This blog explains how I keep bees. It works for me, it might not work for you. Use my methods at your own risk. Always wear protective clothing and use a smoker when working bees.

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Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Robbing behavior in bees

I have been extracting my honey and should be getting to the end in the near future. I have had the honey in my honey house for a week drying it down before I extracted it. Most of the honey samples beekeepers have bought to me to test for moisture have had low moisture levels. I have seen some higher moisture levels of honey that has come in late. Most of this hasn't had the time to ripen and beekeepers had to take it off to feed or add mite treatments.
 The nectar flow seems to be over. The bees have switched to robbing any open morsel they can find. A fellow beekeeper and myself hauled about thirty supers out of my honey house to load into a truck. Five minutes with the supers not covered in the back of a truck, a cloud of bees developed in short order.
With any movement of honey, the boxes should be covered or moved quickly. The supers we moved were taken to a beeyard and the supers were placed on top of the inner covers. The telescoping covers were then placed on top of the supers. This way works great for the bees to clean all the supers with no robbing.
Wet supers just placed in a beeyard in the open for the bees to clean up leads to robbing behavior. Once the bees are done with the supers they look elsewhere to rob honey. The bees can turn on a healthy hive and overcome the bees and rob out the honey and kill the bees in the process. A whole beeyard can perish with this robbing behavior.