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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
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    Cookeville, TN, USA
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    4,140

    Default Best Robber Screen Design?

    Robbing is always a big problem in my bee yard once it turns hot and dry, and I have resolved to make robber screens for every hive before it gets started.

    I use all 8 frame mediums so the really tall ones aren't the best option for me.

    The simplest version is just 4 pieces of wood and a screen - does not restrict the entrance...

    From - beekeepingforums - Robber-screen-moving-screen

    The version on Michael Bush's site forms a labyrinth to get the entrance smell farther from the opening of the screen...

    From - Miscellaneous Bee Equipment

    While simple is good when you are making a bunch of something it's even better when they all work as needed. Anyone have experience as to what works best? Anyone have a better design?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Fairfield County, Connecticut, USA
    Posts
    3,721

    Default Re: Best Robber Screen Design?

    Attach a piece of material over the half where the outer entrance is. The foreign bees will be attracted to the open screened area, away from the entrance.

    I think that's helpful....
    BeeCurious
    5 hives and 8 nucs................... Trying to think inside the box...

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
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    Cookeville, TN, USA
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    Default Re: Best Robber Screen Design?

    It seems like I have seen one like that in a catalog somewhere - makes sense.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Fairfield County, Connecticut, USA
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    3,721

    Default Re: Best Robber Screen Design?

    Quote Originally Posted by David LaFerney View Post
    It seems like I have seen one like that in a catalog somewhere - makes sense.
    I copied Brushy Mountain's version, except I used Luan instead of aluminum.
    BeeCurious
    5 hives and 8 nucs................... Trying to think inside the box...

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Kalamazoo,MI
    Posts
    331

    Default Re: Best Robber Screen Design?

    I like iddee's version the best. Simple and has not failed to keep them out!

  6. #6

    Default Re: Best Robber Screen Design?

    I just got some from BM, they look ok:

    http://www.brushymountainbeefarm.com...ctinfo/254MRS/
    Greg Whitehead, Ten Mile, TN
    Blog - http://gregsbees.blogspot.com/

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,553

    Default Re: Best Robber Screen Design?

    When I did mine, Brushy Mt. was selling that as a "screen door" They added the entrance and called it a robbing screen several years after I made mine. The simplest is actually to just block all but the last 3/8" of the entrance with screen wire stapled to the box and the bottom board. It works pretty well for the same reasons, which is that the robbers are going by smell and are in a frenzy where the locals remember how they got out...
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
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    Cookeville, TN, USA
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    Default Re: Best Robber Screen Design?

    If a virgin queen issues from a hive equipped with a robber screen will she be able to get back in?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Kalamazoo,MI
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    331

    Default Re: Best Robber Screen Design?

    Good question David, why don't you try it and let us know?

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
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    Cookeville, TN, USA
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    Default Re: Best Robber Screen Design?

    I'm sure I will try it even if it's not on purpose. If the answer is an emphatic - sure no problem, the queen will get back fine - then I will probably whip something up for some mating nucs too . Since they are the most likely ones to be robbed.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,553

    Default Re: Best Robber Screen Design?

    The queen finds her way back the same way the locals do. Worst case she ends up hanging on the front and the ball of bees should give it away.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
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    Cookeville, TN, USA
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    Default Re: Best Robber Screen Design?

    Thanks that's what I was hoping to hear.

  13. #13
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    Jan 2009
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    Cookeville, TN, USA
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    Default Re: Best Robber Screen Design?

    Well I made several different kinds of robber screens to try out - including some for 3 frame mini mating nucs - and they all work. Apparently the simple ones work just as well as the more elaborate ones. I have seen no problems with queens mating from hives equipped with them.

    A couple of observations though. All hives are pretty confused when you first install them, and the confusion lasts several days, even a week or so, but they do figure it out.

    If robbing has not yet started when you apply the screen, then they do a great job of keeping it from ever starting. If robbing is already going when you deploy the screen it won't immediately put a complete stop to it - robbing may continue for a week or so, but it will diminish over time, and eventually stop.

    These are just my experiences over the last several weeks - your mileage may vary.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
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    Cookeville, TN, USA
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    Default Re: Best Robber Screen Design?

    Did some more work in my bee yard today, and I can say this for sure - 8 frame singles ( i have several) that have robber screens on them have more resources, more brood, and have built up better than the ones that don't - even though I have not really noticed any on-going robbing activity.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Ft. Collins, Colorado
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    578

    Default Re: Best Robber Screen Design?

    My virgins did not do well with the robbing screens. I've since gone to putting them on once they are mated and laying well. Could be toooo many virgins trying to figure it out and other mating nucs close by without them that they were easier to get into vs. the ones that belonged to them. It's a challenge once it gets closer to fall and the flow slows or quits entirely....

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
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    Cookeville, TN, USA
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    Default Re: Best Robber Screen Design?

    That hasn't been my experience so far, but I also haven't tried it in numbers sufficient to be sure. However if it is a concern with mating nucs you can use one with a feature like this http://www.brushymountainbeefarm.com...ctinfo/254MRS/ and open the gate in front of the main entrance during the few days when your queen will be going out to mate.

    For some reason I have had exceptional luck with queens getting mated this season.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    lee county, fl, usa
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    883

    Default Re: Best Robber Screen Design?

    Quote Originally Posted by David LaFerney View Post

    The simplest version is just 4 pieces of wood and a screen - does not restrict the entrance...

    From - beekeepingforums - Robber-screen-moving-screen
    So this one is full length opening at the top? And it is enough to keep out robbers? I need something with minimal wood sawing, all I have is a portable jig saw so I want something really simple. Straight cuts and stapling.
    Can I use fiberglass screen which I have plenty of at this time?
    Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones. Prvb 16:24
    March 2010; +/- 30 hives, TF

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Venus, Texas, USA
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    117

    Default Re: Best Robber Screen Design?

    Super cheap and effective robber screen

    Cut a piece of 8 gage screen 3" wide and 2" longer than the width of the opening on your hive.

    Fold it into a "w" shape along the 3" width with 90 degree corners i.e. you'll have four 3/4" legs.

    Staple it in front of the hive entrance as shown in the photo so thath the bees have to make a 90 degree turn at either side of the opening to exit/enter the hive.

    http://s561.photobucket.com/user/532...bc1cf.jpg.html

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Larimer County, CO
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    501

    Default Re: Best Robber Screen Design?

    are these pretty much standard for you guys this time of year? though i haven't noticed any robbing activity when present at my hives, i don't spend hours at my hives sitting and watching the entrances looking for signs of robbing, though i do suspect it's happening even though i don't see it.

    thoughts?
    I'm the dude, so that's what you call me.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
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    Cookeville, TN, USA
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    Default Re: Best Robber Screen Design?

    Bev- yes that one is open all along the top and doesn't restrict the entrance, and it does work. I don't know about rhe fiberglass screen, but i would try it if that is what i had.

    Imthedude - here in the mid south not a lot of people use them, but it might be better if they did. I guess it depends - if you don't have many hives and they are all about the same size it probably doesn't matter.

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