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I've been reading about the Robber Screen, this bit of technology is new to me (And yes, a lot of the other ideas as well. Some of this information is opposite of what I learned years ago.). I see how it works, my question is how long it's left on.

Is the screen left in place all the time? It seems to me the robbers would discover and learn the new ways in. If left in place, can the entrance be enlarged as the bees get used to their own way in and out?
 

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I haven't used one but I read that if you put it on while the robbers are inside they will know the way in/out. They said to put it on in the evening and remove it the next evening, by then the robbers will have given up on trying to find a way in. I also saw some advise to put Vicks Vapo-rub on the entrance to mask the smell of honey. I don't think I addressed your question directly but, it is food for thought!
 

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Once a robber screen goes on one of my hives, it stays on until they are strong enough to fend for themselves.

On average, a robber screen will confuse enough of the robbers that one or two might make it in, but your bees should be able to deal with them. Soon, the robbers will give up and go elsewhere (especially if no one is returning to the hive with the robbers and doing the 'go get some free honey at the hive next door' dance.)

That said, I have definitely had times where there were so many robbers (and the victim was so weak), that the screen was not enough. In those cases, I first try moving the hive at night to a different location in the yard. This rarely fixes a serious issue, but I try it.

If they are still robbing the next day, I close off the exit to the screen and spray the screen with some water. After the sun goes down, I place loose screen over the front to get any of the foragers from the victim that are stuck outside and move them miles away. This has worked every time for me (as the last resort.)

I have also had luck moving my established hives from the yard where the robbing occurred. I had a bunch of young hives and two established hives in a yard. Robbing kept occurring and, if I fixed it for one hive, it would just move to the next young hive. I moved the two established hives to a bee yard some 25 miles away and the robbing stopped completely in my backyard.

This was good, as I really spend most of my time watching the young hives. So, they needed to be close.
 

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Thank you for the replies. Actually Ccar, that did answer one of my questions. I am wondering if putting the screen on before any robbing starts will deter it, or if that is just setting things up to create a larger problem. And Jajtiii seems to give evidence to support my hypothesis. It sure would make it easier than getting up with the rest of the chickens.

I have searched for plans, surprisingly there are few or none out there. I did finally find this on a little forum.

http://www.beeworks.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=23

The post is over 3 years old now, but in this design he leaves the entire top open with a bar to close it up. I suppose that could be modified easily enough.
 

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>I've been reading about the Robber Screen, this bit of technology is new to me (And yes, a lot of the other ideas as well. Some of this information is opposite of what I learned years ago.).

In what way?

> I see how it works, my question is how long it's left on.

You can leave it on indefinitely.

>Is the screen left in place all the time?

It can be and it will help keep the skunks out and provide ventilation at the same time...

> It seems to me the robbers would discover and learn the new ways in. If left in place

It would seem, but they don't.

> can the entrance be enlarged as the bees get used to their own way in and out?

If you like.

http://www.bushfarms.com/beesmisc.htm#robberscreen
 
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