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I have 2 nucs with new queens, we realized that they were being robbed, So tonight we totally screened them inside with water and syrup (had entrance reducers on to smallest entrance but didn't work). How many days should we keep them in? 2-3? Should this take care of the robbing or should I look into moving them away until they can get stronger?

thanks!
 

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I had the same problem. I ended up having to keep the robbing screen on at all times. I drilled 3 3/8" holes on the top of it so they could enter and exit. At first I kept them in for 2-3 days at a time and removed the screen but the robbing always continued. Until they are strong enough to compete with a stronger hive you will need to keep the screen on.
 

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I've got the same problem and am making robber screens for my nucs tomorrow. I've got them closed up now. They have screened bottoms and robbers are always checking them out. These are 3 frame nucs I'm introducing new bought queens to. I'll be feeding a lot, but we won't get really cold weather here until December and may not even then. So they should build up fine, if I can keep the robbers out.

I'll open them up Thursday morning, by then any robbers that were in there will think this is their hive now (locked in for 72 hours).

I'm also going to make more spacers, so I can but water and a baggie feeders in them. I've already done that for 2, 3 more to go. I also need to see if I can shake in more bees in 2 of them. I'm not sure if this will set off more robbing or not.

Pugs
 

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I did a split last week and was feeding the weak side when the parent colony started robing through the 3/4 inch slot in the intercover. The only way I could get them to stop was to move the parent colony to another apiary.

Also they killed the new queen in their robbing session so you might check and see if you have a queen left.
 

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Michael,

Since I closed the nucs up Sunday night, I know the bees hanging around trying to get in aren't from them. They fly around checking out the nucs, with their legs hanging down. I don't think they've given up. There aren't as many of them, but there are at least a dozen or two constantly checking out the nucs. The robber screens go on tonight and I open them up again. I hope this takes care of the problem.

I'm wondering if the SBB is the problem. I did that to give them plenty of ventilation as it is hot here right now (well hot for Oregon, 90's this weekend).

Pugs
 

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That seems to be true. I have 2 frame mating nucs with queens that just started laying a few days ago. You can see the robbers nosing around the SBBs and the entrances (wine cork size round holes) but they don't concentrate their effort and the guards easily repel them. So far.

I set off robbing accidentally by newspaper combining a box with 2 nucs (queens didn't emerge) into a strong hive. An hour later they were robbing through the entrances so I just smoked the snot out of them and put them together. Seems to have worked. It shut down the robbing before it spread anyway.

I guess you just can't be too careful this time of year. If I do any more combines I think I'll completely screen in the weak hive.
 

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I found out that removing the robbing screen after a few days starts the cycle all over again. I keep mine on at all times. There are always robbers on the screen. At least 30-40. I have some 3/8" holes drilled in the top so the bees that belong there can get out.

 

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I know every situation is a little different, but after trying everything else mentioned on this thread, the only thing that worked to stem the robbing for me in a swarm nuc was to limit the amount of syrup to only that amount that could be used by the bees in a single evening.

I place a 2:1 sugar syrup mixture in a Boardman feeder inside an emply medium size box, over the inner cover, about an hour before dark. In the morning, I make sure that about the 4-5 oz of syrup (I have about three frames of bees) is either gone or I remove it. I'm using a 10 frame deep brood box half stuffed with styrofoam boards for my nuc. I'm using a SBB, a single 3/8 hole, and a robber screen. It seems that if the robbers can smell the sugar syrup (in my case) it's back to the races again. I keep the feeder and reduced opening as far apart as able. I'm also using a 1 inch square piece of pollen substitute to help them build (otherwise it spoils and molds too fast in this heat).

I know this is too much babysitting for most folks . . . but maybe will help someone able to spend the time.
 

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I've been feeding some hives with "moist" sugar - fill a container with sugar, pour enough water over it to wet it good but mostly soak in. Set on top of the inner cover under an empty hive body. They seem to be taking it pretty good, but it hasn't caused robbing. They certainly don't take it as fast as they would if it was in syrup form though.
 

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I think feeding is the leading cause of robbing. In fact it's probably the leading cause of most beekeeping problems. My first rule is I feed everyone or no one. If I feed, I feed the strong along with the weak. I can always steal the capped stores from the strong hives for the light hives later on, but if I don't feed them all robbing is almost certain to break out. Second, I try not to feed at all. Stealing capped stores from the strong hives is much less likely to cause robbing than feeding does.
 

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Michael,

I always value your insight. I did feed two of my nucs has they had been stripped of all feed. They were closed up when I did that though. I didn't think to take it out when I opened them up last night. When I got home from work today, there were lots of bees trying to find a way in to them. I closed them up again, briefly, discovered that some cracks had opened up more and bee were going through them. Taped them shut. I opened them back now that it is dusk.

The others that I didn't feed, had dead bees inside the robber screen. At first I thought it was from fighting, but then I thought maybe it was the house cleaners, as I know there were some dead bees on the SSB.

I may be able to move them to a coworker's place miles away from here on Sunday. I don't know if there are hives around her or not.

I just don't know what to do. I'll open them up in the morning and see what is happening inside them. I have these on the back porch where I can watch them, but I'm beginning to think that I'm just imagining things and that if they were out of sight, they might be ok.

Any other suggestions to help them or to calm me down would be appreciated.

Thanks,
Pugs
 

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If all else fails I close them up with screen (they have to breath and ventilate) until there is no robber activity anymore. A robber screen, of course, is helpful, reducing the entrance, with screen wire helps if you don't have a robber screen as it acts somewhat like the robber screen and doesn't interfere with ventilation. In other words, it distracts the robbers with the smell all the way across but limits the entrance. I would always reduce the entrance with screen wire and always, when a hive is being robbed, reduce it to one bee (1/4" to 3/8" wide). If it's really bad I reduce ALL the entrances including the strong hives so that the strong hives have a traffic jam and the robbers can't get back in easily...
 
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