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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Oakland, California
    Posts
    3

    Sad Looking for Suggestions on How to Deal With Robbing

    Hello, I am a new beekeeper, having just caught a swarm this past April. I keep a top-bar hive that has been seemingly healthy and active. Yesterday, however, I noticed fighting bees, dead bees in the grass near my hive, and bees with their wings bitten off near the hive. I identified it as robbing activity and quickly reduced the entrance to a 1 and half inch opening. Today, there is very little fighting activity, but half of the bees I observe going in and out of the hive are not my bees. Does this mean my bees have become so weak that they can no longer fight off the robbers? If so, can anyone suggest how I can save my bees?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,371

    Default Re: Looking for Suggestions on How to Deal With Robbing

    Suggestions:

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

    If you have robbing you need to stop it immediately! Damage progresses quickly and can devastate a hive. Just make sure they are robbing and not orienting first, then if it’s robbing, do something drastic. Close off the hive, cover it with wet cloth. Open all the strong hives to make the strong hives stay home and guard their own hives. But do something even if it’s as simple as closing off the hive with screen wire completely. Then you can assess what you want to do to let them fly (small entrance, robber screen etc.). Bottom line, you cannot let robbing continue. You need to stop it now.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Canada BC Delta
    Posts
    420

    Default Re: Looking for Suggestions on How to Deal With Robbing

    Check to make sure you still have bees in the hive after dark tonight.

    The robbers should be out of the hive as I type so screen the entrance over so in the morning no robbers can enter the hive. After a few days open the entrance only wide enough so one bee can pass with the rest of the entrance/s covered over with screening

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Polk County, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    251

    Default Re: Looking for Suggestions on How to Deal With Robbing

    Robbing screens work wonders for these episodes. I have made them for all of my nucs and keep them on year round to prevent it from even starting.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Oakland, California
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: Looking for Suggestions on How to Deal With Robbing

    Thanks for all of your suggestions. I've moved the hive and screened the entrance. How long should I keep the entrance screened off?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Canada BC Delta
    Posts
    420

    Default Re: Looking for Suggestions on How to Deal With Robbing

    If you closed it off last night or before bees where flying this morning you would be able to tell if the robbers returned today or not and see when they stopped or give up their robbing attempts. By the second to third day they will have mostly given up allowing you to open the entrance one bee space so the hive has a better chance defending. That’s if you didn't move the hive. Depending on how far you moved the hive you may be able to open it right away.

    My experience has been that a hive that has difficulty defending its self usually has a weakness of some sort.

    Where you feeding them?

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