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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Barboursville, VA, USA
    Posts
    88

    Default What have I started....robbing death match?

    Lesson #123? I made another mistake today and I would appreciate advice. I went into my small secondary swarm medium box today to check on things. I had a baggie feeder on top of the frames and was worried about how to deal with that. I had a piece of formica to slide the baggie onto...about a pint left in it. You know where this is going. Well, things dripped. I checked quickly and put everything back together, including sliding the baggie back on. I have a screen bottom board with no entrance, a top shimmed migratory entrance on top of a 2 inch shim box.
    I came back in a while and a robbing was going on...bees wrestling on the ground, etc.
    I closed off the entrance completely. I went back in a half hour and the hive is very loud. What's the next move.....Do I just let them fight it out? The bees have food and ventilation...Anyway to salvage this? Thanks, Jim
    I would say we are probably in a dearth...first year beek if you couldn't tell.

  2. #2

    Default Re: What have I started....robbing death match?

    Quote Originally Posted by jimbe View Post
    The bees have food and ventilation...
    They also must have access to water to cool off the nest.
    Dan www.boogerhillbee.com
    Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Kaysville, Utah, USA
    Posts
    392

    Default Re: What have I started....robbing death match?

    I'm going through this very problem right now.

    When I closed my hive off, I put a water feeder inside as well. I would check periodically, and the bees were using both feeders.

    Have you tried a robber screen? Another forum member suggested I use one, and it seems to be working pretty well. I couldn't close off my hive indefinitely, and the robber screen seems to be keeping most of the raiders out.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Wayensboro, Virginia, USA
    Posts
    148

    Default Re: What have I started....robbing death match?

    We are definitely in a dearth in our area,dry as a bone here really hoping things will shape up soon for the fall flow. I try not to get into my hives very often when things are like this. But when I do I try to do it late in the evening so the bees don't have much more daylight left to start much robbing.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Kaysville, Utah, USA
    Posts
    392

    Default Re: What have I started....robbing death match?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mountain Bee View Post
    I try not to get into my hives very often when things are like this.
    I'm so new (7 days now) that I have a little peek under the lid every couple of days. I'm going to open up tomorrow AM to see if I have a queen left. If so, a good friend has pledged two frames of capped brood to beef my hive up a bit.

    The syrup level has definitely dropped in the feeder. Not sure if the raiders have been taking it, or what. I still have capped honey.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Glennville, Georgia, USA
    Posts
    67

    Default Re: What have I started....robbing death match?

    http://www.bjornapiaries.com/equipmentmanagement.html
    Here's an idea. I haven't tried it, but it sounds logical. (Scroll down to the bottom of the page, "Tube Entrances")

    Garrett

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Rowan County NC
    Posts
    347

    Default Re: What have I started....robbing death match?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mountain Bee View Post
    We are definitely in a dearth in our area,dry as a bone here really hoping things will shape up soon for the fall flow. I try not to get into my hives very often when things are like this. But when I do I try to do it late in the evening so the bees don't have much more daylight left to start much robbing.
    good advice...At this time of year...late in the evening is good. If I open a hive now in the AM or mid day....robbers are all around the hive....now matter if the hive is strong or not.
    "You have to put down the ducky if you wanna play the Saxophone!" Mr .Hoot

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Barboursville, VA, USA
    Posts
    88

    Default Re: What have I started....robbing death match?

    Thanks to all for the advice. I left the hive closed up last night. I have a flat migratory top that is shimmed up at front for a 3/8 inch top entrance and I wasn't sure how to incorporate a screen robbing screen such as the one posted...so I went to my shop and milled out a board that would fill the slot except for one bee width at one end, has a 3/4 by 3/4 board attached to the filler piece to space out the #8 screen I stapled to it that goes over the entrance hole. I slipped that on in place of the closed off piece (the bees were anxious to come out! I wish I knew what went on in there last night...or maybe not.) I came back in a half hour and noticed the robbers had ganged up on the end opening, so I went back and remade the screen with the opening in the center (duh!) and the screen bent back to close off either end. The screen is about 3 inches wide. The robbers were flipping out trying to get in ,but this seemed to be helping. I have no way to tell who is good girls so I finally put a wet sheet over the whole hive where I read that someone said there home bees seemed to find a way out where the robbers were thwarted and finally gave up. We'll see. I'm going to let them alone for awhile and hope for the best. I think I have helped enough....Jim

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Utica, NY
    Posts
    10,179

    Default Re: What have I started....robbing death match?

    I would say stop the feeding. Ventilate the heck out of the hive so the spilled sugar water dries up and limit the entrance to 3/8 opening. It has been said that once robbing starts it is hard to stop.
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Jamesport Long Island NY
    Posts
    150

    Default Re: What have I started....robbing death match?

    I also had a major robbing situation from leaking feed. The robber screen did not seem to help. I moved the nuc at night, and put a leafy branch in front of the entrance. I read the leafy branch trick in a Michael Bush post. This seemed to do the trick. The robbers went back to the old location, and the bees in the nuc re located due to the branch. Of course I remedied the leaking feeder. I also left the robber screen in place. I figured it couldn't hurt.

    Good Luck
    Bill S

  11. #11

    Default Re: What have I started....robbing death match?

    If you have the robber screen situation to your satisfaction, perhaps consider putting a baggie out in the open away from the hive to give the robbers an easier target and maybe they'll forget about the hive.
    Greg Whitehead, Ten Mile, TN
    Blog - http://gregsbees.blogspot.com/

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Oregon City, Oregon
    Posts
    991

    Default Re: What have I started....robbing death match?

    If you only have a few hives and are not in a water restriction area you can turn the sprinkler on so it showers the hives and the robbing will stop...
    Honeydew

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