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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Went out to the farm to check on the hives today and try to my mind off of mom for a little bit. We got an inch of rain at the farm last week so there are plenty of wildflowers blooming out. Hive one was calm and relaxed the top shallow is about 80% full of honey, the two deeps still have capped brood but not a lot, there where also some uncapped. The shallow was probably as heavy as both of the two deeps put together. The first intervention was when I was putting the first hive back together along comes mr. wasp the bees go into attack mode so with my trusty hive tool finished the job for them ( I probably should have taken this as a signal ) Went to hive two top shallow about 50% full of honey and two deeps in the same condition as the first. The more I got into the hive the more restless the bees where, when I was finished with the lower deep the bees where down right pissed. It less then a minute they where all over me, and then I saw why.... robbing :eek:. Along came 4 not so friendly red velvet ants and the bees where not happy, intervention two again hive tool to the rescue. I now know what the bees actions are when they are being robbed and defending the home stead. It appears all my queens are laying some but not a lot during these conditions and the rest of the bees are busy making honey. Mean while my brood boxes are about at 40% capicity a lot of empty comb but they are still putting honey and some pollen away on the outer edges of the frames. Hive three is two deeps there is a fair amount of honey stores from early in the year when they decided to re-queen and it was ideal wheather. I lost one of my nucs when I checked it today all that was left was empty comb. On the nuc I have left should I put them in a ten frame or should I add another five frame on top of them. I am thinking either way I will use the five drawn frames from the failed nuc for them. I talked to dad and his thoughts where " we can pray for rain, praying worked for your mother " So am I doomed if we don't get some measurable fall honey flow?:confused:
 

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Be careful of the "red velvet ant", actual name is a cow killer. It is a wingless wasp, next one you see pick it up with a pair of pliers (NOT YOUR FINGERS) it has a stinger almost as long as its abdomen.

BAD TO THE BONE!!!
 

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You can always feed. Not what you had in mind but given the conditions what choice do you have? Between losing them or feeding them........................:sad:
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Be careful of the "red velvet ant", actual name is a cow killer. It is a wingless wasp, next one you see pick it up with a pair of pliers (NOT YOUR FINGERS) it has a stinger almost as long as its abdomen.

BAD TO THE BONE!!!
This is the first time I have seen these, I kinda had a bad feeling about them when I cut one apart between the thorax and abdomen with my hive tool and it kept on going even with the bees attacking it.
 

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we have alot of the red velvet ants here and wow they hurt if you get stung, I have never seen 1 attack a hive though but I do once in a while see a big yellow and black wasp try to get in 1, he lasts about 3 secs
 

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if I can recall what I learned in entomology class the bees and the ants are very closely related (distant cousins of sorts). red velvet ants have the male and female form (and by appearance would appear not to be of the same species). the female form is wingless and the male form has wings to fly. here when you see the female form (for which the species derives it's name) you will most often notice the male flying very near by. I have never know anyone to actually be stung by either but I am not surprised at least one of the forms does sting.

most ants emit sounds that are inaudible to the human ear. this however does not mean the bees cannot perceive these sounds and react to them in a very defensive way. I myself have notice a fairly significant defensive posture of hive where fire ants are anywhere on the outside of a hive. if a hive has problems and there are fire ants on the inside of a hives it's behavior changes from being defensive to being extremely nasty.
 
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