Sunday, July 7, 2013

Bee Vlog - July 6, 2013

I relocated my newest swarm, Queen Jezebel, to another yard. When I moved the hive I found a lot of dead workers piled up under the screened bottom board. Some still dying. Then this morning I saw more dead workers all around the hive, and witnessed some pretty aggressive behavior before and after I opened them up to add a second box. They were not aggressive with me...just each other.

This was a swarm I caught 2 weeks ago and they've been so crowded (thus...the addition of the 2nd box) I wondered if that has contributed to their attitude. But after showing the battle in this video to some other beeks, 2 possible hypotheses have emerged. 1) It's a robbing. 2) This swarm had 2 (or more) queens and the bees are at war to choose a winner (or a victor has emerged and the losers are being exiled).

The first one seems most likely, but weird given the fact that the same thing was happening in both locations. And, while it has some similarities, this doesn't look like a textbook robbing. So I like the 2nd hypothesis. During and after the inspection I got the vibe that there were 2 warring factions living in the same hive. But you'd think this kind of situation would have already been worked out. My personal 3rd hypothesis is that, as we enter a time of dearth this over populated hive can't feed everyone so some bees have got to go. Either way, this footage is getting archived for future reference.

Video Link

**UPDATE** Things settled down a bit after a couple of hours. Still some wrestling, but not as much activity. The next day everything looked normal. Typical foraging activity with pollen coming in.


  1. Did you have any paramoth on that old comb?

    1. I don't use paramoth or any moth crystals. Some of the comb had wax moth at one point, but I pulled out the cocoons and put the frames in the freezer. I pulled them out of the freezer when I went to catch the swarm.