Beesource Beekeeping Forums banner

1 - 8 of 8 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
31 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Good morning: ( I live in Sacramento, CA, mild weather)

Out of 4 split hives I only had one survive (my rookie mistake of not reducing colonies to 1 deep for the winter, 3 hives froze :( )

One remaining hive did ok. With just 3 frames of bees left it was more of a nuc.

The issue is- I have 5- frames halfway filled with capped honey, all nice and drawn out. Every time I add those frames to my hive, robbing begins. I dont see any dead bees outside the hive, but last time I saw some broken remains of was by the entrance (sure sigh of robbing)

By the end of the summer I want to add a 3rd deep, with 10 more frames of drawn out comb and honey, to make a great strong colony.

I dont want to harvest the honey just yet, but would rather invest in a strong hive.

Can anyone help me? How can I prevent so much robbing? What are your ideas about adding uncapped honey to the hive?

Thank you
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,050 Posts
Reduce the entrance to what the bees can successfully defend or use a robbing screen. The simplest robbing screen is window screen mesh folded up like a W with the two legs stapled to the box and bottom board. The bees can only enter from the sides but there is still plenty of ventilation. Three frames of bees should have a smallish entrance anyways.

Additionally, don't uncap the honey as any drips will attract robbers and try to keep the hive closed up as much as possible during manipulations. Here is one of my blog posts on trying to reduce robbing: http://www.donnellyfarmsohio.com/2013/10/fall-inspections-how-to-downsize-your.html
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,262 Posts
Merince gave sound advice. Robbing is an issue at my home apiary. I have found that once robbers have found a weak colony, they remember it. When I find a colony that is being robbed, after reducing the entrance and adding a robber screen, I move the hive.

Shane
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
31 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Will screened bottom boards contribute to robbing? I have SBB on that hive, I wonder if thats how the robbers smell it. Some people also use wet sheet on top of the whole hive, is that effective?

tsmullins- how far do you move your hive after robbing begins?

Thank you
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,050 Posts
The wet sheet traps everybody (robbers and defenders) into the hive and prevents additional robbers from invading. It is a temporary solution (until nighttime) that gives you time to install a robbing screen and move the hive.

SBB may let robbers evaluate the resources of the hives, but the underlying issue is that the entrance is too big and the hive doesn't have the resources to defend it effectively.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
31 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Thank you all. I want to try 3 deep hive setup this year and want to give the bees enough honey and drawn comb to have a head start, but will probably keep work with them later in the day and keep the entrance small (half inch)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,262 Posts
tsmullins- how far do you move your hive after robbing begins?
I have access to a friend's apiary that is a few miles away, or I move them to my Uncle's apiary 15 or so miles away. Robbing tends to only be an issue at my home apiary.

At this location, I take precautions about feeding, reducing entrances, not leaving bur comb out, taking down failed or failing colonies quick. And this site still has robbing issues.

Shane
 
1 - 8 of 8 Posts
Top