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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hello all. I guess its that time year....the robbing time of year. I have one particularly strong hive (started from a package this year...Italians) that seems to be menacing all the other hives. I can tell them from the other bees I have as they are much lighter....and there flight paths to the other hives very obvious. They first went after the weakest of my hives...one that I had just re-queened. I reduced entrances, put a damp sheet over the targeted hive, etc. When I noticed that the weaker hive didn't seem to be fighting them off anymore...I opened that hive...found few bees and no queen. As this has been a weak hive since day one, I just decided to let nature take its course...and let the robbers have it. Then an over-all frenzy seemed to commence with the robbers going after the other hives as well. I moved the original, target hive to a new location...hoping the robbers would leave the other hives alone...no such luck. This is now an ongoing challenge in my bee yard. I've reduced all the entrances (including the robbing hive) down...but there is continued fighting and dead bees littering the ground. What more can/should I do...what might I have done differently in the beginning? Any advice appreciated.
 

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Order some pure Russian Queens. But good luck with that, they are hard to come by. What you have are the true Mafasio. Always are from my experience.
 

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Next year keep the entrances reduced from the get go. I keep my entrances reduced year around, I see no point in having the massive entrances that nucs and langs provide. I have never seen a feral hive with such a large entrance. Once robbing commences it is nearly impossible to stop.

In the mean time move all the weak hives or as another poster said move the strong hive.
 

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Yuleluder
Thankyou,,,,I do the exact same thing with my entrances. Others I've talked to say it messes with ventilation. How do they do it in a tree or the sofit of a building. I do use a modified Warre top with screen box and wood chips filler, but a standard hive top. No robbing, no bumble bees, hornets, yellowjackets, shb (yet) wax moths, etc. They defend the entrance viciously;) My entrances are 8 to 10 inches wide open. Nucs and splits much less.

Rick SoMd
 

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Yuleluder
Thankyou,,,,I do the exact same thing with my entrances. Others I've talked to say it messes with ventilation. How do they do it in a tree or the sofit of a building. I do use a modified Warre top with screen box and wood chips filler, but a standard hive top. No robbing, no bumble bees, hornets, yellowjackets, shb (yet) wax moths, etc. They defend the entrance viciously;) My entrances are 8 to 10 inches wide open. Nucs and splits much less.

Rick SoMd
My entrances are even smaller, lol. My full size langs (10 frame deeps) all have screened bottom boards, so I don't think ventilation is affected. Full size hives have about a 3 to 4 inch entrance. Most of my nucs have entrance not much wider then a couple of bees. Its better to have too small an entrance then too large, IMHO.
 

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My entrances are even smaller, lol. My full size langs (10 frame deeps) all have screened bottom boards, so I don't think ventilation is affected. Full size hives have about a 3 to 4 inch entrance. Most of my nucs have entrance not much wider then a couple of bees. Its better to have too small an entrance then too large, IMHO.
LOL I think mine are good since I don't use screened BB. Might tweekem abit though:D

Rick SoMd
 

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Full size hives have about a 3 to 4 inch entrance.
My 8-frame hives also have small entrances. About 3 1/2" wide x 3/8" high. After two years experience with robbing I decided that I would simply use a much smaller entrance. To me, congestion at the entrance is a good thing.

http://s275.photobucket.com/albums/jj305/js06807/Hive Stands/?action=view&current=MVI_8081.mp4


Kathy,

I've followed your "2010 a Bee Odyssey" since reading the posting about you ordering your spring package. Sorry that there's another chapter...
 

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I have a hive of bandits that I caught as a swarm about two weeks ago. I have reason to believe that they swarmed with a virgin queen. To date they have no brood to speak of. I am thinking to nix the queen, shake out the hive and remove the hove body. Would that possibly work? I would carry them off to a far away place, but I really can't think of where to take them.
 

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I make entrance reducers out of the screen that comes on the package boxes. Just bend them into a V cut to length and cut a hole about 1 inch long in the center and use tacks to hold in place. They get full ventilation and can guard the one inch opening.
 

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I make entrance reducers out of the screen that comes on the package boxes. Just bend them into a V cut to length and cut a hole about 1 inch long in the center and use tacks to hold in place. They get full ventilation and can guard the one inch opening.
I do something similar, but where I cut one side of the V, I offset the other cut about six inches from the front side hole. It creates something very similar to a robber screen. Robbers do not know which way to go to get into the hive once coming through the first hole.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks everyone for the suggestions. I will continue to keep the entrances reduced.

I can't move the strong hive 2.5 miles as I don't have a place to put it other than in my own yard. I need to start making friends with the local farmers!!!

Since moving it isn't a real possibility...I am considering taking some of the brood frames and nurse bees out and redistributing them. Anyone else have luck with that? I'm sorry I got the Italians in the first place...however they are honey making machines!
 

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I can't move the strong hive 2.5 miles as I don't have a place to put it other than in my own yard. I need to start making friends with the local farmers!!!
I found a great site, a small farm, through Craigslist (farm and garden). I posted that I was looking for a host for honey bee hives. I had about four replies.

Or just ask down at "Tumbledowns" or at the Gris after happy hour... :)

I know someone on Maple Street in Chester...
 

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Use a robber screen. You can build your own. Basically, you have an entrance reducer then, you have a screen that goes up to another entrance reducer. The bees of the hives, go out the bottom reducer, go up to the upper reducer and go out. The bees of the hive figure it out, but the robbers can't figure out how to get in. You can do a google search for "robber screen", under images, to see a simple version, or you can buy a more sophisticated one from Brushy Mountain. Here is the link.

http://www.brushymountainbeefarm.com/8-FRM-MOVING-AND-ROBBING-SCREEN/productinfo/254MRS/
 
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