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We have been trying to help our 4 hives which are under seige by robbers. I have reduced openings and have wet sheets on all. I have also ordered robbing screens from Brushy MT and awaiting their arrival. If we are in a dearth, it is a long time for the goldenrod. So much I need to do with my hives and I am at a standstill until this calms down. I have read some people put vapor rub near entrance…is this a good idea with your own bees inside? Any other options to try?
 

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Reduce openings almost down to one bee width......... not sure about VR..

Search on BS for robber (robbing) screens. They are relatively easy to make.......
 

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I am having the same problem. Robbers have already emptied 2 nucs. I fought them
in two ways. I made some robbing screens for a few of the hives. It is made out of 1/8
screen bent like a W shape and stapled to the hive. I extended it about 2 inches past the
edges of the hive. I also reduced the entrances down to one bee size before I put on the screens.
I made a different style of robbing screen too. They are basically a moving screen from Mann Lake and I drilled
a 1/2 inch hole down through the top to let some bees in and out.
Both cut the robbing way back but has not stopped the assault. I figure if the colony can't defend itself with all
the help then I don't need their genes in my bees. With both methods it took 3 days to end the robbing cycle.
Robbing is a BIG problem for me this year. I am starting to think the robbers are feral as I can't find the hive they
are going back to with the spoils. :ws:
 

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If you open feed well away from the hives will that decrease robbing?
 

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Run buy stuff to build robbers...do NOT wait on Brushy Mountain to ship the screens fast enough to save your hives! I live just 3 hours' drive each way from their PA store, and their last shipment to me took 8 (!!!) days. 6 of those were apparently the wait in the warehouse, judging from the date the package shipped. I love their products, but I won't order if I'm in an emergency. Betterbee also has them.

If I can build a robber screen, you can too! I used some 1xsomething wood from Lowe's (learned later my local Ace Hardware had some similar wood), some wire screen, staples, and some screws. I made them in about 10 minutes each on my kitchen table. For the cost of two pre-made screens, I made enough for all my hives.
 

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I finally defeated the robbers by completely closing the hive up except for half an hour at daylight and dusk. I do have a screened bottom board, I'd not do that with a solid one, they will get too hot.

Took three days to get rid of the attaching bees (and a rainy day helped, I think). Requeened them, going well so far, and put the majority of their honey on the hive next door for safekeeping.

Typically a hive with open honey (in my case, wet supers they didn't clean up very fast and lots of backfilling due to being queenless) and not enough bees will be the one the robbers find and get into, and back out of. Best defense is strong hives with well sealed boxes and no feeding.

Do not ever put out feed of any kind during a dearth, it will attract huge numbers of bees and they will hang around for days. I left some wet supers out on the rampway for a couple hours -- got distracted in getting them into the basement -- and had a cloud of bees there even the next day. I sprayed them down with the hose, but I suspect that's where the robbers came from that tried to wipe out my hive. Open feeding of any kind this time of year is going to cause serious trouble.

That said, today my healthy hive is flying like crazy, working something. Might be white dutch clover, my brother reports his are all over it, who know. Hopefully not my neighbor's hives!

Peter
 

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If you're using Honey B Healthy in your syrup, stop using it. When I used HBH robbing started every time and I lost several nucs and small hives. Once I stopped I have only lost one weak hive (cross my fingers) in the last two years. Robber screens are my backup weapon if it starts. Most times I'll put a new nuc on top of the mother hive, turned to the side and there's not much of a problem either.
 

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The Vicks wil stop them instantly and does not hurt your bees. Don't use gobs of it just smear a thin coat above and to the sides of their entrance. You will need to do this once a day or every other day until you get robber screens on them. It's interesting to watch their reaction. Don't be afraid to try it works great and your bees will come and go as business as usual.
 
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