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Thread: Robbing

  1. #21
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Charlottesville, Virginia
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    80

    Default Re: Robbing

    I've made a few robbers screens for nucs that are similar to these:

    http://www.brushymountainbeefarm.com...ctinfo/254MRS/

    They work pretty well and it allows you to close it off with plenty of airflow. I have also used them on nucs that with virgin queens with no detectable issues.

  2. #22
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Elmira, NY
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    947

    Default Re: Robbing

    Quote Originally Posted by sfisher View Post
    Does anyone think the virgin queen will be affected by the robber screen?
    Yes, the effect is that it may save her life:

    This last week, before I got the mating screens on my nucs, a queen returned form her mating flights in the middle of the "robbing war" going on at the entrance.
    One of her wings was badly damaged as she passed through the melee at the entrance.

    I found her dead on the ground the next morning.

    Just like the workers, if the queen exits through the robbing screen, she will reorient and return to the hive the way she left.

  3. #23
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Myrtle Beach, SC, USA
    Posts
    856

    Default Re: Robbing

    The opening is large enough for her, I just noticed that on the other hive, it has beeen one whole day and nobody has really learned to use it yet. Im just worried she might miss a day, and I know her mating days are numbered.
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  4. #24
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
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    Myrtle Beach, SC, USA
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    856

    Default Re: Robbing

    Thanks for letting me know they work.
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  5. #25
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Seneca, sc
    Posts
    830

    Default Re: Robbing

    Glad to hear that you stopped the robbing. I don't put anything in my syrup but sugar and water, it is important this time of year as plain sugar water has no smell. Things like HBH just ring the dinner bell for miles. I was in your neck of the woods last weekend in NMB. Granddaughters were in the Dance competition in MB.

  6. #26
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Jamesport Long Island NY
    Posts
    145

    Default Re: Robbing

    I also had a major robbing going on in a new nuc. First I reduced the opening to a 3/4" hole. No help at all. I tried putting a robbing screen on after it got dark to no avail, every one just went around it the next day. I finally moved them 200 feet away at night and put a leafy branch in front of the opening so they would reorient. That worked. The robbers have not found them, they keep looking at the old location. The nuc is looking ok and most important there are four sealed queen cells that are ok. I think next time I make up a nuc,I will hold off feeding for at least a few days so things can settle down.

    Bill S

  7. #27
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Myrtle Beach, SC, USA
    Posts
    856

    Default Re: Robbing

    If you have a screen bottom board, do you think it matters as far as ventilation goes, if you completly close off the enterence of a nuc, for its first couple of days. And I'm talking about when its in the 90s outside.

  8. #28
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Pinellass County, Florida
    Posts
    1,075

    Default Re: Robbing

    I have to ask again ??
    Why would you be feeding a hive that has Honey in it

    As to your last question
    Yes you can close them off with screen bottom board
    Why are you closing them off ??
    I also feel if you put robbers screens in they will learn and use the new way out/in
    If you keep changing that, That will confuse them and IMHO somewhat retard their growth

  9. #29
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    43,570

    Default Re: Robbing

    So much for the "feeding doesn't hurt anything" theory...

    Robbing needs to be stopped ASAP. Stopping feeding will not be sufficient, but it may be a necessary first step. Unfortunately you can't just take away what started the robbing and expect it to stop. It's much easier to keep it from happening than it is to stop it once it starts.

    http://www.bushfarms.com/beesrobbing.htm
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  10. #30
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Fayetteville, Arkansas
    Posts
    5,012

    Default Re: Robbing

    My feeding theory is that there's no perfect way to do it. All options are fraught with dangers. So I try not to.

    I have used robber screens. Their whole point is that robbers are after a scent whereas home bees know how to get into their own house. So let the scent out one place, let the bees out another. My queen castles (mating nucs) have them built in and also serve as ventilation.

    Once it is happening and you do catch it, my method has been to let it finish, let the robbers get everything, then come in and do your repair work before the hive starves. Place some capped honey in and reduce entrances to one or two bees.

