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747 Views 2 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  AmericasBeekeeper
I started out earlier this year helping a friend with his small commercial apiaries. I also have several years' experience with Mason bees. Now I'm hooked on honey bees and got myself one nuc colony about 6 weeks ago. I'm using an all mediums 10 frame setup and it is doing well. I have the first medium brood box 90% full, the second at 80% full, and a new medium on top. I'm using a 3 inch box above the top medium to place plastic bag feeders.

this past weekend, several hours after inspecting and adding the third medium, I noticed some bees circling around the sides and back of the hive, then a closer look revealed a couple of fights near the bottom entrance. I knew from my studies that this must be robbing. So I reduced the bottom and top entrances, then ran inside and did some web searching. I found that using a little vapo-rub around the entrances will confuse the raiders and I did notice some difference after doing so. I then found plans to iddee's simple robber screen, but by then it was getting late and I put that job at the top of Sunday morning's list.

Next morning I built the robber screen, placed it and watched hundreds of bees get real annoyed. I then realized I could leave a 1-bee wide gap to help improve home-bee access, but reduce the raiding bees' access. Today, my bees seemed much calmer and I see no more robber activity. I am going to leave the screen in place, probably for the rest of the season, because I'm certain the robbers came from a neigbor's 5 hives less than a half mile from mine. I see this as a bee war, and my robber screen is a fortification.

My question is; should I inspect for robber damage now, or wait a few days for the dust to settle?
I am also seriously considering a second nuc started this weekend. I guess 1 colony ain't enough
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Welcome, If the robbing was bad you would have a lot of dead bees on the ground. Sounds like you stopped it before it really got started.
This vapor rub is a interesting idea, I've never heard it before. It might inter fear with the alarm pheromone at the entrance & make the situation worse. If the bees can't warn the others.
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