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Thread: Help - Robbing

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Nashua, NH, USA
    Posts
    58

    Default Help - Robbing

    Robbing occurring, two langstroth started very late for New Hampshire (mid-June, things unfortunately set starting up back.) They stalled at 12 deep frames drawn since early August, worried about getting two deeps full for winter so I fed. My mistake. Fed with hbh additive, might have spilled a little as frame feeder spills before you get to opening top, the scent drove local bees into a frenzy. Bees were mean for first time ever. Hives became covered in bees, some not my colorations, some climbing then taking off. No fighting. I closed both hives down to single entrance then covered in wet sheet. After two days of rain, the sun finally came out and now bees all over and at sheet.

    1: What next, wait another day with sheet? Close off entirely for a day? (hives have screened bottoms, bottom entrance / currently reduced.) How do I know robbing is over? How long to act against?

    2: Also as it seems that only the original package italian bees really built any comb (not the newly born carniolans, but maybe that was August dearth caused) I'm worried that I only have 12 full combs in each, with lots of brood 7 frames full, and only uncapped honey and pollen on outer frames. Thought they'd fill two deeps. Should I give them the Autumn to prepare or should I unite the two hives???? (Is one - 3 deep hive better than two - 1 deep with a half full deep hives?

    3: How can I feed a weak hive without inducing robbing. Or should you?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Alachua County, FL, USA
    Posts
    6,772

    Default Re: Help - Robbing

    Robbing bees will be frenzied, irregular flight and fighting. You are probably seeing your bees trying to work at this point.
    I would feed for another month or until the weather is consistently in the 50's before deciding to combine.
    americasbeekeeper.com
    beekeeper@americasbeekeeper.com

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Staunton VA
    Posts
    150

    Default Re: Help - Robbing

    If you dont see dead bees there not robbing, When mine fight/rob theres hundreds of dead bees on the ground. Maybe there hot lol or its too humid in hive. Could be a posible swarm, who knows. But if you have a robbing problem, use a top hive feeder, and reduce entrance. I turned my hive a differant direction and it worked, then moved it back a couple days later.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,329

    Default Re: Help - Robbing

    http://www.bushfarms.com/beesrobbing.htm

    Reduce the entrance to one bee wide with screen (the screen will help them ventilate while confusing the robbers) and give them capped honey from the strong hive (preferably the one robbing them). Feed the strong hive.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Boxford, Massachusetts, USA
    Posts
    220

    Default Re: Help - Robbing

    There are often people asking who think their hives are being robbed, and a lot of them will video tape it or take pictures of it. 99% of the time it is just normal hive behavior like orientation flights or something. My hives go crazy every afternoon with orientation flights. If there isn't any fighting then they probably aren't being robbed. Today there is a ton of harvesting activity from my hives. They must have found something really good because their working their butts off. Probably the busiest I have seen them all year.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Nashua, NH, USA
    Posts
    58

    Default Re: Help - Robbing

    Thanks folks for advise. Yeah, It took a lot to convince me to finally conclude robbing, had to read 50 or so threads here, watch video, read MB's page (see link above) before I called it. I watch the bees and usually they fly straight in and out. Instead they were now hovering before darting in, when leaving climbing up hive side then launching with a drop in height then off. The flight pattern has always left the hive in one of 3 ways, now 50% were leaving the hive in the direction they never start off from. Also my bees are mostly of 5 colorations / patterns amongst the super sisters in these two hives, noticed two other stripe patterns (Italian style) that I hadn't seen before as very common, and for the first time some all black, less hairy bees (not like the Russian blacks I've helped work, or the grey Carnies, suspect feral euro-black bees.) So in the end, I hope that I'm just a jumpy newbee and it wasn't robbing, just paranoia.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Nashua, NH, USA
    Posts
    58

    Default Re: Help - Robbing

    OK, final prognosis: Jumpy beekeeper. No robbing. All the above advice was spot on.

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