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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Attleboro, MA
    Posts
    278

    Default Entrance reducing for robbing?

    I have 4 hives. All 4 of them have a robbing issue.

    Will reducing entrances to less than 1" be sufficient to stop robbing on strong hives? This sucks because there aren't that money warm days left and I've only saw one of my four hives bringing pollen in, it seems they are too busy trying to defend to worry about foraging.

    My neighbor's hives, which are about 100' away from mine were robbed out so badly that only 1 of his 3 has survived so far this year. I'm wondering if his final hive has been robbed out so badly that it is now going after mine. Or if there are feral hives around that robbed his and are now going after mine.
    Zone 7A - Southern, MA. Elevation 138 ft.
    4 hives: 1 Carniolan/Italian Hybrid, 2 Swarms from that hive and 1 Russian.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Alachua County, FL, USA
    Posts
    6,914

    Default Re: Entrance reducing for robbing?

    Entrance reducers are good for robbing, small hive beetles, wax moths and every other intruder that uses the "wide open" front door. Reducers also increased honey production in a study Jerry Hayes did. If there are less guards there are more foragers and less thieves running away with the day's work.
    americasbeekeeper.com
    beekeeper@americasbeekeeper.com

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Evansville, IN
    Posts
    2,492

    Default Re: Entrance reducing for robbing?

    I seem to have about the same number of bees flying in and out with reducers on. Quite fun to watch orientation flights with only a 2" slot 1/4" tall for them to get in and out, they are climbing over each other like crazy.

    I don't think entrance reducers change the amount of work done much, the bees can manage. Only time I've seen the whole width of the full entrance in use was during honey locust bloom when the amount of nectar is simply overwhelming, and the bees ability to store it is limited by the number of bees available to go get it. Quite a sight with dozens of bees a second entering and leaving! Otherwise, they aren't really using more than a couple inches of the entrance at any one time.

    Peter

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Alachua County, FL, USA
    Posts
    6,914

    Default Re: Entrance reducing for robbing?

    Bee trees have incredibly small entrances and bees can ventilate and land without a landing board. New beekeepers want to capture these "survivor" genetics when all they might have to do is replicate the conditions - small entrances, no landing boards, no comb manipulation, etc.
    americasbeekeeper.com
    beekeeper@americasbeekeeper.com

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Belpre,Ohio, USA
    Posts
    1,295

    Default Re: Entrance reducing for robbing?

    I have six hives that sit about six inches apart and I run reducers on all of them year around with no robing problems. The openings are roughly 3/4" x 3" which seem to accommodate the population passing through it, as AB has already stated intruders are easily turned back by fewer guards.

    To answer the question from the OP, 1" should be small enough to stop robbing however if the hive is in a weakened state you might even go a little smaller, just watch the entrance and size it according to the population in the hive, this is a judgement call that you have to make on site.
    Bill...in Southeast Ohio

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,120

    Default Re: Entrance reducing for robbing?

    Really small nucs I often reduce to 1/4" by 1/4" or 3/8" round. Reducing with screen wire confuses the robbers more...

    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
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Attleboro, MA
    Posts
    278

    Default Re: Entrance reducing for robbing?

    Quote Originally Posted by AmericasBeekeeper View Post
    Entrance reducers are good for robbing, small hive beetles, wax moths and every other intruder that uses the "wide open" front door. Reducers also increased honey production in a study Jerry Hayes did. If there are less guards there are more foragers and less thieves running away with the day's work.
    That's interesting, AB. I will search that study online and read it, providing I find it. Thank you.
    Zone 7A - Southern, MA. Elevation 138 ft.
    4 hives: 1 Carniolan/Italian Hybrid, 2 Swarms from that hive and 1 Russian.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Attleboro, MA
    Posts
    278

    Default Re: Entrance reducing for robbing?

    Thanks everyone for you input. All thoughts appreciated!
    Zone 7A - Southern, MA. Elevation 138 ft.
    4 hives: 1 Carniolan/Italian Hybrid, 2 Swarms from that hive and 1 Russian.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Attleboro, MA
    Posts
    278

    Default Re: Entrance reducing for robbing?

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Bush View Post
    Really small nucs I often reduce to 1/4" by 1/4" or 3/8" round. Reducing with screen wire confuses the robbers more...

    http://www.bushfarms.com/beesrobbing.htm
    That's interesting, Michael. Maybe I'll screen off the rest of the bottom. and drill a 3/8" hole towards the top..
    Zone 7A - Southern, MA. Elevation 138 ft.
    4 hives: 1 Carniolan/Italian Hybrid, 2 Swarms from that hive and 1 Russian.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Alachua County, FL, USA
    Posts
    6,914

    Default Re: Entrance reducing for robbing?

    I may have seen the research at work. We were cleaning out Jerry's old office.
    americasbeekeeper.com
    beekeeper@americasbeekeeper.com

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