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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Location
    Lakeside, Ca
    Posts
    86

    Default OK -- the robber bees made a visit today !

    I happened to be looking out our back window at our new (gentle bees) hive. Man, it looked like they were swarming at the entrance. I walked out to take a closer look. What I encountered were not our easy going bees that prefer not to sting or even be concerned with our presence. These bees were very aggressive. Instantly I knew, these are not our bees, they must be robbers trying hard to move in and take the hive over. I went and got a long sleeve shirt, gloves and a veil on and proceeded to the hive so as to remove the outside quart feeder. Yes, I had read around here that the outside feeders might invite trouble. I'm not sure that's what enticed the robbers in ? The gentleman who we bought our hive from a month ago said to me the other day that, "several of the hives that he sold to others the same time that we bought ours had already been destroyed by robber bees."

    These unwelcome intruders acted like killer bees ??

    All is well and calm now at the hive entrance. Our gentle bees are going in and out doing their work.

    I guess they fought the robbers off ?? For now anyway.

    M-Bob

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Morro Bay, California, USA
    Posts
    1,229

    Default Re: OK -- the robber bees made a visit today !

    Prepare a robber screen tonight. Put it on at first light tomorrow.

    Move the hive. -- Once the AHB robbers have targeted the hive location they are **not** going to leave it alone.

    The robber screen can built of window screen and staples. The principle is the hive scent is released at a different location than a serpentine path to the entrance. The robbers target on the scent and do not find the serpentine path, while the home bees do.

    Moving the hive allows the home bees time to reorganize themselves without the robber pressure.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Oyster Bay, NY, USA
    Posts
    219

    Default Re: OK -- the robber bees made a visit today !

    When you move it, put a branch right in front of the entrance so when your nice bees come out, they will know immediately that something is different and they'll reorient to the new location. Otherwise they may just fly back to the old location and be confused about where their hive went.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Lamar Co. Alabama, USA
    Posts
    1,637

    Default Re: OK -- the robber bees made a visit today !

    I don't use the entrance feeders for anything but water. Syrup always invites robbers in my experience. I switched to only hive top feeders or a jar feeder inside a super or deep box. Not had many issues since unless the jar leaks,

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Louisville, KY
    Posts
    2,076

    Default Re: OK -- the robber bees made a visit today !

    Quote Originally Posted by Westhill View Post
    When you move it, put a branch right in front of the entrance so when your nice bees come out, they will know immediately that something is different and they'll reorient to the new location. Otherwise they may just fly back to the old location and be confused about where their hive went.
    This doesn't work. Im not sure why so many people recomend.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Location
    Lakeside, Ca
    Posts
    86

    Default Re: OK -- the robber bees made a visit today !

    Entrance feeder was removed -- I will purchase one of the inside frame replacement type of feeders in the next few days.

    The gentleman we bought our bees from said to, " keep the entrance restricted to a small opening."
    He also said that, "he thought that the robbers had been warded off."
    He is a local bee keeper with around 100 hives and made no mention of relocating the hive.

    A quick peek into #2 box yesterday evening reveled -- all back to calm with the correct number of bees inside the hive.

    Thank you guys for your replies
    M-Bob

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Location
    Lakeside, Ca
    Posts
    86

    Default Re: OK -- the robber bees made a visit today !

    Quote Originally Posted by burns375 View Post

    Quote Originally Posted by Westhill View Post
    When you move it, put a branch right in front of the entrance so when your nice bees come out, they will know immediately that something is different and they'll reorient to the new location. Otherwise they may just fly back to the old location and be confused about where their hive went.


    This doesn't work. Im not sure why so many people recomend.
    I'm thinking that cramming grass into the opening would work better than laying a branch there ?
    By the time in which they remove the grass -- probable location reset ?
    M-B

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Laurel Hill, Fl
    Posts
    651

    Default Re: OK -- the robber bees made a visit today !

    I assume you only have one hive? The mean bees can be yours, once they go into defense mode because of an attack, they will be very aggressive. I've had very gentle hives attack each other, and they aren't gentle when they go to war. That's the number one way I tell it it's robbing.

