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I’m a second year beekeeper and currently have two hives. Both seemed to be doing well until about three weeks ago. I lost the queen in one of the hives, but I think I discovered it quickly. I got a replacement queen, introduced her, and she was accepted by the hive. All seemed well for about 2 1/2 weeks, then when I went to do an inspection of the hive I noticed big black ants attacking the hive, taking eggs, larvae and even bees. My hive is set on cinder blocks, so I temporarily moved the hive, spread some diotomaceous earth under the cider blocks and put the hive back in place. All was well for about a day. The ants were gone and the bees seemed to be returning to normal. Today I went out to check on the hive and it appears that my second hive is robbing the troubled hive. Looked like a lot of fighting going on at the entrance and front of the hive.
Is this hive doomed? If the second hive robs the weaker hive, is there any way I can salvage it or make a split from the strong hive to put in there?
 

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Can you reduce the entrance down to about 1 bee width and move it? If you can't, the robbers will keep coming back. They found an easy mark and will keep coming until that hive is done.
 

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Robbing must be stopped asap or it will doom a weak hive. Get a robbing screen or make one. Smear vicks vapo rub on entrance.Throw a wet sheet over the hive until they stop. If close to the house, put a sprinkler over it. If necessary, close hive completely with screen and provide screened ventilation. Can be as simple as window screen instead of inner cover and opening top cover a crack. If you close down the hive, be sure they have adequate stores and ventilation. J
 

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First year beekeeper here who had robbers at a small nuc just a few days ago. Echo what others said - you have to get it under control asap so that the robbers lose interest and move on. In my case I initially through a wet sheet over the hive which stopped the activity for the short term, but I also repaired some gaps in my woodenware and reduced the entrances to 1". I already had robber screens on. After doing this the robbing has completely stopped.
 

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Anti-robbing screens are the No. 1 solution - but it would also pay to put a small amount of very weak sugar syrup (e.g. around 1/4 of a pint of 1:4 each evening) on the hive which is doing the robbing. If they perceive that 'nectar' is coming into the hive, then they will lose any motivation to rob.
LJ
 

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Are yoiu certain it was robbing as that is very easy to confuse with many other issues. I have 10years of experience and I made a mistake this year.Look inside your hive and see if any of the comb has been destroyed and try and find the queen. Also look for any large amount of dead bees inside or outside of the hive. Hopefully you will find the hive to be functioning effectively.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Are yoiu certain it was robbing as that is very easy to confuse with many other issues. I have 10years of experience and I made a mistake this year.Look inside your hive and see if any of the comb has been destroyed and try and find the queen. Also look for any large amount of dead bees inside or outside of the hive. Hopefully you will find the hive to be functioning effectively.
I found the queen two days ago. There is a lot of destroyed comb, but I know that’s from the issue I had with the ants. I didn’t find dead bees though. The ants were robbing the eggs and larvae. It looked like the ants were tearing open the capped brood. I believe the new issue is robber bees because it looked like a lot of bees fighting at the entrance and front of the hive. I put an entrance reducer on last night. Now it just looks like a lot of bees trying to enter and exit from the small opening, but it doesn’t really look like much fighting going on.
I was asking if it’s time to give up on the hive because there has been three what I would think are serious issues in the past three weeks...queenless, ants and now robber bees. If the entrance reducer will help me save the hive, I certainly will give that a try.
 

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No don't give up. I would remove the entrance reducer and see how they do over the next several days. You didn't mention if there was any brood in your hives. If there was brood, you may have been observing a large hatching of young bees. See how they do n their own without a reducer.
I found the queen two days ago. There is a lot of destroyed comb, but I know that’s from the issue I had with the ants. I didn’t find dead bees though. The ants were robbing the eggs and larvae. It looked like the ants were tearing open the capped brood. I believe the new issue is robber bees because it looked like a lot of bees fighting at the entrance and front of the hive. I put an entrance reducer on last night. Now it just looks like a lot of bees trying to enter and exit from the small opening, but it doesn’t really look like much fighting going on.
I was asking if it’s time to give up on the hive because there has been three what I would think are serious issues in the past three weeks...queenless, ants and now robber bees. If the entrance reducer will help me save the hive, I certainly will give that a try.
 

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One suggestion, if you ever have a robbing frenzy again: A local beekeeping friend uses canvas (it's breathable) and staples it over the front of the hive to completely cover the entrance. You can do that for a day or two until the robbing subsides, put a little sugar syrup above the inner cover to tide them over. A screened bottom, will keep them from suffocating. Then you can gradually open the entrance a little at a time. I tried this method when I had some bad robbing a couple years ago and it worked well. You have a lot of choices. But you'll also have to get into the hive soon and see what's going on and maybe reduce them down with a follower board to only the amount of hive they can cover. It would be ideal if you could move the hive to another location for the present, so you can inspect without a resumption of robbing.

I also discovered the hard way a while ago that those ventilation notches in the underside of the plastic outer covers can be a way for robbing bees to get into the hive. Make sure there's not openings at the top. The notches in inner covers also can be an entry point.
 
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