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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Dudley, Massachusetts, USA
    Posts
    197

    Question Nuc being robbed; can I close it off? Advice needed.

    Hi All,

    I ended up with a spare queen, so I pulled some frames off of another hive and made a nuc and installed the queen. The honey frames I pulled over were summarily robbed by one of my other hives.

    I decided to feed the nuc with an inverted jar above the inner cover, and put an empty nuc hive body around it. Bees can't get in or out through the top; only through the main entrance.

    But my other hive is once again robbing the nuc, about 2-3 bees per second coming and going through the main entrance.

    Is it OK to close off the nuc for a while? For how long? Like I said, this is a somewhat weak nuc, and I have a pollen patty on the bars. So the nuc has enough to eat (with the feeder jar).

    What can I do to keep the robbing from happening? Should I make up a robbing screen to put on the nuc?

    Advice, please.

    Thanks,

    -- Steven

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Kingsville, OH
    Posts
    959

    Default Re: Nuc being robbed; can I close it off? Advice needed.

    I would close it or reduce the entrance.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
    Location
    Enfield,Ct.
    Posts
    496

    Default Re: Nuc being robbed; can I close it off? Advice needed.

    A robbing screen would help,so would closing the entrance to 3/8 x 2 or less if it's really weak.Just make sure there is enough screened ventilation for this heat.
    If you feed 1 hive during a nectar dearth you are bound to attract bees from surrounding hives.
    Move the nuc to another location??
    Check your feeder to make sure it's not leaking.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Dudley, Massachusetts, USA
    Posts
    197

    Default Re: Nuc being robbed; can I close it off? Advice needed.

    The nuc has a single 1/2" hole, with a spinning disc entrance blocker (now spun to the screened closed position). There are a couple of extra screened vent holes and the nuc is shaded, so ventilation is not a problem.

    Side question - how do you know when there is a dearth?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
    Location
    Enfield,Ct.
    Posts
    496

    Default Re: Nuc being robbed; can I close it off? Advice needed.

    "Side question - how do you know when there is a dearth?"

    Learn the honey plants in your area and when they are in bloom.My flow starts with dandylion and is pretty much done by sumac.No clover in my area.Goldenrod just about to start for the beginning of the fall flow.Seems early this year.

    Watch the brood nest.Russian and CArni queens will slow down egg laying during a dearth and the bees will start to place nectar in the broodnest(as long as you still have empty space in your honey supers).Bees will also be bringing in less pollen when the egg laying decreases.

    Keep an eye on the honey supers.Mine seem to lose weight and have more open cells during a dearth.

    Or get a hive scale.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    moravia,ny
    Posts
    2,108

    Default Re: Nuc being robbed; can I close it off? Advice needed.

    is there any way you could move it a few miles away to let them get settled in. otherwise if you could add a couple frames of brood to make them stronger would help. good luck

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    51,949

    Default Re: Nuc being robbed; can I close it off? Advice needed.

    If you close it off (probably best until the robbers are gone) use screen wire so they don't overheat. Maybe put some kind of feeder with water in so they can cool things off. After the robbers are gone you can figure out what to do next.

    http://www.bushfarms.com/beesrobbing.htm
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 42y 40h 39yTF

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Carrboro, North Carolina
    Posts
    55

    Default Re: Nuc being robbed; can I close it off? Advice needed.

    When you made the split, you left the foragers/guards behind. There's nobody to guard the entrance. If you want a quick fix, you could swap the position of the nuc with a stronger hive. The nuc will pick up some older bees who can defend the hive. (And place something in front of the strong hive entrance so foragers will reorient there and not all go to the nuc.)

    I have noticed that if you pull a split, it takes about a week for house bee promotion to fill the gaps in the ranks of the guards.
    If a colony splits in the wild, who is there to walk away?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    St. Albans, Vermont
    Posts
    7,302

    Default Re: Nuc being robbed; can I close it off? Advice needed.

    Did you make the nuc strong enough to defend themselves?

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