    Sprinklers work great to stop robbing if you have water at the bee hives, another good way to stop them is a wet sheet. Robbing screens are the best, if they fit tight, most of the time reduced entrances on all the hives will stop it. I can tell you that you better stop it soon. I've had small hives killed in the length of time I was at work...
    Robbin NW Florida(8A) / 13 hives / 3 nd Year / T {OAV}

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Location
    Lakeside, Ca
    Posts
    86

    Default Re: OK -- the robber bees made a visit today !

    Quote Originally Posted by Robbin View Post

    Sprinklers work great to stop robbing if you have water at the bee hives, another good way to stop them is a wet sheet.
    Haven't heard of that. Yes, I have a hose bib 15 feet from the hive. Hit them with water when they are fighting -- that makes sense.

    I don't understand the wet sheet ?
    Just lay a wet sheet over the hive ?

    M-B

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Location
    Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania, USA
    Posts
    268

    Default Re: OK -- the robber bees made a visit today !

    I've witnessed similar behavior with my weakest nuc. I assumed it was robbing behavior, but this being my first year, I wasn't sure. I made several changes the most notable being- changing the entrance size, removing the vented cover I made, and mixing a new batch of syrup without Honey B Healthy. My guess is that those robbing bees were catching the scent of the feed thanks to the vented top. It's probably a combination of these things that helped and I'll admit right now that I've read of similar issues with HBH in the forum, but now that nuc seems fairly un-bothered. Mission accomplished regardless.
    Zones 6A & 6B

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Location
    Lakeside, Ca
    Posts
    86

    Default Re: OK -- the robber bees made a visit today !

    I do appreciate all of the good input here
    all looked good at the hive this morning
    have a nice day Mountain Man Bob

  12. #12
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Laurel Hill, Fl
    Posts
    651

    Default Re: OK -- the robber bees made a visit today !

    Quote Originally Posted by mountainmanbob View Post
    Haven't heard of that. Yes, I have a hose bib 15 feet from the hive. Hit them with water when they are fighting -- that makes sense.

    I don't understand the wet sheet ?
    Just lay a wet sheet over the hive ?

    M-B
    Yep, I keep an old sheet, dunk it in water and place it over the hive. Completely stops robbing because it seals off the hive I usually leave it on thru the next day or they start up again a dawn.
    Once the cycle is broken, it usually stops. Then I remove the sheet and make sure the entrance reducers are on and turned to the smallest opening.
    The water is to give it enough weight to resist being blown off. Think of it as a giant robbing screen....
    Robbin NW Florida(8A) / 13 hives / 3 nd Year / T {OAV}

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Lamar Co. Alabama, USA
    Posts
    1,637

    Default Re: OK -- the robber bees made a visit today !

    Quote Originally Posted by burns375 View Post
    This doesn't work. Im not sure why so many people recomend.
    Maybe the bees in Kentucky never read about the "branch right in front of the entrance" trick. Works every time for me, although sometimes I use a 3' piece of 2"X12".

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Location
    Lakeside, Ca
    Posts
    86

    Default Re: OK -- the robber bees made a visit today !

    Went and bought one of the large round plastic inside feeders today at the local bee supply. Gezz, on installation I got a little sloppy! Just what I didn't wish to do. Don't want the robbers coming back. Seeing them in action once, was enough for me -- and our bees.
    M-B

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Location
    Lakeside, Ca
    Posts
    86

    Default Re: OK -- the robber bees made a visit today !

    Well, both visits by the robber bees I can blame on myself ! Yes, after as in the above post, getting a little sloppy yesterday, the robbers were back in short time. I have some low output hose spay heads that I pointed just over the entrance, This kept the robbers off their mark. Once again, all is well today. I'm the one who needs to be very careful with this feeding issue.

    The hive was not level and when I went to shim up the inside feeder the juice slopped around, and eventually some ran out the front of the hive and down and onto the ground and then it was in short time on for the robber bees.

    MB

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