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Posted by plantinellen 5 (My Page) on
Fri, Aug 5, 11 at 12:08

I'm a newbie beekeeper. I've heard that some honeybees have a tendency to "drift," but I'm not sure I know what that means.

Does drifting refer to just a lack of homing instinct -- the bees just have a tendency to wander off and meet their fates away from the hive -- or does it mean that the bees drift themselves over to another hive and incorporate themselves into that colony? If the latter is true, how do they get past the guard bees, attune themselves to that queen and otherwise get into the good graces of that hive? I'm just curious.

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Drifting

You got it...drifting into another hive, I don't think it's much of
a problem, they get past the guard bees just like a yellow jacket
would. When you think about of giving a hive a brood frames with nurse bees into a strange hive...which is done often, this frame is excepted by the other bees.
I have shaken out hives without a queen and they find a new
home. The same happens with robbing...other bees can past the guard bees cleaning out a weak hive.

RE: Drifting

How would I recognize robbing? I'm wondering why my colony has made so little honey.

RE: Drifting

Hard to say,...I don't think it ever happened to me, at least inside the hive, outside I knew when I took honey super off when nectar flow was over, it wasn't a big deal until I blew them off.

One thing,... one has to learn to read your hive with bee activity, a large hive has lots of traffic and there will be no concern in robbing this one, a small hive, one has to make sure to put entrance reducer on, this way I never had trouble. When you see a normal low hive activity at the small hive and next day ALLOT of traffic, you could have a problem, then opening the hive and see the dwindling in honey store will confirm this.

RE: Drifting

Thanks, Konrad. I'm loving my new hobby, but it's hard to figure out all the indicators. I have, however, recently made the acquaintance of my queen.


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