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Discussion Starter #1
As a third year beek I'm not sure if I'm over reacting to what I'm seeing or simply imagining things.

For the past week I've noticed 5-6 groups of bees fighting on the landing board of my newest hive. Since we're between nectar flows (San Francisco/East Bay) I assumed that there was robbing going on. I installed a half-size entrance reducer and the fights dropped to 3-4 going on at the same time. Still 10-15 bees hovering 18-24 inches in front of the hive (as opposed to the normal zoom in pattern).

I read in a couple places that changing the appearance of the front of the hive discourages robbers. (They recommended jamming grass in the entrance or putting up a picture of Lady Gaga to cause confusion.)

I had this board with nails available so I removed the entrance reducer and simply tapped it into place. The foragers seems to have no problem landing and crawling around it. As you can see there's still a group of offenders-defenders tussling on the landing board.



Thoughts?

Thanks,

RG
 

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You might also want to try a robbing screen. It is basically a maze that your bees will quickly firgure out, but the robbers (who tend to zoom right in) will not have time to figure out before the guards drive them off. Can be very simply to make out of a stiff wire screen.
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Thanks. I didn't realize how easy the design had to be. After speaking to one of my greybeard beek friends, I fabricated one yesterday. I have a pretty hectic schedule so there I was tapping it into place at about 10:15 PM. The ladies came out to give it a try.

I'm still amazed that the robbers don't figure this out.

 

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Discussion Starter #5
The top is open. Essentially this is a screen with a standoff (pieces of wood that make up the sides) between the super and the screen frame. Does that make sense?

Here's where I got the design:


After listening to a webinar put on by Brushy Mountain I added a single bee-width cutout to the front. The original design didn't seem to bother the bees; they simply crawled up the super and flew off. The returning bees would land on the bottom board lip and walk up the side and duck in the top.

The robbers would send a lot of time hovering in front of the hive or wandering the lip. I guess the single cutout makes the hive entrance more defendable.

RG
 

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Discussion Starter #7
< Picture of Lady Gaga ... anger the bees >

I'm sticking with the confusion thing. Every time I see a picture of her I say "What the heck is that all about?" And I live near San Francisco so you gotta believe I see stuff that ... well ... is pretty unusual.

RG
 
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