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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2011
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    Owensboro, KY
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    Default I have A Situation.... Please Help!

    I inspected my hives today, and found a super that was only had 3 frames of uncapped honey. So, I turned it on it's side on top of the hive, on top of the outer cover. I did this so that they would clean the comb and get the honey out of the uncapped super so that I could store it for winter.

    I went out there a few minutes ago, and there are literally thousands of bees robbing the super and all over the front of the hive.

    What should I do?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Fort Worth, TX, USA
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    1,778

    Default Re: I have A Situation.... Please Help!

    I'd throw a sheet over it, move the hive, leave the super for the robbers to finish up. But hindsight is always 20/20
    Time to be a gypsy again, 2014 will be my prep year, my bees want a better area with actual rainfall.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2011
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    Owensboro, KY
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    149

    Default Re: I have A Situation.... Please Help!

    Could I move the super away from the hive. Say ... 50 ft. or so?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    moravia,ny
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    Default Re: I have A Situation.... Please Help!

    well it's cleaned out now. after dark put the super in a protected place and make sure the hive entrance is reduced.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Owensboro, KY
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    149

    Default Re: I have A Situation.... Please Help!

    I went out and reduced the entrances to both hives, moved the super 50 ft. from both hives, and will go out after dark to recover the empty super.

    After looking things over I noticed hundreds of dead bees in front of the hive. I guess I learned my lesson the hard way.

    What is the best way to let the bees clean out a super without triggering a robbing frenzy?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Palm Bay, FL, USA
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    2,297

    Default Re: I have A Situation.... Please Help!

    Set it out away from your hives! We usually set out several pallets of wet supers about 200 feet away from the beeyard; no problems starting a robbing episode.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Hampstead, NC USA
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    608

    Default Re: I have A Situation.... Please Help!

    Robbing is an issue that, I feel, is not cover well enough in the 2 major bee magazines. I also feel the standard hive entrance is crazy big. It took me 2-3 lost hives to realize that these hives died from being robbed out. I would go out and see, what I thought looked like, good activity and the next week there would be a dead out. Now I leave only about 1 1/2" max at the landing board and I've got 3/4" holes just below the cover. If I am feeding or I've got a weak hive I plug some or all of these holes. This has helped a whole lot IMO. I don't know how much stress it puts on a hive that has to fight off intruders but if I had to guess I'd say it is a huge amount of stress on the bees having to defend themselves. Here in SE NC I know the hives are still well ventilated with screened bottoms and the cracks etc. that are between the boxes and covers.
    I've also had the beginnings of robbing while removing supers and once it gets going good there is a ton of bees fighting and dying. I feel one of the basic things to do is remove some supers while there is still a flow and/or cover each one as it comes off and keep them covered until they are in a safe place. I've never had to try this but I've read that if you get mass robbing it's a good idea to open all the hives so they all go on the defense?
    Thanks
    Howard

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Utica, NY
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    9,546

    Default Re: I have A Situation.... Please Help!

    Quote Originally Posted by roostershooter7 View Post
    What is the best way to let the bees clean out a super without triggering a robbing frenzy?
    Put the wet frames inside the hive not outside. If you dropped a million one dollar bills down your chimney as opposed to dropping a million one dollar bills in Time Square what do you think the activity level would be? Don't expect that million down your chimney any time soon!
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Boxford, Massachusetts, USA
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    221

    Default Re: I have A Situation.... Please Help!

    Quote Originally Posted by Acebird View Post
    Put the wet frames inside the hive not outside. If you dropped a million one dollar bills down your chimney as opposed to dropping a million one dollar bills in Time Square what do you think the activity level would be? Don't expect that million down your chimney any time soon!
    I did just that a couple of weeks ago. After extracting a super I returned the super to the hive putting it on top of the inner cover figuring the bees would clean it up and move the honey down into the brood boxes. Instead I had a swarm of bees and yellow jackets fighting and looting so I reduced the bottom entrance and plugged the top entrance.