    I imagine I don't catch it every time because I do lose a couple hives over the dearth in the summer. I guess they should have tried harder. Can't protect them from everything, so I hardly protect them from anything.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  11. #31
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Garland County, AR
    Posts
    1,076

    Default Re: Robbing

    Michael, I reread your info on robbing (I can see I probably learned a lot of my tactics from reading that previously) and noted the part about reducing all hive entrances in the event of a dearth - which I think nearly everyone is in - ugh - including me. I had entrance reducers on all 3 hives - but at their widest opening, even for the nuc. No robbing issues as yet (since stopping one earlier this year). However, they were recently inspected and the inspector took them all off. I scratched my head and figured she knew best. I do have screened inner cover and bottom board. In your opinion, should I put them back on? I have felt before that this inspector does things to one hive because it is what is being done in another hive somewhere else - if you know what I'm saying. I wondered if that was the only reason she did it. I asked her why and she said as hot as it is they will burn up. I sorta felt I had as much of that covered as possible - including propped lids, even with screened inner.
    Zone 7b ~ Central Arkansas
    8fr medium equipment

  12. #32
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Garland County, AR
    Posts
    1,076

    Default Re: Robbing

    Quote Originally Posted by Solomon Parker View Post
    Once it is happening and you do catch it, my method has been to let it finish, let the robbers get everything, then come in and do your repair work before the hive starves. Place some capped honey in and reduce entrances to one or two bees.
    Beg to differ here! What if he only has one hive??? Perhaps this is a case of what works for one won't work for another. Maybe your yards arent close enough to make it reasonable to try. But robbing can be stopped, it just takes some serious attention. I won't sacrifice my hive if I can keep from it.
    Zone 7b ~ Central Arkansas
    8fr medium equipment

  13. #33
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Manning, SC
    Posts
    1,765

    Default Re: Robbing

    This time of year, I carry a 5 gallon pressurized water sprayer with me. Spraying the hive being robbed seems to stop the robbing (at least while I'm there). If the hive being robbed is close to my water hose, it gets doused!

  14. #34
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    43,570

    Default Re: Robbing

    >However, they were recently inspected and the inspector took them all off. I scratched my head and figured she knew best.

    Why would you assume that? I would leave them all reduced. In this weather that might best be done with screen wire instead of wood...
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  15. #35
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Garland County, AR
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    1,076

    Default Re: Robbing

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Bush View Post
    >"I scratched my head and figured she knew best."
    Why would you assume that?
    3 years of experience vs many, many years of experience. Thanks, I'll go put them back on.

    Good idea, snl!
    Zone 7b ~ Central Arkansas
    8fr medium equipment

  16. #36
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Manning, SC
    Posts
    1,765

    Default Re: Robbing

    In a small apiary, I've also stopped robbing by removing the lid on all the hives as the robbers needed to return to defend their own hive.
    Last edited by snl; 07-03-2012 at 12:01 PM. Reason: Spelling, punctualion....

  17. #37
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Myrtle Beach, SC, USA
    Posts
    856

    Default Re: Robbing

    Tommy, it was a nuc that I made up and it had 1 frame of honey in it so nobody went hungry, because the nuc had no foragers. The feed was 1:1 syrup that I put on the nucs to get them to draw out frames, I put one undrawn frame in the nuc because I have no empty drawn out frames. I asked the question about closeing them because I want to start more nucs in the next month or so, and figured it would be a good way to start the nucs off, to prevent robbing. If you are going to start nucs without that many foragers in them I dont see how it would hurt to just shut them up for a couple of days.
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  18. #38
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Brownsburg, Indiana, USA
    Posts
    123

    Default Re: Robbing

    I'm a new keeper, I think I might have robbers, but can't tell, I was watching the entrance last nite, and there were several fights between bees, some were gang attacks, which leads me to believe their robbers.
    Also, I have black bee's, when I purchased my brood this spring, I was told they were Italians, but I've noticed several black bees or mutts, so my question is two fold! Could I have mutts, and are the ones being attacked robbers, since it is over 100 degrees here, lots O' bees are hanging out in front of the bottom entrance, so I assume their just hot!

  19. #39
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Garland County, AR
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    1,076

    Default Re: Robbing

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Warren View Post
    since it is over 100 degrees here, lots O' bees are hanging out in front of the bottom entrance, so I assume their just hot!
    Yes, called bearding - it allows better air movement inside. Don't know if bearding would be occurring if robbing were going on - not sure.
    Zone 7b ~ Central Arkansas
    8fr medium equipment

  20. #40
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Dayton, Ohio, USA
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: Robbing

    Sorry to hijack but I'm a first year and noticed this evening a few, maybe 3-4, outsiders trying to get in. My bees are significantly smaller than the intruders. However, my girls seem to be fending off the unwanted guests with ease. I'm fairly confident that I have strong hive (this is my only one and I'm in an urban setting). Started with a nuc in mid-April and have added 3 mediums to accomodate their growth. At what point should I start taking action, if any?

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