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Thread: robbing!!!

  1. #1

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    I've been trying to feed my two hives to help them build up winter stores and things were going good. I fed them yesterday (appx. 1/2 gallon each 2:1 syrup) and everything looked ok. This evening there is pandamonium outside with bees flying everywhere, there are dozens wrestling on the landing board and deck beneath them. I can't tell if one of the hives is robbing the other or if is another colony. I did notice quite a few going in and out of a nuc box I had sitting behind the hives - that I've never seen before. I won't have a chance to check them in daylight until Friday morning. Is it possible that another swarm has found the nuc box and began robbing my other two hives? The wrestling is going on in both of my hives, not just one as I would think would be the case if one was robbing the other. If this is so, how do I prevent them from taking everything they've worked so hard to store. I'd hate to lose them to robbing now!!! Thanks in advance, I'm sure you all will have lots of help for me. Thanks.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Raleigh, North Carolina
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    3,598

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    why don't you screen the entrance shut right now
    they'll be ok till friday (won't they? I'm a rookie, I would think they would if they have feed)
    how are you feeding them, entrance feeder or something internal?

    Dave

  3. #3

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    I've got a wax lined box (like a drawer; I work in a cabinet shop) sitting on top of the bars in the rear of the hive with a bar removed for access.

    screen, just like window screen? I'll try that, I might be able to get to them by tomorrow afternoon. Thanks for the prompt reply.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Raleigh, North Carolina
    Posts
    3,598

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    use the search function on the 101 forum and read about robber screens
    they've been discussed a lot lately

    Dave

  5. #5

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    I went out last night and put an entrance reducer in both hives and rubbed a little vicks near the entrance and today it seems that they are much more docile. I will check them more closely tomorrow, but for now they look ok.

    The robber screens look interesting. Do they really work? Some have said that they leave them on year-round - wouldn't that defeat the purpose? If the home bees leave the hive at the bottom, crawl up to the top of the robber screen to leave, wouldn't their scent eventually lead robber bees to the real entrance? If they really work as well as some say, would it be a good idea to incorporate a built-in robber screen when building the TBH? Just curious.

    PS does styrofoam harm the bees? I put foam packing peanuts in my syrup feeders for floats. Today, after the robbing yesterday, both feeders are empty and they have started destroying the peanuts. There is styrofoam dust in the bottom of the feeders and a few larger pieces left. It didn't look like (a quick glance) they were taking it into the hive, just tearing it apart. Any ideas?

    Thanks a lot Dave for all the help!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Hirschbach, Bavaria, Germany
    Posts
    643

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    When you fed you probably started a robbing frenzy this time of year. Keep old used equipment away from your yard it does not hurt they will just waste time exploring it. Styrofoam is ok for the feeder it does not hurt but it helps a lot. Next time you think your hives are robbing each other pop the lids off both and pull a few bars and observe if it is just your hives it should stop, beware of the possibility it is the neighbors hives.
    Procrastination is the assassination of inspiration.
    www.customwoodkitsinternational.com

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,313

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    >The robber screens look interesting. Do they really work?

    Yes.

    >Some have said that they leave them on year-round - wouldn't that defeat the purpose?

    No. The locals know how to get in. The robbers go by smell and not by a remembered path. I can't explain why they do, but they do.

    >If the home bees leave the hive at the bottom, crawl up to the top of the robber screen to leave, wouldn't their scent eventually lead robber bees to the real entrance?

    No. The robbers keep trying to get in where they smell is and never figure it out, in any significant numbers.

    > If they really work as well as some say, would it be a good idea to incorporate a built-in robber screen when building the TBH? Just curious.

    Not a bad idea. But on a strong hive in a strong flow they will slow things down a little.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

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