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Since the honey flow ended here in Tennessee...I have lost 3 queens that seemed to do just great during the flow but then just vanished. These were new queens this season and I suspected robbing as the cause. Today, upon inspection of my 12 hives...I discovered that a 3rd hive had suddenly gone queenless. What to do? I took a frame of eggs and brood from one of my better hives and placed it in the queenless hive. On that frame of eggs and brood were just few bees and I wasn't too concerned about them, thinking they were most likely nurse bees and wouldn't cause any problem. I thought I had solved the problem for now.

Then about an hour later I noticed the queenless hive that I had inserted the frame of eggs and brood in was being robbed fiercely. Furthermore, it appeared that the bees from the hive I took the frame of eggs from may have been the robbers! I think what the bees taught me today was that during a dearth...if you bring a frame of eggs over from another hive...it appears you should shake off any bees or they will go back to their original hive and tell all the girls there..."Hey, I know where there is a queenless hive...lets go rob it!" Am I seeing this correctly?

I closed the entrance reducer down to about a small entrance big enough for only a bee or two to get through. Then, I "made it rain" on the front of the hive by dripping some clean water over it...to try to stop the robbing. I learned this from an "old timer" and it seemed to help some. Now, I am not confident that the frame of eggs and brood I installed will be able to save this hive under robbing conditions and I may have to combine it or find some other remedy. I could purchase a queen and install it in this hive, but...am not sure if I should with these robbers hanging around. Any advice or suggestions appreciated. Thats my story for today in the bee yard.
 

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Fred; buy or make some robbing screens. When you transfer frames of brood do it in late evening, work fast, close them back up and the little dummies won't have time to do much damage. If you have Italian bees you have robbers so take steps to minimize the problem.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the suggestions about the robbing screens...I will look into getting some. I hope to harvest my honey this coming weekend. The challenge will be to keep from stimulating my Italians into robbing behavior while harvesting the honey crop. By the way...I did end up having to combine the weak hive that was being robbed with another.
 

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If you have Italian bees you have robbers
Nobodies, and I DO MEAN NOBODIES steals from the Families CAPICHE?! You's a come around here, with your hands out, and take from us?!?! Guido, help this guy find his way outta here and maybe we fugetaboutit? But you comes around here again, I might not be so generous and yous leave in a bodybag, capiche? ;)

C2
 

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Fred; while pulling honey, place your honey supers in an upside down telescoping lid and cover with another lid as you work. Not good to get the supers back to the honeyhouse and find they're half empty from robbing! :D
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Yep...most definitely we will do just that. Don't want to get those robbers going again!
 
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