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Discussion Starter #1
This morning there are lots of bees on the corner entrance, very aggressive, some fighting is clearly visible. You can hear the buzzing from some distance. Is this robbing? Swarming? Something else? I haven't see this before.

Many thanks!

IMG_1353.jpg
 

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If it is, it is just getting underway. I don't see any bees on the ground fighting, but it does appear there is some fighting on the bottom board.
If there is any chance it is robbing, I would close the entrance to two bees wide, because it can escalate quickly.

Alex
 

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When in doubt close it down. Narrow is not going to hurt anything.
Those robbers are going to try the next hive in line. Sometimes they will settle for dry sugar as bait in a empty body a little bit away , not going to hurt.
 

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This morning there are lots of bees on the corner entrance, very aggressive, some fighting is clearly visible. You can hear the buzzing from some distance. Is this robbing? Swarming? Something else? I haven't see this before.

Many thanks!

View attachment 51729
Swarming is very unlikely on Sunday morning, October 6th in PA.
Robbing however is very likely, especially if the first thing in the morning (most likely started developing the night before).

I plug each and every hole with toilet paper and/or tape over with masking tape.
Leave a single hole somewhere - a pencil size.
And go about my business.

The residents will eventually unplug themselves.
The robbers will go away.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Many many thanks for the feedback. I've reduced the entrance to just the minimum, can already see things getting calmer. Thanks!!
 

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As soon as things calm down and you get a good day, open the hive up and give it a good look. I find it very unusual for a healthy hive to get robbed.
 

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Thats robbing. I just posted about it this weekend. Close up all entrances. Lock them in. Once the robbers realize they cant get in they'll leave. Im doing a 4 day lock down. The ones inside will become part of the hive.
 

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Many many thanks for the feedback. I've reduced the entrance to just the minimum, can already see things getting calmer. Thanks!!
You may also want to make or buy some robber screens.

Alex
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Hi,

Looks like they are back at it (new pics). I narrowed the opening the last time around, and now I am on day 2 with a tons of bees trying to get in, loud hive, etc. I hope there is still something left!

@billboard - when you say "close up all the entrances" you mean literally so they can't get in or out? Won't that hurt them?

Many Thanks!

IMG_1392.jpg

IMG_1393.jpg
 

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Hi,

Looks like they are back at it (new pics). I narrowed the opening the last time around, and now I am on day 2 with a tons of bees trying to get in, loud hive, etc. I hope there is still something left!

@billboard - when you say "close up all the entrances" you mean literally so they can't get in or out? Won't that hurt them?

Many Thanks!

View attachment 52077

View attachment 52079
If tomorrow's forecast is cold, I would not worry about this.
If the next week forecast is cold too, I would not worry about it even longer.

If still warm, do a robbing screen OR just tape them in shut completely with painter's tape and make just 1-2 slits in the tape.
The residents will chew through it in time; the robbers will not get in.
Like so:
- I completely taped in a hive under robbing pressure
20191020_164536.jpg
- the residents focused on a single entrance and are trying to widen the slit and get inside (after watching, I give just a little more help - they were squeezing in/out - so I went home and never checked back - they can do the rest - robbers don't take the time and effort to chew the tape)
20191020_175832.jpg
 

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Shut them down immediately anytime you have serious robbing. They will die if you don't. Close it off completely with some window screen. After things have eased up, then you can try to figure out how to have an entrance where only one bee at a time can get out. Then expand that to two bees passing each other. Or make a robber screen.
 

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Usually once robbing in earnest has begun its because of hive weakness and its just too late to do much about it.
The times I've figured its worth a try I will open the hive briefly and give it a good smoke which will evacuate most of the robbers. Then change the entrance orientation by turning the hive 90 or 180 degrees and severely checking down the entrance. I've had success as well by switching in the hive with a strong hive for an hour or so. Its kind of fun to watch the entrance of the strong hive immediately bristle and repel the robbers. After the robbing subsides then switch them back, severely check the entrance and watch it closely for any resumption.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Thanks all. I've shut down the entrance entirely (with jury-rigged tape, which will probably fail soon, I need to do a real screen). There is still an immense amount of activity, they have not "given up", it is very unnerving. It's day 3. Unfortunately the weather is unseasonably warm. Serious rain, which I thought might help, but they are still at it.
 

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I take lots of robbing precautions with spring nucs. Fall robbing, on the other hand, is almost always a hive failure with the best case scenario being a weak hive that somehow still needs to survive the winter without the winter stores that have already been plundered.
 

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Usually once robbing in earnest has begun its because of hive weakness and its just too late to do much about it.
The times I've figured its worth a try I will open the hive briefly and give it a good smoke which will evacuate most of the robbers. Then change the entrance orientation by turning the hive 90 or 180 degrees and severely checking down the entrance. I've had success as well by switching in the hive with a strong hive for an hour or so. Its kind of fun to watch the entrance of the strong hive immediately bristle and repel the robbers. After the robbing subsides then switch them back, severely check the entrance and watch it closely for any resumption.
Check down the entrance, swap places with a strong colony, and reorient. People get student loans to pay for less valuable education.
 
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