OK, I'm gonna say it first: You told me so.

Discussion in 'General Beekeeping' started by bamabww, Oct 7, 2013.

  1. bamabww

    bamabww Active Member

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    I've been watching my 3 weakest hives closely, all very late season swarms, hoping they would pull in enough stores for the upcoming winter. Thinking / hoping I was helping them accomplish this, I've been feeding them using boardman feeders stuck right in the hive entrance. Several of you warned me about the danger of robbing this type feeding could cause. Well today I have seen that happen first hand. I was installing my mouse guards on my hives as part of my winter prep and entrance reducers on the 3 hives I've been feeding. As I got to my 3rd hive, I noticed an unusual amount of activity with pollen being brought in and many more of the ladies coming in without anything obvious. I installed the mouse guard without any problem and moved to hive #4.

    The first thing I noticed, and what hinted that something was wrong, was several yellow jackets flying around the entrance and in fact landing and going inside. I killed several that landed on the boardman feeder while watching the large amount of bees going in but without any pollen of any kind. It finally hit me that this hive was being robbed! Last Thursday this hive weighed, in my guesstimate, about 30 pounds. When I lifted it this afternoon, it may have weighed half that. I took the top and inner cover off and the deed is almost done. Very little of anything is left as far as stores or nectar / honey / sugar water.

    I stepped away from hive #4 and looked back toward hive #3, the sunlight was just right to see the bees leaving hive #3 and flying directly to hive # 4 and vice versa. I went on to hive #5 and # 6 and installed the mouse guard or entrance reducer without anything out of the normal observed. I stood and watched the bees fly between hive #3 and # 4 for sometime. I tried to take pictures and videos but looking into the sun none of them are usable. Bummer about that but I will never forget that scene.

    Lesson learned but the bees made the decision for me. I was going to combine the hives after frost so they have saved me the trouble of doing so, kinda anyway.
     
  2. riverbee

    riverbee Active Member

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    wayne, sometimes, (and really more often than not) we have to experience keeping and managing bees and seeing the results of what and why we decided to do and try to accomplish irregardless of what we might have been told or read, etc, or against all odds. sometimes it does work, sometimes a very hard disappointing 'lesson' . but you know what, the hard lessons and the personal experience makes us better beekeepers in the future and adds to our knowledge and experience for future seasons and keeping bees.
    doesn't make you feel any better now, nothing can, don't 'kick' yourself up over it for too long.......:grin:

    ps otherwise we'll have to take an alabama 'switch' to ya......:lol:
     
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2013

  3. brooksbeefarm

    brooksbeefarm New Member

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    Sorry for your loose Wayne, to me boardman feeders,or HBH in the syrup this time of year are a no,no,:roll: Over the years, and being enrolled in the school of hard knocks, i have found these are the kind of lessons we don't forget.:???: (and there have been alot of them) Yes you lost a hive, but think about all the hives you will save in the future from this experience.:thumbsup: Jack
    PS. but i haven't turned a super up side down Yet.:lol:
     
  4. kebee

    kebee Active Member

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    Sure know what you mean when a hive gets robbed out, had that happen twice on me, but no more, will feed all at one time the same stuff and put a robber screen on the weak hive with a small open and the top entrance closed, and if need be stand guard my self.:grin:

    Ken
     
  5. PerryBee

    PerryBee New Member

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    Neither have I, it was a deep brood box full of brood, so there! :club:
    Wait a minute...........! :roll:
    :lol: :lol: :lol:
     
  6. srvfantexasflood

    srvfantexasflood Member

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    An old timer told me he puts a brown paper sack over the boardman feeder and no robbing. I haven't been able to figure out how to keep the sack in place without it blowing off in the wind.
     
  7. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    Always remember...........

    Boardman feeders are great at planting time.

    They are terrible at harvest time.
     
  8. Slowmodem

    Slowmodem New Member

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    I feel your pain. I lost a hive earlier this year. You will remember this kind of lesson. I hope we both do better next year!
     
  9. efmesch

    efmesch Active Member

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    C"mon folks, let's stop crying about this. Aside from getting a "free" lesson in bee hive management, the syrup that was robbed out stayed in his apiary.
    If it had gone to someone else's hives it would be worth a good cry. :grin:
     
  10. bamabww

    bamabww Active Member

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    Update: I went back to the scene of the crime and the robbing / robbers had decreased significantly from yesterday. There were 2 frames with about 50% of the honey still left and I took them out, shook every bee off and placed them in my "strongest" weaker hive. Checked on everything about 3 hours later and the robbed out hive still had bees , and yellow jackets, going in and out but not in a frenzy like yesterday.
     
  11. Ray

    Ray Member

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    Here is a suggestion: I had a yellow jacket and robbing problem. I swapped the very weak hive with a stronger hive. The weak hive got a boost from the returning foragers and the yellow jackets and robbers ran into a strong defense. Disclaimer; the weak hive wound up being combined(?) anyway.
     
  12. litefoot

    litefoot New Member

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    I tried entrance feeders last year and quickly dropped them in favor of a top feeder. The boardman feeders can ​be useful for watering the colony, though. I say "can" because it seems that some hives really take to them, but others don't. Not sure why.
     
  13. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    some lessons you just have to learn the hard way.