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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Bourbon, Missouri
    Posts
    187

    Default Robbing. How to stop!

    I have had a nuc in the yard with four other established hives without any problems, until..
    I am raising a new queen in the nuc and it is time to start feeding the nuc to enhance comb development.
    When I placed a top feeder on the nuc the other hives immediately started to rob the nuc. I reduced the entrance down to pencil size.
    And the attack continued for hours. I then put on a robbing screen. Now they are still trying to get into the nuc by the hundreds!

    Besides moving the nuc to another location, is there any other way to stop this cycle??

    Thanks all.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Clifford Township, PA
    Posts
    2,082

    Default Re: Robbing. How to stop!

    One emergency response is to pop the covers off all the hives in the yard. This puts every hive in defensive posture which buys you time to protect the vulnerable hive.

    Haven't had the need to do this yet myself. It was suggested by the State Apiary Inspector here in Maine.

    Wayne

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Atlanta, Georgia
    Posts
    49

    Default Re: Robbing. How to stop!

    I had a similar situation with established hives robbing newly split nucs. The nucs were on solid bottom boards. I closed up the inner cover notch and closed the opening down to a half inch then using duct tape - taped a 1/2" PVC connector in front of the opening to create a tunnel for the bees to enter. I did this on a Sunday afternoon prior to leaving town for a week. Expected to come home to robbed out nucs. That was 3 weeks ago and all nucs are doing well.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
    Posts
    724

    Default Re: Robbing. How to stop!

    A tunnel can also be cut in a wood entrance reducer if you are using one. Make entrance reducer 1 inch thick and cut a 1/2 inch wide entrance, Saved a NUC from robbers about six weeks ago doing this. Need very few guard bees in the tunnel to provide protection.
    If you always do what you always did, you'll always get what you always got!

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

    Default Re: Robbing. How to stop!

    Quote Originally Posted by Goat Man View Post
    is there any other way to stop this cycle??
    Equip them with a very small Oerlikon.

    I don't have the option of moving my hive, so my girls had to stay and fight. When it was only 5 frames in size I used a frame feeder, combined with a very small opening in the reducer, and a robber screen, also with a small opening as far away from the hive entrance as possible. That, combined with a lot of prayer, seemed to work.
    Don't provoke a hive full of angry bees.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Holland, Texas
    Posts
    101

    Default Re: Robbing. How to stop!

    Question from a newbie. How do you know they are robbing?
    "Live it like you stole it"

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Kaysville, Utah, USA
    Posts
    392

    Default Re: Robbing. How to stop!

    Quote Originally Posted by Pamela White View Post
    Question from a newbie. How do you know they are robbing?
    I'm fairly new, myself, but I learned about robbing the hard way. Here's what I've learned:

    Your bees know your hive. It's their home. They know where the entrance is. Generally, they fly straight in when they land, shuffle in in an orderly fashion, and when they leave they exit and -- zing! -- off they go. Robbers, on the other hand, are strangers. They're unfamiliar with the hive and are following the scent of the honey emanating from it.

    • Bees zig-zagging in front of the hive. They're homing in on the entrance, looking for a way past the guard bees.
    • Bees fighting on the landing board, or in front of the hive.
    • Bees coming out of the hive, climbing up the side of the hive, taking off and dipping toward the ground when they do. In other words, they're heavy, leaving the hive fully laden instead of empty.
    • Bees trying to get into the hive through any available crack and crevice.
    Don't provoke a hive full of angry bees.

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