How long does robbing last?
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2018
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    39

    Default How long does robbing last?

    It is spring in Australia, even though it is very dry I got a nuc a few weeks ago. As there is so little feed now and plenty of other more established hives around I reduced the entrance before transferring them into the hive to help them defend a smaller opening. I have been feeding inside the hive with 1:1 syrup in an inverted jar.

    On the Saturday there was aggressive robbing with lots of dead bees on the ground and plenty of debris falling through the the screened bottom board. Then on Tuesday there was more robbing and fighting, this time I think my bees held them off as there was no debris. I inspected the hive the following weekend and they have drawn out new comb and started filling it with honey. The following Tuesday there was robbing and fighting, again there was no debris so I assume my bees held the attackers off.

    How often do hives get robbed like this? Is there anything I can do to help my bees? The entrance is still reduced, I am still feeding them, the hive is gaining weight each day, there is no debris falling from the screened bottom so I assume the robbers are not getting much.

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Location
    England, UK
    Posts
    1,632

    Default Re: How long does robbing last?

    There are two things you can do:

    Firstly - and most importantly - fit some kind of mesh anti-robbing screen over the entrance - there are numerous designs on the Internet - it's by far the most effective method of minimising or even eliminating robbing.

    Secondly, if you're in a position to do this, then only add feed in the evening after flying has stopped for the day, and try to ensure that all syrup has been consumed before morning - so use smaller jars or only half-fill large ones as necessary.

    How long does robbing go on ? Very much regional-specific - as long as the dearth of nectar continues.
    LJ
    A Heretics Guide to Beekeeping http://heretics-guide.atwebpages.com/

  4. #3
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Grand Rapids MI USA
    Posts
    1,554

    Default Re: How long does robbing last?

    If you can move em for three days or so to get the robbers out of the habit of pestering the hive. Block the SBB off, or get a solid one till they get stronger, your instance was one of the reasons I threw mine on the burn pile. Nothing but a bunch of bees trying to figure out how get past the screen in the fall dearth.
    Rod

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2018
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    39

    Default Re: How long does robbing last?

    I have been feeding late afternoon and all the food is gone by morning. I was mostly doing it to help them get established.

    I will look into robbing screens. I haven't heard of anyone using them so perhaps they are not the done thing here and I will need to build one.

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Greenville, NC, USA
    Posts
    193

    Default Re: How long does robbing last?

    After losing a hive 2 years in a row to robbing I started using robbing screens all the time. The home bees enter from the end and robbers focus on the honey odor at the front where the screen is. Robbing needs to be stopped asap as many bees will die fighting.

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    Derry, New Hampshire
    Posts
    2,295

    Default Re: How long does robbing last?

    Quote Originally Posted by TurtleSpider View Post
    I have been feeding late afternoon and all the food is gone by morning. I was mostly doing it to help them get established.

    I will look into robbing screens. I haven't heard of anyone using them so perhaps they are not the done thing here and I will need to build one.
    Very easy to make with some wood scraps and window screen. I put them on every summer as a habit when it starts to get dry. they don't stop wasps though. If you see a robbing going on don't hesitate to screen off the entrance completely and move the hive that night if possible. make sure your jars are not dripping. perhaps try using one gallon freezer bags. fill it up and put it on top of the frames enclosed in a box. use a push pin to prick the top side ten or twenty times. although wasteful it works as a feeder.
    Terrence

  8. #7
    Join Date
    May 2016
    Location
    Cartersville, Georgia, USA
    Posts
    15

    Default Re: How long does robbing last?

    Make yourself a robbing screen. It will take the bees in the hive a few days to find the new entrance but they will eventually get it down. Robbers will still be trying to get in at the bottom entrance where the smell is coming from.

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2017
    Location
    NW Florida
    Posts
    1,150

    Default Re: How long does robbing last?

    Quote Originally Posted by TurtleSpider View Post
    I have been feeding inside the hive with 1:1 syrup in an inverted jar.
    I inspected the hive the following weekend and they have drawn out new comb and started filling it with honey.

    How often do hives get robbed like this? Is there anything I can do to help my bees? The entrance is still reduced, I am still feeding them, the hive is gaining weight each day, there is no debris falling from the screened bottom so I assume the robbers are not getting much.
    Two things:
    1st They are not storing honey if you are feeding. They are storing sugar water. Please do not mix those frames in with honey and sell it as honey. If you feed, the frames filled during that time need to stay for bee use. Ethics thing to me.
    2nd The robber screens are good. Also, if you catch them in the middle of robbing put some vicks rub around the entrance. It really messes with the smell. When I have done this, the robbing stopped nearly instantly.
    Beek since 2016: Hardiness Zone 9a: in NW Florida

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    AUBURN IN.
    Posts
    248

    Default Re: How long does robbing last?

    ROBBING --will not stop until U DO SOMETHING to stop them or until they get all the honey out of hive --then they will stop

  11. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    53,922

    Default Re: How long does robbing last?

    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 42y 40h 39yTF

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