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My bees (6 big hives) have never robbed out another hive, but they did this afternoon. I'd found a nice swarm cell in a favorite hive so I pulled it (plus some capped brood, pollen, stores) and made a little mating nuc. Added entrance reducer. That was a few days ago.

This afternoon I go out to work some hives and the little split was being robbed. I didn't see any fighting back, but they don't really have a queen yet. There's a nice early nectar flow going on, so that's not the probelm. I closed the entrance with grass for lack of anything better to do as I don't have a robbing screen (yet). Will check on them tomorrow I guess to see if anything is left.

My question is, will I be able to pull little splits like this in the future? This is the way I've increased hives in the past.

I don't understand why this happened EXCEPT I did some open feeding the other day (few hundred yards from the hives) to clean out some leftover goldenrod honey (very strong smelling). This was also the honey I gave the split. I wonder if the smell, after being open fed those supers, attracted robbers?

I don't really have another place to put little splits/nucs, but I'd like to raise some. Any advice appreciated - on how to salvage this mating nuc if there's anything left...and how to do this better in future. Thank you in advance - everyone has been so helpful in the past and I appreciate it!

BlueRidgeBee
4th year beek
 

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I'll let someone else answer the robbing thing :)
I am posting to say I think that you taking the swam cell(s) is not the best thing
that hive is going to swarm removing cells won't stop it.
If you want to try and save it
You should take the queen, some brood and food
Look up artificial swarm that's what I think you need to do
 

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Made that mistake. ( I make lots) ive took cells, queens, and made splits. If the cell is capped and the queen has no place to lay its going to swarm. If you have cells on multiple frames you can move one frame. Then you have to think can I take the queen or leave the queen and take the cell. Bottom line queen must have a place to lay eggs
 

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I'm hoping it was orientation flights and not robbing you saw, as there is nectar flows on? Normally, I don't see robbing if there is nectars flowing, unless the flow is too weak for the amount of beehives in the area.
 

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They will rob in a NY min. given the chance. Every sub species will rob some are just worse than others. They normally are not too bad about robbing when there is a flow going. But, your flow may not really be going good enough yet to keep them from taking the easy pickings from a small split. Making the split stronger and keeping the entrance reduced down to just one bee wide will give your little split a fighting chance.

I agree with the others you need to try and split out the queen with some brood once you find swarm cells or break the hive down into multiple splits each with it's own swarm cell. Just moving a little brood and a swarm cell won't keep the parent hive from swarming.
 

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When I see swarm cells, I usually grab the queen like the posters above me mentioned.

Robbing shouldn't be much of a concern if a flow is present. Move the split - the robbers will keep checking it out since it's an easy target, install robbing screen and don't do open feeding near it. If the cell made it, you may need to transfer more brood and bees to strengthen it. Make sure you get them in the middle of a nice, sunny day. In that way, you'll minimize getting foragers aka would be robbers.
 
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