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Robbing

 
David Livingston
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Lots of Problems with robbing by other bees at the moment . I have reduced the enterance to very small . Any other suggestions on how to help my girls

David
 
tel jetson
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I've heard of folks having luck with a chicane (I think that's the word). instead of or in addition to reducing the entrance, add a barrier spaced just a bit in front of the entrance that bees have to navigate around to get inside. slows down the burglars and gives more opportunity for defense by creating a sort of gauntlet.
 
Cj Sloane
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Thanks for posting that. I've seen a few robbers attempting to enter the hive but the girls threw them off the landing pad. They were yellow jackets. I think some other honey bees were also trying to rob because they were also given the heave-ho.
 
David Livingston
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Update
I have arranged entrance thus . Firstly I added a mouse / hornet reducer . This makes the entrance a series of small holes it keeps out mice in winter and hornets in summer . I have covered 70% of the holes leaving only 6 each about two bee spaces .
There are still some fights going on but they seem ( although this could be wishful thinking )to be one on two or three fights where as yesterday they were more one on one fights . Also the wasps have dissapeared .
Come on girls you can do it !
Should I make the hole smaller ?
How long should the door be reduced ?

David
 
tel jetson
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how much you're able to safely reduce the entrance depends on the traffic of your colony and the weather. you want to make sure they're still able to come and go as well as cool the hive if they need to.
 
David Livingston
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I agree its finding the optimum .
The weather is supposed to be very good today I may add another hole if things look crowded

David
 
David Livingston
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Lots of action on the landing pad , a good sign I think BUT no pollen coming in .
Am worried. I thought about harvesting as there should be a full box in there but am worried about triggering more robbing . I also thought about closing the hive for a day or two , let the girls recover and build up numbers they can eat the honey as opposed to having it stolen .

David
 
tel jetson
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I'm not certain this is what you're suggesting, but I don't think closing the hive up entirely is a good idea. bees need to get out to shit, which they'll have to do in the hive if they can't get out. that can cause problems.
 
David Livingston
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Yup thats the downside of my idea but they dont go out when its raining or in winter so....
Anyway today I have reduced the entrance to 4 holes and things seem much calmer although busy saw some pollen coming in . Lots of bees hanging round outside I think this might deter robbers I am not so worried about moisture issue as I have a grill on the bottom of the hive . Although I wonder does this encourage robbing as it lets the scent out .
So go girls !
David
 
Rob Browne
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Shutting the hive for a day or two with some flyscreen would not worry the bees too much, they can hang on that long. Just make sure you put the screen on after dark so they are all home.

When you open the hive make sure you vacate the area promtly, they will not be happy.

As for the harvesting, it would just stir up any robbing and make things worse. Also, the bees may need that honey to get through winter.

 
David Livingston
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I had a chat with the beekeeper who gave me the bees . He thinks I am looking at this all wrong . Robbing is not the problem it is a symptom of something else . Probably the hive has no queen . He suggested I had a look .
I try to do minimum intervention but agree with him in this case.
So I had a look .
and found nothing in the super . No wax no honey . So I took it off .
Looked in the main brood box and they are only on 8 and a half bars worth of bees . They have not grown since july when I added the super in July!.
So I put them back left the super off . and decided to leave them too it and see what happens

But the beekeeper promised me a new swarm next year. If they dont make it I will try again

David
 
Ludger Merkens
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Robbing is not the problem it is a symptom of something else.

I think he is absolutely right. It is always the weaker colony beeing robbed and the strong colony robbing. As a weak colony almost always is ill in some way or another, the disease will be spread via robbing. So in the end, robbing is a problem, but for the healty strong hive.
If your neighbour is willing to do so, ask him, if he could have a look at your hive. If you determine the reason for your weak hive, perhaps you/he can come up with some clever treatment plan. (Treatment in a general meaning, not necessarily chemicals involved here)

good luck
Ludger
 
David Livingston
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Bees seem to be doing better totally all over the Ivy now in bloom even bringing in pollen yesterday .
Its the flash of yellow in the picture

David
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