Making splits in August......
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
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    Marshall county, AL
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    Default Making splits in August......

    Is a dang good way to start a robbing frenzy. Not sure how I'm going to undo this screw up. I stapled screen over the entrances and sprayed the boxes down with Bee Quick.
    The more I learn about bees, the less I know.

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Location
    Chattanooga, TN
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    465

    Default Re: Making splits in August......

    Hope that you get it under control ASAP. I've had nightmares about a robbing episode..... apis napalm
    Zone 7a - 1650ft

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Hotlanta, GA
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    764

    Default Re: Making splits in August......

    I have to have a yard of just splits and I reduce the entrance to like 1 or 2 bees big. Sorry to hear about your problems
    Last edited by Branman; 08-04-2017 at 03:52 PM.
    Ask two beekeepers, get three answers

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Great Falls Montana
    Posts
    7,786

    Default Re: Making splits in August......

    Bee quick never showed me it had much effect, but I gave up on my splitting plans here because of really harsh drought conditions. Small to tiny entrances in an isolated spot are probably pretty mandatory. Good luck and hope you can save them.

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
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    Marshall county, AL
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    Default Re: Making splits in August......

    I didn't have time to elaborate when I posted earlier. This robbing started from the inside out, not outside in. Totally a lack of thought on my part. Bee mistake #10302 in my short career.

    I bought 6 queens and wanted to make small splits to overwinter them. Last night I set up the empty boxes on a new stand, 3 nucs and a 3 way divided deep. I went to one of my large hives and took out 6 deep frames of capped honey. I stored them in a deep in the back of my truck last night, covered with a telescoping cover and sitting on a piece of plywood, so that no robbing could take place this morning.

    I took off from work today around mid morning and when I got in the bee yard the first thing I did was take the frames of honey out of the box in my truck and put one frame in each body the splits were going in. Just left them there, uncovered while going through hives to get donor frames of bees, larvae and polllen to make each split with. I put one frame of brood in 2 of the 3 slots of 3 way hive. It took me 10 minutes to find the queen in the 2nd box I was getting brood from and when I turned around there were bees covering the 4 open frames of honey. I shook out as many bees as I could from the 4 that I hadn't added brood and nurse bees to and covered them up. I stapled #8 hardware cloth over the entrances on the 3 way box and stuffed hardware cloth in the entrances of the 3 nucs and went back to work. I knew there was no need to try and go any further until I got the robbing stopped. When I got back home this evening, they had found their way into one of the 2 compartments that had bees in them in the 3 way box. They had found a crack under the lid large enough to slip through. I removed the 3 inner covers I made for the divided box and put the top directly on the hive body. That shut the robbing down in the 3 compartment box. I figure it may be best to remove the frame of brood and bees that I added today and start over. The bees had also gotten past one of the screens I stuffed into a 5 frame nuc containing only the capped frame of honey. The bee quick did no good that I could tell.

    I put feeders on all the hives in my back yard this afternoon and filled them. This is where the robbing took place. The bees didn't seem overly interested in the syrup which I thought was strange since they were very interested in robbing the honey. Different smell I suppose. I guess tomorrow I will move these boxes over into our back hay field and start over. That will give them 1/2 mile separation from my next closest hives. Maybe that will be enough distance to keep them from being easy targets.
    The more I learn about bees, the less I know.

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
    Posts
    7,861

    Default Re: Making splits in August......

    Remember to use new bee boxes and equipment as well. Even within a half mile they can still smell their
    scent from yesterday. Bees can also mark their territory (bee boxes) to come back later. And each hive will have their own
    bee scent very different from one another. Make sure to use syrup to feed only since the other bees don't like the syrup that much. Yes, honey is packed with nutrients so the bees will go for that first. The extracted honey has a nice sweet in-describable smell to make me want to taste it already enough to drive the bees crazy. If I have to use honey then it will be only the cap frames but then even that is not enough to stop them. Take precaution to have a safe nuc experience.
    Don't mix foreign bees into a virgin hive. She might get balled 100% of the time! When will you ever learn, huh?

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Salem, Oregon
    Posts
    1,766

    Default Re: Making splits in August......

    Quote Originally Posted by beepro View Post
    Remember to use new bee boxes and equipment as well. Even within a half mile they can still smell their
    scent from yesterday. Bees can also mark their territory (bee boxes) to come back later. And each hive will have their own
    bee scent very different from one another. Make sure to use syrup to feed only since the other bees don't like the syrup that much. Yes, honey is packed with nutrients so the bees will go for that first. The extracted honey has a nice sweet in-describable smell to make me want to taste it already enough to drive the bees crazy. If I have to use honey then it will be only the cap frames but then even that is not enough to stop them. Take precaution to have a safe nuc experience.
    Huuuuuuuaaaaah????
    I have exactly ONE more hive than you.
    That makes my opinion beyond dispute!

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Marshall county, AL
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    3,404

    Default Re: Making splits in August......

    Quote Originally Posted by HarryVanderpool View Post
    Huuuuuuuaaaaah????
    Fluff spouted off to sound like a "pro" like normal.
    The more I learn about bees, the less I know.

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Marshall county, AL
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    3,404

    Default Re: Making splits in August......

