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robbing screen problem, not sure what to do

1724 Views 4 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  jaywalker
Ok, one of, or maybe both of my hive were under attack yesterday. So, I waited until dark and put on my robber screens (I made the kind with a wood frame with the entrance about 8" above the bottom board) hoping for a better outcome than last time I used them. But once again my bees are having a hard time finding there way back in. I have many (I mean many, thousands) that can't seem to find there way back. They are clustered on the screen bottom, around the top vent (which is blocked) and around the entrance. I know that I can't be sure all these bees are mine and am sure that all are not, but a good many are by the pollen they have. This has happened to me before and I felt I had to remove them before nightfall as I was going to get quite cold. Has anyone else had this problem? Should I leave it on and let them figure it out over the course of a couple of days? Should I replace the robber screen I have in place with one made of only #8 wire with only one 3/8" opening on the bottom board so they can find it more easily? Any thoughts are appreciated.
Thanks, Jay
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What a coincidence. I had the same issue over the past couple of days and was shaking my head wondering what in the world was going on. I had 2 hives (of 5 in this bee yard) with large clusters of bees clinging underneath the bottom screen. They had been there for a couple of days. I have robbing screens on both hives. Yesterday I brushed them off, put in the tray to block the screen, and within a couple of hours nearly all had found their way back into the hives, via the small top entrance on the robbing screens (from Brushy Mountain). So, while I still have no idea what they were doing clustered underneath the hive, I don't think locating the robbing screen entrance was a factor.
The best thing to do when you put on robber screens is go away for a few days. They always figure it out sooner or later.
Put them on and don't look for a few days. Always a couple dead bees, but the vast majority figure it out. The key is not to look.
Thanks. I just went out to see how it looked now that it is dark. I wanted to so how many were left. Amazing! I still have bees on the screen and a good cluster on the screened bottom, but I would say that most all the bees that were flying and looking for a place to get in are gone. Maybe 75% or so. Well worth the wait.

And Kevtater, is this like not looking at you kids as they fight and get teased by other kids. Just let them figure it out and there will be problems but they need to do it?

The strange thing is I have a nuc (has had a robbing since I made it) and another much weaker hive. Not much action at those. A little bit of an attack but not like the strong hive. And the week hive has a virgin in it. The nuc is queen right. Makes me wonder if my strong hive is still queen right. Even then, the weak hive has plenty of honey to rob, almost a full deep. Also, the weak hive I have been feeding with JBH while I have not been feeding the strong hive being attacked. Hmmm
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