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Discussion Starter #1
I have tried everything to stop the robbing. :frustrated:

I had gone into the hives in late August, honey stores were so low or nil. We have been feeding sugar water 200 feet away from the beeyard. First the liquid feeder they crawl into, was a fiasco as they suffocated each other til hundreds were dead.

We built a raft of wood and a cotton t-shirt stapled on the floating raft in a roasting pan and it works great...we feed through august and september... The combination of every living creature that likes sugar is now in the yard and it is a feeding frenzy of yellow jackets who all think I am their mom now too.... 2 gallons is gone in 2 hours...

We stop feeding when the goldenrod come out and the beeyard is frantic - day after day flying round and round... They are robbing from each other fighting etc.

We start feeding again 200 feet away. The combination of beeyard robbing, yellow jackets, wasps it is a feeding frenzy again. I look in the hives and they are still starving...so I get a bright idea to reduce the entrances and emergency feed wet granulated sugar on newspaper...Happy beeyard once again...for 2 days...happy.

UNTIL...Yellow Jackets by the hundreds are now inside the hives raiding even the big hives that are clustered on the cold rainy day this week. I am slopping around with duct tape reducing the entrances to 1/2 inch in the rain...Out come the yellow jackets now of most (6 of 7).
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Then the heat of the day I am running out there taking off the duct tape from 6 of the 7. We have hung the yellow jacket traps...
I made bee candy and put it 200 feet away again. Feeding that at the moment - a frenzy, still.
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Only have 7 hives! 4 good sized and 2 medium sized and one small. Maybe 200,00 thousand bees in all, if I am lucky. Only took about 20 lbs total off 2 of the hives this early summer before the dearth from the black berries.

What is going on and is everyone having this issue?
I cannot for the life of me get control of this and get my honey bees fed. My yard is crazy train. My honey bees are not happy campers ....Gosh, what am I doing wrong?? :???:
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Oh, to follow up, the hive pics was to show hive size, They had not yet got rolling, as these were taken at 8 am. but nearly every top super is empty, just being used to feed sugar inside the hive. the one too small to defend is the yin yang on the far left is still taped to 1/4 inch.
 

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I am curious why you would feed outside the hives? I was told to always feed in an empty super placed above an inner cover on the hive. Robber screens worked really well for me.
 

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I cannot for the life of me get control of this and get my honey bees fed. My yard is crazy train. My honey bees are not happy campers ....Gosh, what am I doing wrong?? :???:
You are open feeding and luring in every bee and wasp within 4 miles of you in every direction. That's a circle 8 miles across. You can't be open feeding during a dearth and/or in the Fall. 200 feet is nothing to a bee. They are coming by the thousands from miles around to your free open buffet, and then staying for the robbing.
You must feed only inside your hives, in a very closed and controlled setup, to give your hives a chance to keep robbers out.
 

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I have tried several different feeders, hive top, buckets, etc.
The majority of my hives now have this cake pan type.
No fighting, drowning, and I can keep a close eye on what is being consumed by what, and little wasted.
The only downside is more frequent trips to refill.
 

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you need to discover a feeding method that will work for you. the consequence of a bad feeding regime should be apparent.

Perry has suggested a couple of methods that should work. there are other alternatives to this approach allowing you to vary the size of the feedings. since the sugar water is at the top of the hive you do want the top to be fairly tight.

I myself like frame feeder. I would guess by your pictures that you have entrance reducers on everything?
 

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hp,
what omie, perry and tecumseh said.....
you will not gain any control over robbing once it starts, then it is damage control, and very little to be done about this as well.
best thing you can do right now for your bees, is stop open feeding, i think your are doing this? feed internally, reduce entrances, and/or place a robbing screen on the fronts of each hive for 2 or 3 days, so no one comes or goes.....
even with feeding internally now, you will most likely experience robbing or attempts of some sort after open feeding whether it be from honey bees or others. they will keep coming back until they can't get to the feed or your hives.

i use 1 gallon pail feeders, inverted over the top cover.

i wish you well, this is a hard lesson learned experience on open feeding.....:cry:
 

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I tried Indee's robber screen, and it works well. Though it seems that some bees take longer to catch on than others. Most of them march right in, but I have watched a few with full loads of pollen wander around for minutes before finding the way.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thank you all.
...Iddee: We will do all this first thing in the morning
...yes, all lesson learned. At our Sept club meeting, we were all told feed as much as they will take, just how was not specified,
...and yes riverbee, they all just marched right in to the hives when the feed was removed.
...entrance reducers help until the sun sets and game on again by the wasps.
Perry: thank you for the feeding pics
tec, pistol, omie, thank you also for the good advice...
will update....
 

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I do think any new beekeeper should at least investigate robber screens. They are certainly a worthwhile little thing to know to address problems with 1) robbing and 2) testy or aggressive hives.

and as is often typical Iddee simply stated suggestions are directly on target.
 

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Did I read through all the comments carelessly, or did no-one really mention the thought of setting up a wasp trap. There are plenty of simple, cheap traps that can be made and baits that won't attract the bees, just wasps.
Give a search on the internet for "wasp traps" and "wasp bait" and before you know it, you'll be in businees.
 

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I didn't address the wasps because, in my opinion, wasps steal pennies and other hives steal life savings and kill the occupants.

I have never lost a hive from what little the wasps and Yellow Jackets take. I have lost hives from honeybee robbers.

PS. Include Yellow Jacket trap in your search. There are many under that heading.
 

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Wasp traps don't work quickly. Finding wasp nest works quickly, and not open-feeding is a good preventative.

Robber screens or small entrances help, but not open feeding, and not using hbh or other additives in feed are quite important.
 

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You might also know that robbing induces the absolute worst behavior towards you the beekeeper, as they will make little or NO distinction between you and the robbing bees.
Barry
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Okay....
1. all bee food up and
2. all robbing screens made and installed, with Steve's help.

I tried to use him as a decoy, :rolling: but no stings for. I was stung twice this week once in each pointer finger. :grin:

The beeyard is wild! but friendly! It was like going into the eye of the storm!! It was so flipping cool!!! :chased:

Yellow jackets by the hundreds were in the Flower Child hive (the orange one) To the good, all hives are strong enough we think to bounce back okay.

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Thank you all so much! No joke I thought two years of work was down the drain.
Iddee, you are my hero!!! As Perry said a piece of pie for you!
 

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