Da Bees is not having an easy time with this hot weather. They work all day and sit out on the porch fanning the hive in the evening to cool the hive off while the rest of the gals process the day's intake, tend to the queen, raise the young, and do all the other Bee Chores. They seem to be a bit aggravated with human contact this time of year, so I leave 'em alone for the most part.
I recently lost a " walk away" split, a hive division in which you put a couple frames of bee, honey and eggs together, and they'll make a new hive by laying a queen. They were doing fine. Here's my take on the proceedings. Don't know if it would stand up in a Court of Bees.
A bout three weeks ago a friend bought a Nuc over, same sort of split, and left it at my place. Two days later the nuc was empty, gone, vamoosed, and all the honey gone and the sugar water Jim put in the hive to feed them...gone...I figured they got robbed, but I didn't see lots of dead bees...maybe they just went on vacation, or joined up with a new bunch with a queen, so as not to have to raise one. They were gone, long gone.
I went away for the weekend, and when I came home, MY split was decimated. Dead bees, no honey or brood, and them little suckers had worked their butts off and were doing fine. They was robbed! I check all my other hives, all strong ones, and they were fine. I figure some robber bees got a foothold in the Nuc of Jim's, ran 'em off robbed 'em, killed 'em, something. No dead bees to corroborate my theory in that disappearance. Mine was just attacked by savages, maybe one of my own hives, and wiped out...just they little bleached bones on the door step.
The lesson seems to be don't let someone bring a weak hive to your apiary. It might end in disaster for both of you.
We call ourselves beekeepers, but all we do is tend them, they gonna' do what they been doing for thousands of years despite the best laid plans of mice and men. Oh, you can study the little critters, you can read volumes about them, but you still can't second guess them. They know, you don't. I suppose some bee person will post a comment that "You big dummy, everybody knows that", and give me a dope slap.
I sorta' feel the less you mess with 'em the better off you, and they, are. I'm not in it for the money, just a little honey. I like having some of the gals around to play in my garden and make me a gallon or two of honey every year. What ever maintenance I have to do is simple enough. I'll just have to learn to pay attention to what they want me to know.
I sure do have fun watching them, and get stung enough not to have bad arthritis. They die when they sting, you know. Just think, they defend the queen to the end...guess someone has to. Queens ain't born everyday these days, they sorta' out of fashion, excepting the the bee world.