I have a split that is only about 4 frames of bees and brood. Since our flow is over and they really don't have any stores, I put a frame feeder of 1:1 sugar water in.
There must have been robber bees in the hive when I put the feeder in, because in about an hour robbing was in full force. The robbers weren't coming from my other hives, but were heading south.
I put on a robber screen. I thought that I would take the screen off in the evening to let the robber bees go home. I must have got there too late because when I went to take the screen off, no bees left, so I put it back on.
It seems to take the bees in the hive a few days to figure out where the exit hole is. A lot of bees looked like they wanted out, but I let them learn where the opening was.
After a few days, I opened the hive and was surprised how many bees were in there. It didn't look like robbing was going on anymore. It got me wondering whether a bunch of robber bees decided to just stay and make my hive their home.
Let's say I put out a hive with a queen and a couple of frames of bees with a feeder on it and let robbing start in earnest. Then after a few thousand robber bees (from my neighbors hives) are in there, I block off the entrance with a robber screen. I wonder if the robbers would stay after a few days or whether field bees always go home.