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  1. #21
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Novato, CA
    Posts
    554

    Default Re: How do you identify robbing?

    https://www.mannlakeltd.com/mm5/merc...rap#!WW-670/0/

    I just looked it up and that is now what I have. I have a plastic monitoring board. Someone who uses Mann lake equipment could advise you better then I!~ sorry...

  2. #22
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    San Diego, CA, USA
    Posts
    159

    Default Re: How do you identify robbing?

    Thanks for your reply. There is actually a post where this is discussed pretty thoroughly, but everyone was extreme about it. You had those from Midwest and back East saying that they kept it off throughout their cold snowy winters! This had me extremely confused.

    Here I am worried that I am going to freeze my bees in our tepid cool nights!!! lol

    Thanks again - Lori

  3. #23
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Novato, CA
    Posts
    554

    Default Re: How do you identify robbing?

    I know, true, huh? I was concerned about moving a swarm into a new box after dark tonight and the guy laughed at me...he says they are already living outside (cause it is a swarm...duhhhh) so no, you won't hurt them to put them in a box, they will just recluster. Have you checked out some of the youtube videos of hives in the snow and what they do to insulate them? We are so spoiled here, you more then I since you are in San Diego!

  4. #24
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    San Diego, CA, USA
    Posts
    159

    Default Re: How do you identify robbing?

    Aren't you new to this? Yet you are going to move a swarm into a box/hive? Wow! You sure are going to learn quick what it takes to work with bees!!! Are you going to do this alone or have help?

    I haven't paid that much attention to the bee videos regarding snow, but I bet it's a bit of work...just like all the preparation they have to do to prepare for a hurricane *g* All I seem to have to worry about is ants so far...

  5. #25
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Calhoun Co, Texas, USA
    Posts
    1,310

    Default Re: How do you identify robbing?

    As far as the screened bottom boards:
    #1 SBBs tend to raise the likelihood of bees absconding (when open), so be careful about opening your SBBs under new hives that aren't well established yet

    #2 There are VERY mixed opinions out there about the benefits/drawbacks of screened bottom boards, especially when it comes to leaving them "open." My personal opinion (and I believe Michael Bush's as well, if I remember right) is that leaving the SBB open can actually be DETRIMENTAL to the bees ability to effectively cool the hive. This is because bees use evaporative cooling (like the old "swamp cooler" air conditioners), the effectivity of which relies HEAVILY on an ability to control airflow & having a wide-open bottom on the hive doesn't make that very feasible.

    #3 My Opinion: If you have the entrance reduced down to where you're concerned about the bees' ability to "keep cool," and you can't/aren't willing to get a robber screen, you won't likely hurt your bees any by opening the drawer/board/trap door under your SBB an by anywhere from a "bee space" (3/8") to maybe 1"...just enough to give the bees somewhere to fan, but not enough that they can't still control the airflow through their hive.


    Hope that at least helps a little
    Rob

  6. #26
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,361

    Default Re: How do you identify robbing?

    >How long do I keep them penned in and what determines my next steps?

    You did the right thing stopping things immediately, but I would be immediately working on the next step. Keeping them confined is very stressful. The simplest quickest way to help is put some screen (window screen will do in a pinch but #8 would be best) over all of the entrance except the last 1/4". This makes an entrance that is one bee wide and confuses the robbers by letting them smell the hive all the way across. Then you could build a real robber screen with more of a convoluted path to the entrance. The point of either of these is that robbers go by smell and local bees go by a memorized path into their hive.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  7. #27
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Raleigh, NC, USA
    Posts
    31

    Default Re: How do you identify robbing?

    [QUOTE=robherc;801609]If you want to know if your hive's still "viable," you can check on them in the evening, after the bees have stopped flying; that way you won't be making it harder for them to guard against the robbers in the process

    Robherc,

    Thanks for your quick response! I have built a robber screen, as you suggested and will install tomorrow morning before sunrise when all the girls are inside.

    Forgive me for my ignorance...but when I go into the hive, exactly what am I looking at to determine if it is still viable? Is it the number of bees, the amount of stores, etc?

    I really appreciate your help!

  8. #28
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Raleigh, NC, USA
    Posts
    31

    Default Re: How do you identify robbing?

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Bush View Post
    >How long do I keep them penned in and what determines my next steps?

    Then you could build a real robber screen with more of a convoluted path to the entrance. The point of either of these is that robbers go by smell and local bees go by a memorized path into their hive.
    Thanks Michael! I built a robber screen that emulates the one on your website, but on a smaller scale. I will put it on before daybreak tomorrow.

    I had been concerned because mine is a Kenyan TBH and only has about 7.5" of entrance to begin with and only about 6" of space to go above the entrance because of the way the legs are connected. This explanation really helps me "understand" how it works...and I think my version should work fine.

    Your book was a Godsend this morning when I needed quick answers on how to stop the robbing! Thanks for all your knowledge and time you so generously share!

  9. #29
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Calhoun Co, Texas, USA
    Posts
    1,310

    Default Re: How do you identify robbing?

    When looking to see if a hive is still "viable," all you really need to see is about 2 frames covered in adult bees, and some fresh eggs/young larvae. As long as a hive has that much, they have a good chance (my guess is, if they are still fighting at all, then they haven't been overcome by the robbers yet, so you have very little to worry about)

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