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Thread: Robber screen

  1. #1
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    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
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    Flora,IL
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    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
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    North Bend, WA
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    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
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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
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    Dudley, Massachusetts, USA
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    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
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    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.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
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    reidville, sc
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    Default Re: Robber screen

    robber_screen_10_frame.jpg
    Here's a similar robber screen I use. JUst two entrance holes on top. The robbers bounce off the screen and the home bees know the correct way in and out. I use them with a new package of bees also.

  8. #8
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  9. #9
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    Mar 2011
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    Fort Worth, TX, USA
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    Default Re: Robber screen

    I painted my robber screen's wood white, built it from the photos on Michael Bush's site. But my robbers were too diligent for a duct tape mount, they would peel the duct tape back and start slipping in under the wood on the sides, widen the top. I will be building new improved robber screens before spring. With metal clips that mount to screws on my hive boxes, easy on, easy off, before I buy ONE MORE BEE.

    My point though, was that my bees were having difficulty with my white hive deep and white robber screen. I needed to put paint by the entrance I THINK. I was thinking bright yellow or green. Has anyone else had little lost bee syndrome? Or would I only be helping the robbers navigate?

    Gypsi
    Time to be a gypsy again, 2014 will be my prep year, my bees want a better area with actual rainfall.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
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    Lincolnton, NC
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    Default Re: Robber screen

    I'm building robber screens like pictured above for mating nucs. I'll be introducing bees and a queen cell into them in a few weeks after the flow is over. Will the screens make it more difficult for the queen to find the nuc entrance on her mating flights?

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Dixon, MO, USA
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    60

    Default Re: Robber screen

    Okay, after trying several nucs early in spring that were robbed out, I put a robber screen on a nuc before I released them. I have the entrance at the side and I just don't think they can figure it out. Does the entrance HAVE to be at the top? I'm going to go add one up top, hoping it helps before the queen hatches and needs to find her way out and in. Sheesh, sometimes my bees don't read the same helping hints as me.

  12. #12
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    Aug 2005
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    Silicon Valley, CA
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    Default Re: Robber screen

    Here is a link to a PDF file from UC Davis. It shows a robbing screen that is completely open across the top and works quite well and is easy to build.

    http://entomology.ucdavis.edu/facult...bingscreen.pdf

  13. #13
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    Nov 2011
    Location
    Fremont, Ca
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    3

    Default Re: Robber screen

    Hey this is my first post been reading this forum since October last year! bought Michael Bush's book great book. started with one hive last year and now have 8 strong hives. My question is for Mr Bush. I have made top entrance covers for my hives just like you pictured in the book.
    What kind of entrance reducers do you use for top entrance covers. Do not recall seeing that in your book, maybe I missed it.
    Thanks Bill

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    Default Re: Robber screen

    Probably half of mine don't have any reducers. The other half have a piece of screen molding cut about 1 1/2" to 2" short of filling the entrance with a nail in the center for a pivot.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

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