Evidence of Robbing at White Hive

Yesterday at about 5pm there was a lot of activity around the white hive.

There was bees flying all over the yard, behind the hives (which we hardly ever see) and bees bearding on the white hive.

I figured since it was afternoon time, there was a bunch of foragers returning for the afternoon, and they couldn't all get into the hive at the same time and what I was seeing was congestion.

I tried to get closer to see if the bees were fighting or if they were just waiting their turn to get into the hive.  I couldn't get any closer than about 10 feet, as a few started pelting me, so I backed off and left them alone.

Today when I went for my inspection to see if the queen hatched from the queen cells we saw two weeks ago I saw a startling sight on the ground in front of the white hive.

Neither of the hives had feeders on, although both have a decent amount of reserves in the top brood box and we haven't had rain in over a week.

I inspected the white hive and the blue/purple hive, and neither one seemed to have lost any population. I wonder if the bees that are dead here were from a feral hive that tried to rob the white hive?

I wonder why there weren't even more dead bees and how the white hive, who has been without a queen for at least two weeks managed to defend themselves.

I had thought that once robbing starts, if the beekeeper doesn't intervene, the bees will fight to the death (of all the weaker bees) or the weaker ones will just abscond.

Anyway, during my inspection of the white hive, I looked at frame #6, which I saw queen cells on during my last visit, and the cells were gone. I also noticed queen cells with ripped open tops on frame #7.

Since the queen cells were open/gone, and the bees were much calmer during this inspection, I'm hoping they now have a queen! In another week after mating flights, we should start seeing eggs appear in the cells.

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