The attack part II

6 Jul

Not 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. They must have gone back to their hives and told everyone where to go for free goodies. To try to help our bees defend the hive, we tried to block the entrance off so that the bees only had a few places to defend.

Blocked hive entrance

We also stuffed some of the holes with grass so that bees couldn’t get in but at least they’d have some ventilation.

bee rumbles on the porch

There were so many bees hovering around the hive, it was hard to tell who was from our hive and who was trying to sneak by the guard bees. I witnessed so many bee fights. The grass in front of the hive is a graveyard of bees.

Wounded Bee in the grass

The other thing we tried was to put vapor rub on the hive. The thinking is to mask the smell of honey from the robber bees. Our bees wouldn’t be able to smell the hive either but because they know where it is, they should be able to get back. I had a hard time putting the stuff on the hive because I was afraid the bees would be harmed by the tingly icy hot feeling.

Then we tried to cover the entire hive with a queen sized sheet.

wetting the queen sized sheet

The sheet is also supposed to limit the amount of bees that can enter the hive. Bees also don’t like to be damp so wetting the sheet is supposed to deter them.

covering the hive

I spent a lot of time this weekend monitoring the hive. I re-wet the sheet when it got dry and tried to shake out the bees that were crawling on the inside.

We were lucky that Sunday was a rainy damp day. The robber bees had to huddle together outside and were more concerned about staying warm than entering the hive. I worry that some of these are our bees and not robbers but it is very hard to tell. I feel like a worried mother.


7 Responses to “The attack part II”

  1. Buzty July 6, 2011 at 9:39 am #

    ha! i love reading these. I had a feeling this would get messy! xox

  2. CoSpirit July 6, 2011 at 10:19 am #

    i think you should round up your most powerful military bees and devise a full counter attack with equal or greater force!

  3. Honey Pat July 6, 2011 at 8:20 pm #

    What a huge responsibility protecting your brood!!

  4. Meg Paska July 12, 2011 at 11:42 am #

    Looks like you put the sheet on AFTER the robbing frenzy was through. If it was still going strong you probably wouldn’t feel too comfortable sitting near them and approaching them before hand with shorts on.

    Sam Comfort was also correct in that he stated that the hive beetles are the symptom of a bigger problem: a weak colony. Strong colonies usually keep the beetles under control but in the meantime you’d do well to set up a trap and work on helping to bolster the population in that hive. Do you have a strong colony that you can take a frame of capped brood from to help get their house bee population up?

    • brooklynlovebug July 12, 2011 at 12:00 pm #

      I only have this one hive so I don’t have access to a grame of capped brood. I did order a new queen so hopefully we can get her in there successfully and we can build the population up. Any tips on the best way to requeen?


  1. Millstone Farm « Lovebugs and the Brooklyn Bees - July 14, 2011

    […] most interested in how the hive was doing. As Janine has been posting, our hive has been seriously struggling . So much so that J and I believe that we may not even have a queen anymore. Not to worry, […]

  2. Sad Face « Lovebugs and the Brooklyn Bees - August 12, 2011

    […] think the hive is a fit place to live. I don’t blame them really with the beetles, the robbing, and the heat wave we had in Brooklyn. The new queen probably was released from her cage and then […]

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