It's Robbing Season in the Beek World! Keep an eye on your hives, your entrances and feeders! This time of year as autumn approaches, food sources dry up for insects, bees and yellow jackets. Honey bees become more protective when you go inside for inspections and rightfully so! If you do not normally use a smoker, this is the time of year to have it readily available to keep bees calm and distracted. Bee awar of how much time you are spending in the hive as to not allow pests in during your inspections.
Yellow jackets are usually in abundance in August, in fact we get many calls for bee removal which are usually wasps and yellow jackets and not honey bees. Strong colonies can fend off yellow jackets, but weaker or smaller ones may have some trouble and since yellow jackets are meat eaters, they get in the door and can destroy a hive. BEE sure to reduce your entrances, especially with these cooler morning temps. Wear protective gear near your hives this time of year, even if just doing a quick walk through, wear a veil as the apiary attracts pests and hornets. These special creatures sting multiple times, do not die after they sting, and have a much more acidic venom from their stings which make them more painful than a bee sting. In fact last year I had such a strong allergic reaction to a hornet, we had to call 911! You may want to move your feeders inside. Boardman feeders can be placed in a top box above your inner cover with an empty super over to protect it, inside frame feeders are available and some opt for an open feed away from the hives as long as all honey supers are removed. Keep an eye out and protect those bees from robbers and pests!