When I return home from work each day I like to check on the hives. Today I noticed what looked like Robbing behavior occurring at Mary’s entrance. I removed the entrance reducers (blocks of wood) during Sunday’s inspection. I thought with the warmer weather the bees just needed the room to move. We are looking at 85 degrees this weekend. Anyway, I did not see any great piles of dead bees from fighting on the ground. There was, however, some very aggressive behavior at the entrance. Bee on bee, plus it was the bobbing that got my attention in the first place.
It dawned on me then that in the aftermath of Mary’s swarm she does not have the power to defend her borders. I’m so silly. I retrieved the 2 reducers that came with the bottom boards for both hives. I removed the feeders; I’m done with them now. Then put the reducers in place using the wide setting.
The wide setting because 1) - I still want room for the bees to move. 2) – Myrina can take care of herself. 3) – The single bee sized hole will bake the bees this weekend. Both hives got the reducers since I don’t know whose bees are doing the Robbing; there are several other Keepers within a mile of the yard. Mary got an additional block limiting her entrance to about 5 bees across. This she should be able to defend.
I checked on them 30 minutes later and all was calm. Although for the record as soon as I put the reducer on Myrina *ALL* the guard bees came out to protest. Perhaps nothing was happening in the first place or I caught it as it began. I don’t know. It was, however a good exercise to teach me to aid the bees in protecting themselves. I’ll leave the reducers on till we hit 80 degrees. Then I’ll take Myrina’s off but Mary’s must stay until she has more bees