Tip To Avoid Drift Fighting

This month, James Orr from Coffs Harbour branch shares a tip to avoid drift fighting.

To bee, or not to bee was the question I pondered to myself regarding splitting one of my hives.

Three weeks ago, I decided it was time to split one of Tetragonula carbonaria stingless beehives, I had at that point three TC hives within a seventeen square metre area and all three were living peace-fully with one another. The split went very smoothly with minimal bee loss-es, and I was happy with the results however when I put the hives back into their positions and the new hive into its spot, I quickly realised that I should have the night before sealed the other hives. I encountered afterwards three large fighting one in front of the three previous hives due to the bees now being utterly confused and trying to enter the wrong hives, the next day I decided to close the other hives and see if this would help during this period and in hoping the bees would resume back to their new homes.

After five days I opened the hives again and unfortunately the fighting swarms continued though thankfully now were only cantered on one of the hives, which was a positive, however this continued for nine days in total until the swarms all totally subsided, and the bees went back to their hives and back to normal foraging and bee life. I will be now splitting another hive and giving it to a friend as a wedding gift he will be assisting me so he can start to learn about his new bee journey, lesson learned is to make sure the other hives are sealed beforehand to stop a repeat of the experience though it was still a learning experience.

Do you have a tip for rearing bees? Please send to: comoff@australiannativebee.org.au

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