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Robbed... can I save colony?

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New Bee

Joined: 16 Mar 2012
Posts: 8
Location: U.S., Ohio, Akron area

PostPosted: Tue Oct 07, 2014 7:25 pm    Post subject: Robbed... can I save colony? Reply with quote

I got home from an overseas trip to find that I had made a big mistake: I didn't close up the entrances before I left. My biggest, most thriving colony is suddenly GONE and every trace of honey is gone. There is still a good deal of pollen, though. There is about an inch of dead bees on the floor of the hive. Maybe I'm wrong, but I think was robbing.

Next hive over (of my 3) still has a large number of bees, but it looks like all of their honey is gone except for what's at the tops of the inner combs. I didn't open everything completely to check for a queen & brood because I was so upset and figured it was a lost cause. There is no way they can survive the winter with no honey. I closed up their entrances, all except one small one.

My question is whether there is anything I can do in October in Northeast Ohio to give these bees enough to eat for the winter. I'm thinking they don't have enough time to get the moisture out of sugar syrup. Can I buy honey and put it in their feeders (Boardman type) over the next month or so? I know it's not recommended to get honey from another source, but I just don't have enough of my own.

The other question is how to protect my 3rd hive from the same fate. Is it enough to close them up tighter, or should I do the wet bedsheet thing preemptively? I'm just guessing that the robbers would try that one next when either thwarted or finished with this one.
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Conserving wild bees

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