Native bees robbing mother hive
Recently my friend Dean was out and about and discovered a Native bee hive that was starting a new colony.
There is a bit of information out there that suggests when native bees are setting up a new hive, they send out the workers, fly out a virgin queen and boom, it’s done. We discovered something else. Native bees actually return the the mother hive each morning and take what they need to build in their new nest and continue to do this for some time.
We made a little movie about this below. Hope you enjoy native bees robbing mother hive.
It was very funny to see the bees come out with their little leg baskets full of coloured resin.
Native bees robbing observations.
I have seen a fair share of native bees setting up home in different places now. With one of my hockingsi regulatory choosing to occupy one of my neighbors compost bins. From start to finish native bees do take a lot of things from the mother colony. Resins and wax are the main resource because they are the most time consuming thing to gather. I have also seen bees leaving with pollen and resin in their mandibles. I can only presume they carry nectar across also. One of the first things native Stingless bees prepare is a bed of resin for the queens arrival. She has never been present on the first day of colonization from my observations. After this bed is in place which takes a few days the bees do fly a queen in and sometimes 2 or more. Honey and pollen pots start to be made in readiness for her to start laying in cells. Its a crucial time for the survival of a new colony and bees work at double speed to make sure its successful.
Hi Nick! Fascinating video! What did you mark the bees with?? – Kara
We tried many different things. A good mix is chalk and talc. Choosing a colour to use is up to you. 🙂
Graham Sanders2 hours ago
In support of this robbing and mutual access of related hives, I make new C. hickingsi hives by simply taking some comb from two (yes two) closely related hives that I split less than a year ago. I put them together in the new box. Not only is there no fighting, its total acceptance of the two different colonies.Also I note quite often when I do this I get a sort of fighting swarm about a week later (if there are no queen cells). BUT its not a fighting swarm, as there are no casualties at all. I think this is a swarm from the new hive, wanting (or abducting) a young queen from the mother hive.Hope this helps