In response to the post about eternal drones & the unusual behaviour for the time of year this is a picture of the bandit bees that have broken into a weaker colony across the garden & taken over. It didn’t take them long. I noticed a determined line of bees coming & going from this colony at 10.00 this morning, followed it & found a bit of a massacre! It’s all gone quiet now at 3pm. I am wondering whether they will partially inhabit this hive as there are a LOT of them in their original hive. No drones though that I have seen. In fact no drones among any of the colonies here.
The cooler weather didn’t put off these bees & hasn’t ever since they arrived mid july this year. They can be seen in all weathers, bringing back pollen in large quantities & now of course the greatest prize of all….someone else’s honey!! Hopefully they will at least have filled some of the above gaps in the comb with this thieved honey. The top photo was taken about 3 weeks before the bottom photo so they are evidently getting some stores from somewhere.
Survival of the fittest, for sure.
They had evidently tried to invade another colony too who were out in their numbers at the entrances, obviously “bugged” & in defence mode!! I reduced the entrance to one for that colony & left them to it. They soon settled down to bringing in pollen & seemed to be more relaxed.
I wanted to post a video of the robbing but sadly IT capabilities are not quite there.
I am wondering if the bees are outdoing themselves in vim & vigour due to the constantly milder weather we are experiencing, instead of hunkering down & conserving energy.