out, but no pollen, they are robbing. It normally takes two to four days for them to empty it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I haven't seen any activity into or even out of the hive at all for the last two times (15 minutes twice in the last two weeks) I've been there. I can't even tell if maybe they've absconded. Assuming they haven't found another way in is a month enough time to effectively trap them out or am I better off giving them a little more time?

We've got very little flow going on right now. Assuming they're still alive but very weak wouldn't the new hive rob them out anyway and effectively kill them off? On a side note, the idea of checking for pollen carrying workers the next day is great way to tell if they are still alive.
 

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A month may or may not be enough time. That's why I explained the test.

Frenzy=success

Pollen=do it over.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I just took off the cone today. This is my first try at a trap out, started on July 16th. I started another on July 19th. I hadn't seen any activity for over a month out of this cone. It's gone smoothly so far and the new hive has outgrown the 5 frame nuc. There are 4 frames of capped brood from the new queen. I dropped them into a 10 frame swarm catcher today as they'd be out of room when the brood emerges. There are limited honey reserves in this hive. I stopped feeding them a week ago so they'd be highly motivated to rob whatever they could.

Two questions though:
1. Considering I've dropped an additional 5 frames of undrawn foundation in there and the drawn frames have brood in them where will the honey they rob be stored?
2. If there are any remaining bees in there wouldn't they be killed while defending their hive?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I learn something every day. I'm not familiar with the "robber" hive workers taking care of the brood of the "robbie" hives young. In theory would they raise a queen if there was an egg present? I was always under the impression that robbed hives died off in short order as the queen and adults are killed off defending the colony.
 

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You are correct in a normal robbing situation. We are talking about a trap out where the brood is from their own hive.
 

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To try and explain a little better, If there are viable brood still in the trapped colony, then there are still house bees and bees just old enough to begin foraging. There are also new foragers that left within the last day or two.

The cone covered a small entrance and all other entrances were blocked, effectively reducing the entrance, as we do to prevent robbing. With the reduced entrance and the remaining bees, they can protect it. The trapped bees will go out to forage, as the bees from the house will do the same. Each will return home respectively. There will be two colonies bringing in pollen.

If the queen is gone or shut down and there is no brood, then their will has been shattered and robbing will begin. Robbing bees do not carry pollen into the hive they are robbing.
 

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The top two threads in this category are great. I am picking up some real good info. here. Thanks for posting this stuff folks.

Perry
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I smeared some honey in and around the entrance of the wall collony to get the other hive in the mood to rob when I removed the cone yesterday at lunch. I checked it yesterday after work and there seemed to be some confusion but no obvious robbing. While I did not see any bees bringing in pollen there was no obvious robbing going on. There were no guard bees who presented themselves from the wall colony at any time. However, I did see some bees fly directly out of the hive straight away as if on a mission. It took this as a sign that the wall colony is still active.

I will check during lunch today. Unless there's obvious robbing going on I will reinstall the cone trap.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I reinstalled the cone trap. While I was there (30 minutes) there were less than 10 bees that tried to re-enter the wall hive. None were carrying pollen but they were definately coming "home." I'll be leaving this on until late September at the earliest mid October if the homeowners don't mind. This has taught me that no matter how dead the activity around the cone is leave it on for at least 2 months.
 

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Some things can't be explained. You just have to see them to recognize them.

GOOD JOB....Keep it up. The bees will talk to you. ;)
 
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