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Thread: Robber screen

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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2009
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    roswell, georgia, USA
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    720

    Default Robber screen

    I know the answer is here somewhere - just having difficulty locating.

    I have heard/seen that by forcing the bees to enter the hive thru a particular screen size (#4?) helps the guard bees to better defend, and that the robbers are reluctant to enter. This is NOT an entrance reducer, per se, in that the entire entrance is open - just covered with this screen large enough to let one bee pass thru each screen hole.

    Is #4 the right size, and does this method seem to help?
    EAS Georgia Certified. "Tradition - Even if you have done it the same way for years doesn't mean that it is not stupid."

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Flora,IL
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    2,646

    Default Re: Robber screen

    most of the robber screens don't work that way. they work by relocating the entrance to the upper edge of the screen.

    The house bees quickly learn how to walk around, but the robbers keep trying to get thru the screen directly

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    North Bend, WA
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    504

    Default Re: Robber screen

    Take a look at this one:



    You see a nice bald-faced hornet on the outside sniffing at the sugar-water near the covered entrance on the lower left. Meanwhile, the bees are using the secret entrance on the upper right.

    And yes, I put the cleat down too low on this box. Had to make a shortie. Lesson learned.

    The #4 type screen you describe is typically used for a mouse guard, and not a robber screen.
    Last edited by iwombat; 08-13-2009 at 02:59 PM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2009
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    roswell, georgia, USA
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    Default Re: Robber screen

    Thanks for the responses!!!

    I see how the screen presents a false entrance to the hive, and may provide additional ventillation, but if you are only presenting a real entrance large enough for (5?) bees to pass, how is this different than the normal entrance reducer?

    I understand that the location of the entrance will confuse robbers, but just can't the guard bees take care of such a small entrance?

    I see robber guards made out of metal that fit into/onto the bottom board that have a half-dozen or so holes (they say 3/8") drilled thru them on the advertisers web sites - are these worthless? Are they not somewhat doing the same thing as a screen pass-thru by putting a 'revolving' stile at the entrance vs a 14 & 3/4" by 3/4" in gap for the groupies without tickets to run thru?
    EAS Georgia Certified. "Tradition - Even if you have done it the same way for years doesn't mean that it is not stupid."

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Dudley, Massachusetts, USA
    Posts
    194

    Default Re: Robber screen

    Quote Originally Posted by hoodswoods View Post
    I see robber guards made out of metal that fit into/onto the bottom board that have a half-dozen or so holes (they say 3/8") drilled thru them on the advertisers web sites
    I think what you are describing is a mouse guard not a robber screen.

    I built my own robber screen from some pictures on the internet:


    I transferred a Nuc to a 10-frame hive (the Nuc wasn't near my bee yard), and immediately put on the robber screen, but I think the bees who left and then returned couldn't get back in, so they went to my hive next door (1 foot away). After a couple of days of what looked to me like diminishing numbers of forragers, I took off the screen.

    Is it reasonable that the robber screen kept the returning bees from being able to find the entrance?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    North Bend, WA
    Posts
    504

    Default Re: Robber screen

    The entrance inside the robber screen into the hive as well as the outside entrance into the screen is only about 3/4" wide. It vents the smells of all the goodies in the hive through the screen which is where the robbers congregate. I put the one in the picture on after that hive was completely robbed out by yellowjackets through a 3/4" entrance reducer. And I do mean completely - even the capped cells were torn out. A reduced entrance is sometimes not enough to keep a weak (or new) colony from getting decimated by robbers.

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