    I ditched the effort of trying to stop the robbing on the 3, 5 frame nucs I set up with a honey frame yesterday and set up another 3 way divided deep. I went ahead and screened the entrances closed before I put bees in it. I left it in the barn with the one I made yesterday until about an hour ago and I ended up taking them up to our business and putting them there. I do have 3 hives there so I'll have to watch for robbing there too. I put Vicks Vapor Rub around the entrances before I removed the screens. Since one of the divided deeps had been closed up since lunch yesterday I expected those bees to come boiling out of that hive. Not a single bee flew out. I opened the top and removed an inner cover to make sure I hadn't cooked them. They were in there, just not moving around. After I got the entrances on all 6 compartments opened I started adding the caged queens. The attitude of the bees in those splits changed more than I have noticed any doing in the past. As soon as I sat the caged queens on top of the frames bees each split came to life. They were certainly happy to smell their new queen. I'm guessing that making such weak splits (one frame) demoralized the bees. Locking them in and them being weak may be what did it. I'd like to figure it out because the queens seemed to well recieved that whatever happened would be good if it was repeatable. I'd much rather introduce a laying queen in a small split to a hive than to try and introduce a caged queen.
    The more I learn about bees, the less I know.

  11. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Location
    Williamsport, PA
    Posts
    465

    Default Re: Making splits in August......

    Can you screen them off? I made up a box for 4 3-frame splits. It has 2 openings in each direction (east/west) and I have robber screen on. So far it seems to be working good as I have just starting hiving the splits I made at the beginning of July. This is a picture from a few days ago before I hived this side and it was extremely hot out. I may get to the other side tomorrow since I'm off.

    nuc.jpg

  12. #11
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
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    Marshall county, AL
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    3,404

    Default Re: Making splits in August......

    I'm not following what you're asking. Are you talking about putting robbing screens on them?
    The more I learn about bees, the less I know.

  13. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Location
    Williamsport, PA
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    465

    Default Re: Making splits in August......

    Quote Originally Posted by Brad Bee View Post
    I'm not following what you're asking. Are you talking about putting robbing screens on them?
    Yes.

  14. #13
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    Apr 2013
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    Marshall county, AL
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    Default Re: Making splits in August......

    So many bees had gotten inside the nucs that I figured they would orient to the screen and be able to come and go as they pleased. That's why I screened the entrances shut and locked them in over night.
    The more I learn about bees, the less I know.

  15. #14
    Join Date
    May 2016
    Location
    Washington, USA
    Posts
    473

    Default Re: Making splits in August......

    So far, after brutal robbing experiences, I have concluded that a laying queen works wonders against robbing. *just my observations*
    Somebody forgot to give my bees a copy of the book.
    Zone 6B

  16. #15
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
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    7,861

    Default Re: Making splits in August......

    How so? You mean she can stop a robbing situation or rebuild the hive afterward?
    Don't mix foreign bees into a virgin hive. She might get balled 100% of the time! When will you ever learn, huh?

  17. #16
    Join Date
    May 2016
    Location
    Washington, USA
    Posts
    473

    Default Re: Making splits in August......

    Quote Originally Posted by beepro View Post
    How so? You mean she can stop a robbing situation or rebuild the hive afterward?
    Something about her laying must moralize the bees. Pheromones?

    Queenless hives seemed to get robbed very easily.
    Somebody forgot to give my bees a copy of the book.
    Zone 6B

  18. #17
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
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    Marshall county, AL
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    Default Re: Making splits in August......

    Quote Originally Posted by m0dem View Post
    Something about her laying must moralize the bees. Pheromones?

    Queenless hives seemed to get robbed very easily.
    So do weak hives or small splits regardless of queenright status.
    The more I learn about bees, the less I know.

  19. #18
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
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    7,861

    Default Re: Making splits in August......

    It just so happens that I was transferring a newly mated carnis queen into an almost
    bees depleted nuc hive. Instantly the robbing began. I got so confused because all the
    bees look so much alike. End up closing the nuc hive up with the queen in it. Then added a frame of
    bees to call it a night. And the entrance got plug up with a piece of vent cloth too. Tomorrow will move this
    nuc into its new location.
    Yep, robbing can start at anytime when the hive is vulnerable regardless if it is queen right or queen less. Unlike
    other years, now I have the wire window screen cut to fit every hive box entrance just in case things got out of hands. Making a split during the summer time especially in a dearth situation is quite different than managing a Spring build up
    hive. The more experience you have the less mistakes you will make.
    Don't mix foreign bees into a virgin hive. She might get balled 100% of the time! When will you ever learn, huh?

  20. #19
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Location
    Columbia City, Indiana, USA
    Posts
    217

    Default Re: Making splits in August......

    I had a similar robbing experience when I made up a 5-frame nuc recently. It only had one and a half frames of capped brood and fair amount of bees, an empty drawn frame and some capped honey along with a caged mated queen and I mistakenly thought the smallest entrance on my reducer would be fine. Wrong... It was crazy to see all the cappings wax at the entrance or on the ground and a partial frame of capped honey was obliterated while the robbers were coming and going. I ended up closing it up and putting a robber screen on the nuc. The next day when I opened up the robber screen there were a handful of bees aggressively trying to get into the direct entrance but the robber screen did its job nicely and kept them out. They had a syrup feeder on top (with an empty nuc box enclosing it). After that I was a little worried because I didn't see much activity at the entrance but when I checked 3 days later the queen cage was empty and I saw the bees calmly moving about the comb and I spotted the queen. I didn't see any eggs or any newly drawn comb yet, but I wanted to leave them alone for awhile as they get settled. I still haven't seen much in the way of foragers coming or going from the nuc and I hope to see some eggs or larvae soon to confirm the queen is laying, but I wasn't sure how much of setback that type of robbing can do to a new queen.

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