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Winter is the time for making stuff. Ease of manufacture is a concern. I am thinking of making some robbing screens for nucs. In designing, or copying a design, I have these questions.

1) How far up should screen go from the main entrance in order that the robbers don't figure out the way in?
2) What is the optimum size for the entrance to the robbing screen?
3) Anything else that is critical in the design/manufacture of these devices?
4) The best way to secure the screen to the box? I don't like nailing things to my woodenware.

Thanks.
 

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>1) How far up should screen go from the main entrance in order that the robbers don't figure out the way in?

I would probably build them to fit my boxes since a single box hive is the most likely to get robbed. i.e. I would probably make mine 6 1/2" or so to fit my 6 5/8" medium boxes. But even if you simply screen the entrance and poke one hole big enough for the bees to get in and out, it will work pretty well...

>2) What is the optimum size for the entrance to the robbing screen?

I've seen them entirely open top and bottom. That's not how I've done mine. I have a very small entrance:
http://www.bushfarms.com/beesmisc.htm#robberscreen
(click on the thumbnails for bigger pictures)

>3) Anything else that is critical in the design/manufacture of these devices?

Mostly the concept is that robbers are guided by smell and screens confuse them. They are looking for a direct path in following the smell.

>4) The best way to secure the screen to the box? I don't like nailing things to my woodenware.

I screwed mine on with wood screws, but you could use one or more bungee cords around the entire hive to hold them on, or a rubber band made of an old inner tube if the tube is large enough (think truck or tractor inner tubes)
 

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I was thinking of a way to simplify the robber screen for nucs and hope that this is a relevant thread to ask if my idea in the following steps would work:
1) Dado or route a 3/8" deep, 1" wide groove from the bottom of a nuc box (the typical bottom entrance) straight up the side of the box for 6".
2) Staple on a screen to cover the bottom entrance and most of the groove, leaving a gap at the top of the groove for bees to use as an entrance.

I realize a lot of people would rather not be cutting grooves into their woodenware and it isnt a good solution for a box that already has bees in it. I'm open to any other constructive comments/suggestions.

Jim
 

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I agree routing a slot with them in may make them upset. I would just get some 1X1s cut them about 4-5 inches long and attach some screen to it and leave extra scrren for bottom and attach it to the box with staples or thumb tacks. so the screen is away from entrance but open on top and sealed around base and sides. I attached mine to africanized hives and they were very upset at me but it works until I make removable and sturdier ones later this winter. try to make sure there are no foragers out. They wont know how to get back in there house.
 

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Somewhere on this forum a simple screen system was discussed. Just cut the wire screen a bit shorter than the front of the box....put 2 creases in it forming a W shape then simply tack that over the entrance. I used that system on my nucs with bottom entrances and it worked well.
I also have some nucs that have entrance discs...I turned the disc to only make a slit for the bees...that did not do a very good job of detering robbers so suggestions for simple...emphasis on easy to make....for disc type entrances would be appreciated.
 

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I made a "box" out of screen cut a 1"opening at the top and stapled it to the hive cheap, easy and quick. the size was about 5"x6".
 

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Somewhere on this forum a simple screen system was discussed. Just cut the wire screen a bit shorter than the front of the box....put 2 creases in it forming a W shape then simply tack that over the entrance. I used that system on my nucs with bottom entrances and it worked well.
I also have some nucs that have entrance discs...I turned the disc to only make a slit for the bees...that did not do a very good job of detering robbers so suggestions for simple...emphasis on easy to make....for disc type entrances would be appreciated.
WBVC

Do you have a picture of the wire formed into a "W" shape and how it is stapled to the entrance. Where do the bees exit? From the short end? Maybe I'm a little simple but I can't envision how it works.

Thanks!
 

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I've experimented a lot with robber screens, and most of my experimental versions are still in use - I use robber screens extensively because of the number of hives I have all in one place, and their widely varying sizes - and because my mostly Italian bees are incorrigible robbers.

I have all 8 frame mediums, many of which have cleats - so most of my robber screens are only about 4" tall so as to clear the cleats. Taller would no doubt be better but the 4" ones work pretty darn good.



I have many which are full access and also several which are baffled with as little as 1" entrances. Baffled works better, but full access works pretty good also - so make some of each then you can give better access to bigger hives and more protection to small ones.



The best way I have found to hold them on - short of screws - is to glue blocks on at the ends of the RS which are a tight fit between the bottom board and hive body. Next best is to use small wooden wedges between the end of the robber screen and the side of the bottom board.



Another option is to screw the robber screen on flush with the bottom of the hive body and then use an entrance reducer-like device to open and close - or reduce - the gap under the robber screen to either enable or bypass the robber screen without having to remove it.
 

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Thanks for the ideas so far. I want to run some smaller nucs in out-apiaries where I can't see them as frequently as the ones at home. I really like the idea of something made out of folded/bent mesh. These ideas and links are giving me food for thought. :thumbsup:
 

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The screen one is what I use, except I only open 1" or so at the top. I got 8 stitches from my tablesaw this spring so these let me avoid that.
 

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I think that Brushy Mountain's design is the best.

The side with the small entrance is covered by a piece of aluminum, the robbers are attracted to the open screened side. There is a larger "main" entrance that has a swinging cover. The small, restricted entrance can also be closed so the one screen can be used as a moving or robbing screen...

 

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I don't have a photo but found it on this forum and there was a photo. I don't even staple them on...just stick them on with standard pushpins...makes it easy to get them on an off. It sort of forms a tunnel over the entrance...the bees come and go from either side.

The previous post was May 2013... W shaped robber screen....super simple, super cheap and works.
WBVC

Do you have a picture of the wire formed into a "W" shape and how it is stapled to the entrance. Where do the bees exit? From the short end? Maybe I'm a little simple but I can't envision how it works.

Thanks!
 

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Thanks guys for the pictures. Makes perfect sense now. May have to make a few to have on hand, easier than the wooden framed ones I made last summer.
 
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