    Yesterday I went out to do an inspection and found that instead of moving the honey down, they just consolidated and capped it and have started filling the frames again. So I just moved the super back below the inner cover.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
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    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
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    Default Re: I have A Situation.... Please Help!

    Putting honey out next to your hive is something I'm always telling people not to do, but they keep doing it.

    It's like living in a ghetto, and putting your most expensive belongings outside the front door, with a sign saying "there's more inside guys!!'

    If someone feels they just "have" to let bees rob out some comb, at least don't do it right next to the hive. Do it at least a hundred yards away, but more's better. But best of all, don't even do it.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2011
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    Owensboro, KY
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    Default Re: I have A Situation.... Please Help!

    What is the alternative to allowing the bees to rob the uncapped honey comb?

    I tried shaking it out of the comb, and it won't shake out. I see it pointless to leave the comb on the hive all winter since they have already begun to chew the comb & foundation, and that is $$ down the drain as far as I'm concerned.

  12. #12
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    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
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    Default Re: I have A Situation.... Please Help!

    What's the alternative? Well there has already been some good advice given, even by Acebird!!!

    What happened to Corvair, is that when he returned the box to the hive it was still close enough to the bees that they considered it part of the hive and started putting honey in it. To solve this, put an empty box on the hive, then the box of wet frames. The bees will think it's too far away for them to get to in winter so will move the honey down. AND - this is important, no holes anywhere for robbers to get in as the bees will not be able to defend this box. Bottom entrance on the hive only, while this is happening.

    The other alternative is to store it in your shed wet, and let the bees sort it out next season. And as you have discovered, sometimes not the best plan to leave these type of boxes on the hive all winter.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  13. #13
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    Mar 2011
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    Utica, NY
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    Default Re: I have A Situation.... Please Help!

    Quote Originally Posted by Oldtimer View Post
    AND - this is important, no holes anywhere for robbers to get in as the bees will not be able to defend this box. Bottom entrance on the hive only, while this is happening.
    That is what I was going to ask him, How did the robbers get in?
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  14. #14
    Join Date
    May 2011
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    Boxford, Massachusetts, USA
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    Default Re: I have A Situation.... Please Help!

    Quote Originally Posted by Acebird View Post
    That is what I was going to ask him, How did the robbers get in?
    They were getting in through the opening on the front edge of the inner cover, and they were also fighting to get in through the bottom entrance.
    Putting the empty box in may have helped avoid the bees continuing to use the super, but I think I would have still had the robbing because of the strong smell of open honey.
    Wouldn't putting them away wet until spring just postpone the robbing? Or will they be less likely to get robbed because of the spring nectar flow?

  15. #15
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    Jul 2010
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    jackson county, alabama, usa
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    Default Re: I have A Situation.... Please Help!

    i tried putting the wet supers on top of the inner cover for the first time last week. it definitely got the attention of the other bees in the yard. they were all over the notches in the front and back of the inner covers. good thing i had them screened. put some more on yesterday, this time i taped off the notches. still had some curious would be robbers, but they were mostly sniffing around the cracks between the boxes, and didn't hang around too long. and yes, the entrances were reduced to very small.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: I have A Situation.... Please Help!

    Quote Originally Posted by Corvair68 View Post
    Wouldn't putting them away wet until spring just postpone the robbing?
    Probably not. In fall there is a large population of feild bees that have been gathering nectar. Then the flow stops. So what do these bees do now? They spend their days checking out anything that smells like there might be a meal there. And that includes any other hives that are put (usually by the beekeeper), in a position where they cannot defend themselves.

    In spring and summer though, slightly different situation. If you are adding supers to the hives, it's normally because the bees are collecting nectar. And in that situation they are much less inclined to rob other bees. Also, if you put a super on a hive that is "wet", the bees will move straight into it, clean it up and start using it, but if it is "dry" they can take longer to go into it.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

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