Is this robbing in progress? Anything to do?
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
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    Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
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    Default Is this robbing in progress? Anything to do?

    This morning there are lots of bees on the corner entrance, very aggressive, some fighting is clearly visible. You can hear the buzzing from some distance. Is this robbing? Swarming? Something else? I haven't see this before.

    Many thanks!

    IMG_1353.jpg

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
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    Scott county, Arkansas, Usa
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    Default Re: Is this robbing in progress? Anything to do?

    If it is, it is just getting underway. I don't see any bees on the ground fighting, but it does appear there is some fighting on the bottom board.
    If there is any chance it is robbing, I would close the entrance to two bees wide, because it can escalate quickly.

    Alex
    Ten years of Beekeeping before varroa. Started again spring of 2014.

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
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    West Bath, Maine, United States
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    Default Re: Is this robbing in progress? Anything to do?

    When in doubt close it down. Narrow is not going to hurt anything.
    Those robbers are going to try the next hive in line. Sometimes they will settle for dry sugar as bait in a empty body a little bit away , not going to hurt.
    It is not true that you cannot teach an old dog new tricks.
    They can learn them, they just can't do them.

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2017
    Location
    Dane County, WI, USA
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    3,118

    Default Re: Is this robbing in progress? Anything to do?

    Quote Originally Posted by tbreslow View Post
    This morning there are lots of bees on the corner entrance, very aggressive, some fighting is clearly visible. You can hear the buzzing from some distance. Is this robbing? Swarming? Something else? I haven't see this before.

    Many thanks!

    IMG_1353.jpg
    Swarming is very unlikely on Sunday morning, October 6th in PA.
    Robbing however is very likely, especially if the first thing in the morning (most likely started developing the night before).

    I plug each and every hole with toilet paper and/or tape over with masking tape.
    Leave a single hole somewhere - a pencil size.
    And go about my business.

    The residents will eventually unplug themselves.
    The robbers will go away.
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
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    Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
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    Default Re: Is this robbing in progress? Anything to do?

    Many many thanks for the feedback. I've reduced the entrance to just the minimum, can already see things getting calmer. Thanks!!

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
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    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
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    Default Re: Is this robbing in progress? Anything to do?

    What is it between the box and the bottom board?
    "Every viewpoint, is a view from a point." - Solomon Parker

  8. #7

    Default Re: Is this robbing in progress? Anything to do?

    As soon as things calm down and you get a good day, open the hive up and give it a good look. I find it very unusual for a healthy hive to get robbed.
    Let me never fall into the vulgar mistake of dreaming that I am persecuted whenever I am contradicted. - Emerson

  9. #8

    Default Re: Is this robbing in progress? Anything to do?

    Quote Originally Posted by Oldtimer View Post
    What is it between the box and the bottom board?
    Yeah! I missed that. Good catch oldtimer.
    Let me never fall into the vulgar mistake of dreaming that I am persecuted whenever I am contradicted. - Emerson

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
    Location
    Joliet, il
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    Default Re: Is this robbing in progress? Anything to do?

    Thats robbing. I just posted about it this weekend. Close up all entrances. Lock them in. Once the robbers realize they cant get in they'll leave. Im doing a 4 day lock down. The ones inside will become part of the hive.

  11. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
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    Scott county, Arkansas, Usa
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    Default Re: Is this robbing in progress? Anything to do?

    Quote Originally Posted by tbreslow View Post
    Many many thanks for the feedback. I've reduced the entrance to just the minimum, can already see things getting calmer. Thanks!!
    You may also want to make or buy some robber screens.

    Alex
    Ten years of Beekeeping before varroa. Started again spring of 2014.

  12. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
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    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    Default Re: Is this robbing in progress? Anything to do?

    It's hard to tell from a still shot.

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

  13. #12

    Default Re: Is this robbing in progress? Anything to do?

    Clark's beetle shim

  14. #13
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
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    Default Re: Is this robbing in progress? Anything to do?

    Hi,

    Looks like they are back at it (new pics). I narrowed the opening the last time around, and now I am on day 2 with a tons of bees trying to get in, loud hive, etc. I hope there is still something left!

