Saturday, June 8, 2013

"Flying" Escape Artists!

With the tower hive all in order, the next day I walked out to the hive to check the top colony's progress in integrating with the bottom colony. So much for blocking the top entrance!


The honey super had a flaw that I did not notice when it was previously stacked with another honey super; the top edge was not flat, and this left enough room for the top colony bees to integrate it into their dastardly plan to use their own separate entrance to the hive.

At this stage the bees were in foraging in strength, and I felt that if I didn't allow an upper entrance I could create even a larger problem when the foragers returned from flight. I flipped the inner cover around to provide an upper entrance to the brood chamber, blocked the corner with tape, and waited. Do you recall those "Candid Camera" episodes where they rearrange entrances and doors after people enter or exit a building , causing them to wander around perplexed and confused? Well, try that with bees sometime. It is every bit as entertaining! It took less than two minutes for a couple of the foragers to figure out that their brethren were enticing them to enter through the inner cover at the top of the brood chamber. Once a couple had laid down their scent the others soon followed, and the colony adapted in short order. I switched out the honey super frame to prevent a recurrence of the problem.

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