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I have 10 hives in my backyard. One is weak and is rearing a new queen. It is full of honey and pollen. I noticed a cloud of bees around it yesterday, but not much fighting outside. I first installed an entrance reducer, but they bees remained and were still squeezing through and going in an out. Then I closed off the entrance completely and the top vent and the bees at the front were gone by morning. I uncovered the entrance this morning and the bees came back. I closed it off once again and the bees are still flying all around the outer cover and the entrance. How long should I keep it blocked off? Will they just come back to rob after I open it again? Thanks, Jim
 

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I have 10 hives in my backyard. One is weak and is rearing a new queen. It is full of honey and pollen. I noticed a cloud of bees around it yesterday, but not much fighting outside. I first installed an entrance reducer, but they bees remained and were still squeezing through and going in an out. Then I closed off the entrance completely and the top vent and the bees at the front were gone by morning. I uncovered the entrance this morning and the bees came back. I closed it off once again and the bees are still flying all around the outer cover and the entrance. How long should I keep it blocked off? Will they just come back to rob after I open it again? Thanks, Jim
Seen it suggested that you can take the tops off the hive that is robbing and help put an end to it. Otherwise make up a robbing screen.
 

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I have 10 hives in my backyard. One is weak and is rearing a new queen. It is full of honey and pollen. I noticed a cloud of bees around it yesterday, but not much fighting outside. I first installed an entrance reducer, but they bees remained and were still squeezing through and going in an out. Then I closed off the entrance completely and the top vent and the bees at the front were gone by morning. I uncovered the entrance this morning and the bees came back. I closed it off once again and the bees are still flying all around the outer cover and the entrance. How long should I keep it blocked off? Will they just come back to rob after I open it again? Thanks, Jim
Make a robbing screen. I had the same thing happen to a new Nuc I made. I closed up the hive (even the small hole in inner cover) and reduced entrance to 1/2" or whatever the smallest size is. They are fine now, but I am in the process of building several robbing screens. They seem easy to make, just do a google search.


-bk79
 

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Cn also try vicks vapo rub on the outside near the entrance. I have had some success with it.
 

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The Vicks works really well. I was skeptical the first time I used it but I'll say it stopped the robbers instantly. It doesn't take much just dip a q-tip in it and rub it above and the sides of the entrance. Reduce your entrance to 3/8 to 1/2 or put a robber screen on.
 

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I am in the same boat, I just split my parent hive a week ago and now there robbing the new split. I have shut the hive in and bld a robbing screen to put on tonight. I think we are starting a dearth and the parent hive wanted back there honey i moved over few days ago.
 

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Cn also try vicks vapo rub on the outside near the entrance. I have had some success with it.
this is what I love about beekeeping and this site. I learn something new EVERYDAY when I come here. Up until 3 days ago, I did not know of robbing screens and now I've learned a lil Vicks can help stop it too. (shaking my head)

i am courious as to how the occupants of the hive being robbed react to the Vicks.
 

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I'm new but a lot of these robbing stories don't sound like robbing.. just active bees. My hive is easily viewed during the day so i see orientation flights and just major entrance activity a lot that are not robbing.
 

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The robber bees are following the scent of the stores they are after, the vicks will mask the smell. ITs the same way a robber screen works they bang their heads against the screen following the scent when there is an entrance a few inches away. If the hive is covered up in robbers and they have been at it for a few days nothing may work short of moving the hive or locking the bees in for a few days then robber screen and vicks and anything else people may suggest.
 

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I uncovered the entrance this morning and the bees came back. I closed it off once again and the bees are still flying all around the outer cover and the entrance. How long should I keep it blocked off?
Never in this heat you will kill all the bees inside. If they are not fighting they are not robbing or it is too late anyway. Check to see how many bees are inside and if they are scrambling. If the bees are not in a panic leave them alone. I thought Cincinnati was still in a flow?
 

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If you do close up the entrances/vents, use #8 hardware cloth instead of a solid material to still allow ventilation.

Here is Michael Bush's page with tips on robbing:
http://www.bushfarms.com/beesrobbing.htm

In addition to allowing ventilation, the hardware cloth over a vent may confuse the robbers as to where the real entrance is:
Anytime you are reducing an entrance to stop robbing, use screen wire instead of wood. The screen will do more to confuse the robbers. Robbers tend to use smell rather than remembering where the entrance is. This is also the principle of a robber screen.

http://www.bushfarms.com/beesrobbing.htm
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I finally got the robbing stopped. I closed up the front and top entrances completely for two days. I have a screened bottom board and I put a screened vent spacer on top. I squirted water in several times each day so they had moisture. Put a blanket over the hive and sprayed it with Bee Quick (that cherry smelling stuff). I put a wheelbarrow with a garage can in it in front of the hive. I covered the hive with an old camouflage tarp so it looked nothing like a beehive. I opened the front this morning. Just a few of the robbers flew out up over my house to the wherever and none have come back and found it. I will check tomorrow to see how the queen cells are coming and how many bees have survived.
 
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