James and I walked out to the hive this afternoon, for a little honeybee observational therapy. I will sit in front of the hive for half an hour at a time, mesmerized by their activity.
Today, the hive was behaving a bit strangely, with LOTS of activity going on at the entrance. The bees looked aggravated! My first thought (and it’s probably yours too, if you’re a beekeeper) was: “there’s a robbery going on!”
I looked hard at the entrance, trying to detect any bees that may have been out of place. Nothing there. Eventually, the hive calmed down, only to spring to alarm once again! There, descending onto the hive, was an adorably fat and buzzy bumble-bee.
I can tell you that our honeybees found nothing adorable about this bumble-bee as she tried to muscle her way into the hive. She was quite brazen about it, not even bothering to be sneaky with her intentions. Thankfully, Ms. Bumble eventually went away, allowing our hive to proceed with business as usual.
All in all, it was a nice and easy way to be introduced to robbing behavior. I read up a bit on it and now I know to cover the hive with a wet bed sheet should a more serious robbery occur.
Any beekeepers out there? Have you dealt with this occurrence? What did you do?