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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Montgomery County, Texas
    Posts
    13

    Default How do I deal with honey robbing from 'foreign' bees?

    Can anyone provide advice on how to help stop honey robbing? I suspect that they have taken at least 60 pounds of honey so far & possibly much more. There is a lot of chaotic flying and a bees fighting each other in and around my hive. I only have one hive, so the robbing bees are not mine.

    My hive was very healthy early in the year, but has deteriorated significantly due to small hive beetles and mites. I have been treating with powdered sugar & have made significant progress with the SHV. I think I am also making progress with the mites. I had two deep bodies and two medium supers a couple of weeks ago, but removed the empty super to reduce the size of the hive. I was going to harvest the second super this weekend to further reduce the size of the hive. However, the robbers got to it first!. I reduced the entrance a couple of times yesterday to the point of completely blocking the entrance, but opened it about an inch in the night so that the bees could get out for water, etc. There is still robbing activity.

    What should I do to stop the robbing? It looks like I will be feeding this winter.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Baytown, TX., USA.
    Posts
    651

    Default Re: How do I deal with honey robbing from 'foreign' bees?

    http://www.countryrubes.com/images/Robber_Bees.pdf

    Check this site and/or Google Bee Robbing Screen.
    Julysun elevation 23 feet. 4 Hives, 2 years.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Montgomery County, Texas
    Posts
    13

    Default Re: How do I deal with honey robbing from 'foreign' bees?

    Thanks! Great paper with many good tips. I appreciate your help.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
    Posts
    5,730

    Default Re: How do I deal with honey robbing from 'foreign' bees?

    Hives severely weakened by mites become targets from robbers in fall, and of course the robbers get the mites in turn.

    If the robbing is really bad, late evening, open the hive and remove all combs the bees cannot cover, leave just enough frames for the bees to cover them totally even if a super is 1/2 empty. So the bees are really crowded on the combs and can defend them, remove nearly all honey. Reduce the entrance to one bee, and have the entrance right where the main bee cluster is so bees can easily defend it. Don't have a top entrance, only a bottom entrance. A top entrance goes straight to where the honey is and where the least guard bees are, not good if robbing is happening.

    Allow attempts to rob to subside over the next day or two then open the entrance slightly. Late evening open the hive and give a comb with a little honey so bees won't starve but make sure bees can cover the comb. Once you are sure robbing has stopped slowly return the inside of the hive to normal, always working late evening so robbers can't get started while the hive is disturbed.

    Control mites.

    If the above does not work the situation is likely hopeless and the only way to save the hive is to move it.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Montgomery County, Texas
    Posts
    13

    Default Re: How do I deal with honey robbing from 'foreign' bees?

    Thanks, Oldtimer! I'm already down to two deeps. It is still way too much for the number of bees I have. I think I'm going to reduce it down to a single deep and then remove frames if I still don't have enough bees to cover them. It might stay this way until spring unless they build up their numbers. My queen is laying a poor pattern of brood, so I am going to replace her either this fall or in the spring. Her genetics might also account for the general poor health of my bees.

    Thanks again!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,462

    Default Re: How do I deal with honey robbing from 'foreign' bees?

    If you have robbing you need to stop it immediately!

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

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Montgomery County, Texas
    Posts
    13

    Default Re: How do I deal with honey robbing from 'foreign' bees?

    Thanks for the advice. I have reduced the entrance to 1/4" and added a robbing screen. I am also planning to reduce the size of the hive and start feeding when the robbers are completely gone.

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