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I have a month old hive that seemed queenless, and a new queen. I am feeding the bees.

I noticed my bees busily coming and going today, but I did notice the guard bees tangling with a few honeybees today. I think the interlopers are after the sugar syrup inside the hive. The number of would be robbers was not terribly high.

Will it stress my bees, with their new queen (less than a week since release) to be having to fight off a few robbers? Should I stop feeding them?

Thanks.
 

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Make the entrance as small as the hive can stand, and make sure that there isn't any other way in. That will go a long way to prevent robbing whether you feed or not. It will also help to keep out Small Hive Beetles.
 

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How can you tell if your hive is being robbed? I see guard bees fighting off intruders quite regularly and thought it was kind of normal.
I have my outer cover propped open to allow some air flow. Do you think that this can promote robbing by allowing an additional entrance? How much air flow does the hive need in this hot humid weather?
Thank you in advance for any advice!:)
 

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do a search at the top of the page for "robber screen". cheap,works well.
good luck,mike
 

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A little bit of friendly robbing is probably inevitable, and not too destructive. A robbing frenzy looks violent with masses of fighting bees,and can quickly ruin a hive if you don't do something. You won't mistake it for business as usual.

If you see bees exploring cracks and holes on the outside of the hive during a dearth - those are probably robbers looking for a way in, I'm pretty sure they are following the hive smell. When you see bees with mostly black abdomens those are veteran robbers that have the hair worn off from fighting. If you give them a back door they will use it. Get some screen wire and a stapler, and work out some ventilation that doesn't create a second entrance.

I had a bad robbing episode last year (my fault) tried everything to stop it - What finally worked was to smoke all of the hives in the immediate area profusely - then reduced entrances to very small.

This year I'm not waiting until after I lose thousands of bees.
 

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When you see bees with mostly black abdomens those are veteran robbers that have the hair worn off from fighting.

Crap! I was hoping that the larger bees I spotted flying into one of my hives today were just drones... they were larger with larger eyes, and my bees didn't seem to care if they were coming or going at all... so I wasn't sure if they were drones or robbers. I kind of assumed that they were robbers and sat outside the hive and killed about 10 as they were trying to go inside the hive.

I did notice the black abdomens and thought that that was an odd feature...

I wish my bees would fight them off. The only openening into the hive is a small 2-3 inch slit at the bottom of the hive.
 
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