Your thoughts would be appreciated

Discussion in 'General Beekeeping' started by Tia, Sep 22, 2010.

  1. Tia

    Tia New Member

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    Earlier in the season, I was having a problem with my bees being highly defensive. At the advice of beekeepers on this forum and others, I put robber screens on all of them and it worked like a charm to calm the girls down. But in these past few days I've notice that around 2-4 pm, they are very "antsy," flying all over the place, piling up on the inside and outside of the robber screen, and being very, very loud! They don't seem aggressive, just very active. I'm beginning to think they want to do some cleanout--or maybe they can't evict the drones--with the robber screens on. I wanted to leave them on all winter because I have a serious problem with voles--they did in two of my hives a couple of years ago--but now I'm thinking the girls want something else. Should I take them off for a couple of days to see what happens/let the girls clean out the hives? Should I take them off for the winter? Should I take them off and replace them with mouse guards?
     
  2. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    For a day or two would be fine, if you are going to be there to watch them. Removing them could start a robbing party. I wouldn't leave them off overnight. What you are seeing is likely orientation flights or the beginning of the fall flow. Mine today are coming in with pollen on 95% of the foragers returning.
     

  3. Tia

    Tia New Member

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    Thanks, Iddee. I was hoping that would be the answer because I really want to leave these things on over winter because of the voles. I'll be going into them on Friday to check stores--taking a newbee with me--so I'll take them off then, put them on again overnight and remove them in the morning. Is that what you mean? Do that for a couple of days? I do know they've been bringing in a lot of pollen! And I can smell the goldenrod in the hives.
     
  4. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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  5. Walt B

    Walt B New Member

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    Do they need more room?

    Walt
     
  6. Tia

    Tia New Member

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    Walt, they just may although if they do, they're really big colonies! I'm going to check them tomorrow and will let you know!
     
  7. Tia

    Tia New Member

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    Walt, check under the thread "tell me if I did all right" to get the answer as to whether they need room. They are packed in there, but I think they have enough room to overwinter and I'm reluctant to add a box in light of how much comb they can cover and protect from SHB and WM.
    As for the robber screens, I took them off yesterday. The girls had them glued in place! There's enough propolis on them that when I replaced them last night they just reglued themselves and there was no need for duct tape.
    It looks like the girls have been able to take out the dead and evict the drones because there was no sign on either in the hives.
    I will be doing a 48-hr mite drop and then will replace the SHB traps because they're loaded with them! Am I correct that SHB lessen in the winter?