The Attack

5 Jul

After the hive inspection where we found out that our hive is infested with small hive beetles, we made a huge mistake. We took out two old frames that had nectar on them and left them leaning on the hive. Our thinking was that our bees could collect the nectar and take it back into the hive.

Frames leaning on the hive

Unfortunately, leaving exposed nectar or honey promotes robbing. Basically we left out the goodies for any bee in the neighborhood to come collect.

Bee sending an alter signal


At first the bees were just trying to take the nectar from the frames. But then they were trying to get into our hive! It was like witnessing a war. Bees were tumbling, ripping each others wings off, and free falling from the sky in an entangled battle. It was carnage. The grass in front of the hive became a grave yard. I feel completly responsible for the attack and spent most of the weekend guilt stricken. Keeping bees alive is really hard work. I can’t imagine what raising a child will be like.

5 Responses to “The Attack”

  1. Buzty July 5, 2011 at 11:17 am #

    Oh nooo!!! In parenting… there are always mistakes but you lern from them!

  2. Emily Heath July 5, 2011 at 4:40 pm #

    The monthly newsletter I get from the British Beekeepers’ Association arrived today and I’ve just been reading an article on feeding honey back to bees and robbing.

    It makes an interesting point that all through the spring and summer, bees have associated nectar with flowers. By feeding back nectar in frames to a colony, bees will learn that other hives also are nectar sources, which tends to encourage colonies to rob others. To lessen the problems caused by this, only give the frames back to the bees inside their hive and put an entrance reducer block on all your hives once you start feeding back, to make the entrance easier for the guard bees to defend.

    You weren’t to know that would happen, so you shouldn’t feel guilty. You’ll know for next time now. Hopefully raising a child will be a picnic after coping with 60,000 or so troublesome insects!


  1. The attack part II « Lovebugs and the Brooklyn Bees - July 6, 2011

    […] only do we have hive beetles attacking the bees from the inside, we have robbing bees attacking from the outside. The day after we did the hive inspection, the robbing bees were out in full force. […]

  2. Attending a Bee Meeting « Lovebugs and the Brooklyn Bees - July 11, 2011

    […] beach day so that I could go to a bee event. I know, it sounds absurd. But given the recent events and the current state of my hive, I felt that I needed to make some beekeeping friends. I tried to […]

  3. Cleaning House « Lovebugs and the Brooklyn Bees - April 23, 2012

    […] of you may remember, last year’s hive was riddled with small hive beetles , was a victim of robbing and was a bit of a mess. So the other weekend I took apart the hive and washed it down. I scraped […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: