NZBF: Today i understand robbing

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Alastair

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Yes, to some extent they are hard wired. They learn the location of the hive when they first start flying, and that stays with them. If a hive is moved say, just 2 or 3 meters, even though they can see it, they will still first go to where it was. Then they will circle around a bit until they "find" the hive. This may continue for several weeks. Incredible GPS.
 
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19:30 tonight.

Removed the cover board. No dead bees in front of hive. Interestingly no bearding on this hive with 'cracked' boxes. Other hive lots of bearding. Both have about 1 emptyish box on top.

I think this points towards robbing not disease as otherwise we would still have dead bees outside.?.

 

Alastair

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Could also have been a poisoning event. I don't think any of us out here in internet land can make a fully informed decision, because to do that we would need to see what is happening and so far we haven't had a good enough look to do that.

But what I can say, is if a hive as strong as you say it is, is being robbed, there is either a beekeeper error such as doing something that got the robbing started, or, a problem with the hive, normally a varroa mite problem. If you can't think of anything you have done recently that would cause a robbing event, but are still sure the hive was being robbed, would pay to check mite levels.
 
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I just found out a person moss sprayed the house roof for moss on mon...day one of the issue. Hmmm.
Veroa ... well treated up to honey flow with baverol.
No sign of varroa in drone brood 2 to 3 weeks ago.
No change in hive layout in last 4 weeks.
Hive next to it had honey removed on sun but it's fine.
I'll video it tomorrow with no shade over entrance.
 

Grant

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It's warmer today than the last 2 days, so maybe a bit more activity.
Getting pinged 4 meters out. That statement to us means they're agressive and stinging you at that distance. Is that the case?
The black backed bees. Are they drones, they would appear darker than workers?
 

Alastair

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Unfortunately the close up shots were just too blurry to get an exact handle on it, but I don't think it's robbing because if it was robbing at that intensity there would be fighting and I could see none.

Could not make out the "black backed bees with legs hanging down", but as per Grant i suspect they may be drones.

The bees at the upper level crack between boxes could be robber scouts, but could also be bees from the hive doing a little maintenance.

Is the hive queenless and has a virgin perchance?
 
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No. The queen is laying like it's on steroids.

Black backed bees seen on flowers near by. Not drones.

I had bees buzzing my head, bumping into me, one went down my tshirt, aggressively investigating...not just flying by. Normally I can walk up to it, have bees crawl over my hand. When this happened I got no closer than 1 to 2m and they started following me even after I walked away. Something really ticking them off.

The hive is a calm one.

The flight patterns changed from happily in and out to hovering bees going side to side with legs down, noise levels a long way up.

It the same as what happened to the hive next to it.

There is a hive somewhere nearby with dark coloured bees. They seem to be visiting and annoying my hives.
 

Grant

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You maybe need a Chch mentor to take a look, put all our minds at rest. Currently there is not enough for us to go on from your posts, so lets see if someone can take a look
 
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frazzledfozzle

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To me it looks like orientation flights .
you can see the bees coming out and walking up the front of the hive then taking off. They will hover in front for a bit then move further and further from the hive.
an orientation flight is noisy and can look like swarming /robbing
 
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I also agree with others that your big black backed bees are probably drones from your own hives.
If the activity in front of the hive you videoed lasted for less than 1/2 hour im pretty sure it’s orientation flights if it was robbing they would stay at it all day and would be all over the hive and sniffing all round the cracks
Orientation wouldnt explain all the dead bees a week ago .. over two days.

I'm happy the girls are fending off outsiders. The crack visible has been reblocked just in case (there were always 4 - 8 bees investigating which would immediately fly away or at you if you got close) .

It's also noticeable there are bees picking up dead bees and flying off keeping the concrete clean.

Appreciate the advice. Thanks.
 

frazzledfozzle

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Orientation wouldnt explain all the dead bees a week ago .. over two days.

I'm happy the girls are fending off outsiders. The crack visible has been reblocked just in case (there were always 4 - 8 bees investigating which would immediately fly away or at you if you got close) .

It's also noticeable there are bees picking up dead bees and flying off keeping the concrete clean.

Appreciate the advice. Thanks.

you will always get dead bees outside a hive and they are particularly noticeable on concrete.
I honestly think if it was robbing the bees would still be attacking the first hive you posted about.

Did the bees in your video stop the hovering in front of the hive after a half hour or less or were the bees still doing the same thing right up till dusk ?
were the bees back in the morning doing the same thing ?

Bees in a robbing frenzy wont just rob for a few hours they will keep going till the hive is cleaned out.

have you had a look on YouTube at the difference between robbing and orientation ?
 
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