Thursday, August 29, 2013

Hive absconding

As I was enjoying my lunch sitting in the screened porch overlooking the back yard I notice abnormal activity at the hives.  Thousands of bees circling from ground to tree tops.  As I approached with the camera I saw all the activity coming from # 2 hive.  I sat down in my bee chair next to the hives ( but not close) and observed and listened as there was quite a roar and took a few movie shots of the event.  My first thought was that I had an August swarm and thought about getting my equipment out, but as I watched the bees circling, they began to diminish in numbers and then it was back to normal.   The whole event was maybe 7-8 min.  My guess is that they were being robbed but I went over to the hive to examine the bees on the ground, they were their normal docile selves (not like two days ago).  Beats me!!!  Later I checked the observation window and it seems there are a few less bees in the top box, the lower two I can't see into so don't know what's going on in there.  The honey stores seem to be in tack though so that's even more confusing. Will have to check the trees more closely for a swarm, but they did not act as if they were in the process of swarming, when I was out there.  Later

You'll have to excuse the end of the video, a bee landed on my leg and I was a bit jumpy from the other day.

I  put a sticky board under hive #1 today to get an idea of my mite counts, if any.  Saw lot of beetles again and killed several more.  Seems like the thumb method is pretty sure.  They have been eating at the traps too.  Later

PS:  Just opened my hive and to my un-surprise, found it almost empty of bees.  I guess I just witnessed and absconsion.  So long my little friends.  Its a shame, all you can do is sit there and watch them go, there's nothing that you can do to change their minds.  Will have to do a close inspection to see what was bugging them.  If all looks normal, maybe merge with the other hive.  Later

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