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Thread: Robbing

  1. #1
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    Default Robbing

    I have some nuc robbing going on in the yard. If I take the feeders away, will the robbing stop. Or will they start going after the honey?
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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Robbing

    In my experience, once they start they don't stop. I lost several nucs to robbing because they wouldn't stop even after I tried to divert their attention with open feeding. I finally had to move the remainder of the nucs to another yard where there was more foraging opportunities for the big hives.
    President, San Francisco Beekeepers Association
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  3. #3
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    Default Re: Robbing

    You CAN stop it but it is difficult and you must attend to it immediately. Here is a link to some great info on robbing. I've had to deal with it a number of times. I was successful with a nuc after I blocked the entrance completely for 2 or 3 days. I'd open it at night so it could breathe and would check it first thing in the a.m.; if I saw robbers - or even suspected them - I shut it down again.

    http://www.countryrubes.com/images/Robber_Bees.pdf
    Zone 7b ~ Central Arkansas
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  4. #4
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    Default Re: Robbing

    Quote Originally Posted by sfisher View Post
    If I take the feeders away, will the robbing stop. Or will they start going after the honey?
    start going after the honey ???
    If you have Honey why would you feed??

    I would reduce to a one two bee entrance
    A very small entrance, If you can move them as stated I think it would stop faster

  5. #5
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    Andover, Ohio
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    Default Re: Robbing

    In my VERY limited experience I have found that nucs defend their entrance better than a regular size hive if the entrance is a 1" hole. Two weeks ago I made up a nuc and their were already bees guarding the entrance hole 10 minutes later. I had serious robbing going on two feet away at a double deep hive but nothing at my two nucs.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Robbing

    My nucs have either a 7/8" hole (singles) or a 3/8" x 3" slot. Seems quite defendable since they are quite full of bees.
    Raising Vermont Bees one mistake at a time.
    USDA Zone 5A

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Robbing

    Yes, they WILL go after the honey. And you can lose your queen in the process.
    Zone 7b ~ Central Arkansas
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  8. #8
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    Default Re: Robbing

    I had some robbing in a nuc the other day, so I made a 3/8" thick "U" shaped shim and covered it with window screen. I tacked it over the entrance as a robbing screen, and the robbing stopped after a day.

    Here is a one minute vid of the screen with an explanation:


  9. #9
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    Default Re: Robbing

    reducing the enterence doesnt work when you have 50 bees bum rushing the enterence, I have tried that. Yesturday I laid a piece of screen over the enterence and they moved that. I have screen bottom boards and I am wondering if I can completly shut the front door. High temps here will be in the upper 90's the next couple of days.
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  10. #10
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    Default Re: Robbing

    Quote Originally Posted by sfisher View Post
    I laid a piece of screen over the enterence and they moved that. I have screen bottom boards and I am wondering if I can completly shut the front door.
    Sfisher - that's what I did - completely closed it off. But I do have both inner and bottom screened boards. I also put a lid inside the hive with water in it. Water will become important.

    Like I said, I opened it at night when everyone was inside, which allowed any residents to get inside. And I got up very early to check on it to see if it had started again. I also rubbed Mentholatum around on the hive - can confuse the robbers but not the residents. I was throwing everything at them I could. Total blocking is what saved them - but I sure hated to do it with the heat. I would just check them frequently if possible. GOOD LUCK!
    Zone 7b ~ Central Arkansas
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  11. #11
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    Default Re: Robbing

    Oh yeah - I did read somewhere that you can drape a damp towel over the hive. Maybe put a pot in front so it won't close up the opening. The residents can get out and will reorient to find their new way in. The robbers will keep butting the front. With this heat, that may be the best way to go. I'll see if I can find where I read that...
    Zone 7b ~ Central Arkansas
    8fr medium equipment

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Robbing

    Sf, wondering how the hive is looking tonight? Didn't really find anything good on the towel deal - just that it was an option. On my nuc, after I opened it back up, I did make the opening so small only 1 bee could fit through. I just stuffed it with straw and kept adding and spreading it out till I knew it was small enough. Last thought, I also held a screen in place with a brick once. But I've also seen people nail them on, or duct tape, push pins - anything to keep them in place. The screened entry would be good if you shut them down. Just a few more thoughts - I know how frustrating the battle can be.
    Zone 7b ~ Central Arkansas
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  13. #13
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    Default Re: Robbing

    They moved the screens again today. I will be able to open the nucs sunday morning and check damage. I dont have any 1/8" hardware cloth to make good robber screens with, but I do have some window screen to make temp. ones. I will do that tomorrow I plan to fill the hive top feeders with water, and give them a frame of honey. If the robber screens dont work, i will shut them up good.
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  14. #14
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    Default Re: Robbing

    Just went out and made two robber screens out of window screen. They came out nice and only took a hour, if that solves my problem I will kick myself for not doing it eatlier. Do they really work?
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  15. #15
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    Default Re: Robbing

    I've had a hive that was getting robbed for its honey, so I doubt it would stop. I would put on a wet sheet(you're supposed to keep it wet, though I let it dry somewhat a few times and they lived. However, if it's hot I would keep it wet quite diligently) or a robber screen to stop the robbing. Sorry for telling you this even though you were already doing something about it, I did not read the thread except for the first post.


    Nathan
    Good enough is perfect - Joel Salatin

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Robbing

    Quote Originally Posted by sfisher View Post
    Do they really work?
    Hope so! You tell us.
    Zone 7b ~ Central Arkansas
    8fr medium equipment

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Robbing

    Went into the nucs today, all the syrup was gone but the honey was intact. I put water in the hive top feeders, and robber screens on the front door. Then I had to remove one of the robber screens because that hive has a newly hatched queen, and I am afraid she wont be able to go on her matting flights, with the robber screen on. What do you think?
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  18. #18
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    Default Re: Robbing

    Anyone know that answer??? Sf - beyond my scope. How's the robbing? Maybe post again and ask that question specifically??
    Zone 7b ~ Central Arkansas
    8fr medium equipment

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Robbing

    Went back out and saw some bees fighting at the nuc with no robber screen, and a virgin queen. So I am going to but the screen back on once it gets dark out. Does anyone think the virgin queen will be affected by the robber screen?
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  20. #20
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    Default Re: Robbing

    As long as the robber screen opening is large enough for her to pass through after mating, she should be fine.
    President, San Francisco Beekeepers Association
    www.habitatforhoneybees.org

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