Hi, This is Adriana, the beekeeper from South Mountain Bees.
Earlier this month my bees were attacked.
I started making screens to protect the other hives, and then the Japanese bamboo started blooming.
Japanese bamboo (Fallopia Japonica), also known as Japanese knotweed is a bee favorite, and there is a lot of it in our area. You see it on roadsides and river banks all over. There's so much of it that we are able to get a fall honey harvest from it often.
However, even if it is a bee favorite, please don't plant it. It is an invasive species in New York and New Jersey. It grows so densely that it prevents native species from establishing, which reduces bio-diversity as well as wildlife habitat. It thrives in full sun as well as shade. It tolerates high temperatures, high salinity and even drought. It spreads through rhizomes as well as seeds, and once established it is hard to eradicate. In other words, a super-weed.
We have a constant battle in our vegetable garden, because the lot behind us is full of Japanese bamboo. We don't use any chemical means to try to remove it, because of the bees. Therefore we are in constant perimeter management pulling seedlings and digging roots. Not fun.
Anyhow, back to the bees. Since the Japanese bamboo started blooming last week, I thought we might be out of the dearth and out of the risk of robbing. I was about to remove the screens and other barriers I used to deter or at least minimize the damage of a robbing episode. I'm glad I didn't, and I regret not having protected all hives, because it happened again.
Here you can see a short clip of what happened. This was right after I stapled the robbing screen to the entrance of the hive. You can see on the ground the yellow brush I used to clear up the front of the hive. It was covered solid with bees.
I posted a FB live soon after I took this video. You can see that the robbers dissipated relatively quickly, and the bees coming from the field had to find the new entrance. They were loaded with pollen. Have a look!
Posted by Adriana Compagnoni on Wednesday, August 19, 2020
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