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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Fayetteville, NC
    Posts
    38

    Default Robbing or just flying?

    I have had my hives for almost a year. I have a deep and a medium. The entrance is at it smallest opening. I have a lot of activity today bees all over the front of the boxes. Bees are crowded going in and out. Some are going in the vent hole on the front at the top. My question is are the bees going in the top because its crowded at the entrance or are the bees going in the top robbers. Bees are hovering and flying around the front and some going in the top and some the bottom. It rained all day yesterday and its 50 and sunny today.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    KC, MO, USA
    Posts
    1,238

    Default Re: Robbing or just flying?

    The bees at the top trying to get in the vent holes sound like robbers. Your bees know how to get in, robbers don't.
    Are there any bee bringing in pollen? Is there any fighting at entrance? Are there guard bees that are checking incomers and letting them pass?

    If its warm and sunny take a quick look inside.
    If it's robbing you need to stop it right away.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Calvert, Md,USA
    Posts
    1,701

    Default Re: Robbing or just flying?

    Your description paints a picture of robbing. My suggestion would be to reduce the entrance down to one or two bees at a time so the guard bees can get a handle on them. Congestion at the entrance is o.k. One thing I have done that I like, is a robber screen of sorts. I'll staple metal screen, #8 is what I use over the entrance but leave enough space to form a "tunnel" that exits out on the two ends past the hive entrance.(you make it one if need be) Robbers want to dash in and seem to home in on the entrance shadow and aromas and are confused by the screen. The house bees soon figure the the arrangement out and the guard bees deal with the robbers even better with this.IME I would still peek/go in and see what's going on.
    Rick

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Colorado Springs, CO
    Posts
    372

    Default Re: Robbing or just flying?

    Eeltempered,

    Here is a picture of a robber screen I made as viewed from the hive side. The notch on the lower left side fits in front of my brood chamber entrance and the notch on the upper right allows the home hive bees to find the exit and thus remember how to get back into the hive. This one is covered with fly screen and I use two wood screws to hold it in place to the brood chamber. Robber bees try to enter the hive where they smell the entrance from the outside of the screen but can't enter and are unaware of the maze required to make entry. It is used for a couple of days and works well. If you prefer to spend money you can buy them too.

    In your case I would block the upper entrance with a piece of duct tape for a couple of days also.

    P1030537.jpg

    Steve

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    HARNETT CO. N.C.
    Posts
    14

    Default Re: Robbing or just flying?

    I'm seeing the same thing but after obserbing for some time most of the bees coming in have pollen on their legs. My guess they are brooding up, eggs layed today will be the work force come April when the flow starts here. A little sooner for you being south of me. Mine look like a five lane highway blocked down to one lane during rush hour. Big backup.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Myrtle Beach, SC, USA
    Posts
    876

    Default Re: Robbing or just flying?

    Eeltempered Im betting your bees are just getting busy. Its starting to get warm down here, it is spring time for our bees weather we think spring is here or not. We are getting ready for a weeks worth of on and off rain but it is suppose to be nice out on Sunday. If your enterence reducer has a 3 inch opening I would open it up to 3 inches on sunday.

    Steve
    https://www.facebook.com/stevesbees99
    Please visit my page, Thanks

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Santa Monica, CA, USA
    Posts
    1,533

    Default Re: Robbing or just flying?

    I have limited experience, but recently observed how my bees fight the intruder - it is a fight! They literally knocked robber down ... from the landing strip and carefully watched to be sure that "guest" shall not back. It was very weak colony, but they still able to protect themselves (I hope it is a good sign). If you do not see actual fights outside, I doubt that you have robbing - perhaps just a nice warm day and girls gather outside. Also -orientation flight, but it is probably too early. Good orientation flight looks like swarm - I was scared when saw it at the first time. Good luck with your bees!
    Серёжа, Sergey

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Calvert, Md,USA
    Posts
    1,701

    Default Re: Robbing or just flying?

    Non of us can be there to see what you are describing. Some behaviors of bees are similar and can be difficult to be sure of. You can always remove a robber screen, re open a reduced entrance. No harm done. The end result of robbing can not be IME. It is good thing to be wrong about (robbing) With my own hives, I prefer to err on the side of caution until I'm sure of what is or is not going on. 2cnts
    Rick

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