    @billboard - when you say "close up all the entrances" you mean literally so they can't get in or out? Won't that hurt them?

    Many Thanks!

    IMG_1392.jpg

    IMG_1393.jpg

  15. #14
    Join Date
    Dec 2017
    Location
    Dane County, WI, USA
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    Default Re: Is this robbing in progress? Anything to do?

    Quote Originally Posted by tbreslow View Post
    Hi,

    Looks like they are back at it (new pics). I narrowed the opening the last time around, and now I am on day 2 with a tons of bees trying to get in, loud hive, etc. I hope there is still something left!

    @billboard - when you say "close up all the entrances" you mean literally so they can't get in or out? Won't that hurt them?

    Many Thanks!

    IMG_1392.jpg

    IMG_1393.jpg
    If tomorrow's forecast is cold, I would not worry about this.
    If the next week forecast is cold too, I would not worry about it even longer.

    If still warm, do a robbing screen OR just tape them in shut completely with painter's tape and make just 1-2 slits in the tape.
    The residents will chew through it in time; the robbers will not get in.
    Like so:
    - I completely taped in a hive under robbing pressure
    20191020_164536.jpg
    - the residents focused on a single entrance and are trying to widen the slit and get inside (after watching, I give just a little more help - they were squeezing in/out - so I went home and never checked back - they can do the rest - robbers don't take the time and effort to chew the tape)
    20191020_175832.jpg
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  16. #15
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    Default Re: Is this robbing in progress? Anything to do?

    Shut them down immediately anytime you have serious robbing. They will die if you don't. Close it off completely with some window screen. After things have eased up, then you can try to figure out how to have an entrance where only one bee at a time can get out. Then expand that to two bees passing each other. Or make a robber screen.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 42y 40h 39yTF

  17. #16
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
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    Herrick, SD USA
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    Default Re: Is this robbing in progress? Anything to do?

    Usually once robbing in earnest has begun its because of hive weakness and its just too late to do much about it.
    The times I've figured its worth a try I will open the hive briefly and give it a good smoke which will evacuate most of the robbers. Then change the entrance orientation by turning the hive 90 or 180 degrees and severely checking down the entrance. I've had success as well by switching in the hive with a strong hive for an hour or so. Its kind of fun to watch the entrance of the strong hive immediately bristle and repel the robbers. After the robbing subsides then switch them back, severely check the entrance and watch it closely for any resumption.
    "People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe."- Andy Rooney

  18. #17
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
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    Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
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    Default Re: Is this robbing in progress? Anything to do?

    Thanks all. I've shut down the entrance entirely (with jury-rigged tape, which will probably fail soon, I need to do a real screen). There is still an immense amount of activity, they have not "given up", it is very unnerving. It's day 3. Unfortunately the weather is unseasonably warm. Serious rain, which I thought might help, but they are still at it.

  19. #18
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
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    Herrick, SD USA
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    Default Re: Is this robbing in progress? Anything to do?

    I take lots of robbing precautions with spring nucs. Fall robbing, on the other hand, is almost always a hive failure with the best case scenario being a weak hive that somehow still needs to survive the winter without the winter stores that have already been plundered.
    "People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe."- Andy Rooney

  20. #19
    Join Date
    May 2013
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    Shreveport, Louisiana, USA
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    Default Re: Is this robbing in progress? Anything to do?

    Quote Originally Posted by jim lyon View Post
    Usually once robbing in earnest has begun its because of hive weakness and its just too late to do much about it.
    The times I've figured its worth a try I will open the hive briefly and give it a good smoke which will evacuate most of the robbers. Then change the entrance orientation by turning the hive 90 or 180 degrees and severely checking down the entrance. I've had success as well by switching in the hive with a strong hive for an hour or so. Its kind of fun to watch the entrance of the strong hive immediately bristle and repel the robbers. After the robbing subsides then switch them back, severely check the entrance and watch it closely for any resumption.
    Check down the entrance, swap places with a strong colony, and reorient. People get student loans to pay for less valuable education.
    David Matlock

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