Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Cops And Robbers

The barn antics of yesterday morning were not the end of the farm trauma for the day. Around lunchtime I went out to check the new hive and see if they needed anything - fresh linens, coffee and donuts, sugar syrup...

I like to just stand and watch my hives for a minute or two when I first get out there. BeeTV is fascinating. I've noticed that the bees in my oldest hive tend to fly in on the left side and out on the right side. And they fly in with legs so loaded with yellow or orange pollen you can actually see it from over 6 feet away.

Isn't that neat? (As always, click to biggify.)

This hive seemed odd though. There were plenty of bees flying in and out, but they didn't seem super organized and orderly (very un-beelike). Maybe because this was their first full day in their new spot?

Wait....some of those bees don't look quite right. (Our bees are the small yellow and black striped bees.)

And why are some of them literally rolling out the door and off the front porch?

Robber bees!!!

And the poor bees in my new hive were doing everything they could to defend their new home!

"(POW) Take that!"

"And THAT!"

"Hey lady! Could you put that camera down and give us a hand here? YEESH!"

Sorry guys - I'm on it!

I stuffed some dry grass in three quarters of the door to limit the size of the opening they were having to defend. It took awhile for everyone to figure out the new entrance, but within an hour, things were starting to settle down.

And now that I'm done with lunch again today, I'm getting ready to roll off my porch and see how things look out there.

Bee careful kids!


DayPhoto said...

That was extremely interesting. Extremely. I saw a thing about robber bees on the Discovery Channel one time, but they didn't say the beekeeper could shrink the opening. You are one smart cookie.

Did the bees leave for good or will they be back?


thecrazysheeplady said...

All's well out at the hive today. Calm, orderly, happy bees.

I did find one dead robber bee just outside and picked it up to send to the state for identification (just for curiosity), but am just now remembering that I set it down while I was weed eating. Better go get it before it blows off the fence post!

Anonymous said...

Yikes! That's scary... I noticed in your first pictures that there was some strange looking bees in there. Please let us know what it is if/when you get results back. I hope your little hive continues to bee happy.

melanie said...

I have soooo much to learn about bee keeping! I remember robber bees from something I heard or read, but your images will stick with me. I wondered about the entrance reducer on the I know. And to think, I thought it was to keep the mice out...

thecrazysheeplady said...

You are right- the entrance reducer IS for mice, but also for other times too. And the grass seems to be working just fine ;-).

Michelle said...

I immediately noticed the "black-butt" bees in the first photo and wondered what they were. I still don't know! Please explain to us bee-ignorant, so we won't be-ignorant. :-)

WildBlack said...

OHH! I just loved it! Felt like watching a movie! lol! Nice presentation and story, yeah ofcourse the characters were superb, with impeccable dialogues/commentary. Gorgeous! Did you watch the Bee Movie(animation)? Awesome work! Enjoyed all the way, to the last word! :D
Hope everything is fine with your bees at the moment. :)


thecrazysheeplady said...

I kept thinking I'd catch the bee movie on PPV, but somehow missed it. Thanks for the reminder!

Ed said...

Facinating!!! I had no idea other types of bees steal pollen, great idea shrinking the entrance to stop the bigger robber bees from entering. You learn something new every day..:-)

cyndy said...

Good quick thinking to shrink the entrance!

Ya just never know when you will be called upon to fight a battle with robbers! I'd want you on my side any day of the week!


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