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I'm new at this. Captured a swarm in early April, put them in my homemade langstroth 10 with no drawn comb. They did fine, good queen, good brood, growing steadily but slowly. I feed them on and off with a front feeder which was not there for a few days and the entrance was about half blocked. Suddenly I checked them and saw 50 or so dead bees laying in front of the hive and I figured they exterminated some robbers. I put the feeder back on and reduced the entrance hole to about one inch. Now they are fine, trucking in lots of pollen and nectar again. I saw the bouncers jumping a few remaining bad guys and dragging a few out. So, when bees fight how do they kill, by stinging? Does that mean that 25 of the dead are mine and 25 are bad guys? I saw one pair of dead bees with the stinger of one stuck in the thorax of another. Many wounded bees wander around aimlessly until they die or the ants get them. Now the reduced entrance is blocked by 3 or 4 bouncers doing aggressive card checks. Anyway, my gals apparently got busy, so all appears well.
 

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make the entrence at the oppisit end of the entrence from the feeder to make it harder for the robbers to get at it. this will help your girls settle down more.
 

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yep, they use their stingers, and yes they both die. try searching for "inner feeder" at the top of the page. i use gallon paint cans on the top. you havent seen the last of the killing, or even the worst of it...yet.
good luck,mike
 

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take it from mike, just saw my girls duking it out and it didn't look pretty, i actually felt sorry for my girls. took their feeder away darn right quickly. my hive is a sorry arse hive already and to see them fighting, just sucked the wind out of me. gonna go for an inside feeder next, plenty to choose from

http://www.brushymountainbeefarm.com/Feeders/products/113/

they also have feeders that if another hive does find out about your inside feeder it keeps the girls separated, the way i understood it.

good luck and happy beekeeping, cheers
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
So, I guess, two things help against robbing (besides having a strong colony).
1) making robbers run the gauntlet either by having the entrance separated from a front feeder, or, more effectively, a top feeder such as the Mannlake FD109 (with no top entrance). The comb honey is then the easiest access for robbers and that is also a tough gauntlet to run.
2) Reducing the size of the access hole to give the advantage to the home team bouncers. The day of the battle I had no feeder on, but over half of the wide entrance was open. So the robbers must have been going after comb honey, including perhaps an excess from the feeder several days before.

I'm still seeing an occasional bee being taken out, sometimes carried away in flight. Also an occasional bee that can't fly wandering around waiting to die.

The day of the battle, a nearby meadow was disc'd (for fire control) and I thought that might have stressed field bees into robbing.
 

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"...I'm still seeing an occasional bee being taken out, sometimes carried away in flight. Also an occasional bee that can't fly wandering around waiting to die...."
something like 2-300 die every day from old age, some in the hive that must be dragged out.
i doubt the discing bothered them.
also do a search at the top of the page for "robber screen". cheap and effective.
good luck,mike
 
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