Pulling Honey and Robbing.

Discussion in 'General Beekeeping' started by Crofter, Sep 4, 2011.

  1. Crofter

    Crofter New Member

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    Well we got a bit of a rush yesterday while pulling honey. Did lots of things wrong like having too many hives open and brushing bees off and sorting frames.The robbing started and in a few minutes the air was full of bees and 16 boxes of bees had wars going on their doorsteps.

    Lesson learned to have every hive with a good functional entrance reducer / blocker. We had to scramble to get them locked down and a bunch of wet blankets helped. Beginners read about it but dont realize how wild it gets and how quickly it spreads to other hives you are not even working on. Lots of dead bees in a hurry. Amazing how quickly comb gets tore to pieces.

    Anyhow we got away with it and the supers off and extracted. Lots of things to learn the first year. :oops:
     
  2. efmesch

    efmesch Active Member

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    It's also good to use a cover cloth so that a minimum of hive is exposed while it is being worked. And work them one at a time.
     

  3. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    sounds like you are learning real fast...

    as odd as it may sound.... pulling the covers off of everything is reported to curtail robbing. likely brushing the bees encouraged the problem.. gets too much honey/nectar spread about.

    I have found that using bee quick with a fume board (one or two makes it go pretty fast if you have numbers) takes all the excitement out of taking off the crop. not that I will get that opportunity this season... so I am jealous.
     
  4. efmesch

    efmesch Active Member

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    Forgot to mention the obvious--keep all the beeless frames you've removed from the hives in closed, covered supers. Only open the super you are filling for as short a moment as you can--and leave absolutely no spaces between the supers when you stack them. Robber bees love to squeeze into the unprotected supers laden with honey.
     
  5. Flyman

    Flyman New Member

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    Ditto Tecumseh....not getting to test my robbing prowess this year!!
     
  6. Murrell

    Murrell New Member

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    If you use a cloth, DON'T use a old bath towel !!

    Bees will stick to it by the hundreds, can't shake off !

    Just throw it on the ground and let them leave when they want.

    Been there Done that.

    Best thing I found was that vinial seat covering, or those red & white picnic table cloths.

    Murrell
     
  7. Crofter

    Crofter New Member

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    I can tell you guys have been there! We have a few of those roll up covers but needed more. We got lax about covering up and I also may have swept off a box from one hive onto the doorstep of a neighbor! Doh!
    We got a rain storm over night and everything settled down. The dithering around with the partly uncapped frames caused some of the problem. We got over 500 lbs! That is from 6 nucs and 2 overwintered hives from the end of May so we are super happy; the bees not so much but I think they are in fairly good shape but we will have to feed some of the splits we made. Fall flow looks promising.
     
  8. efmesch

    efmesch Active Member

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    Don't know what the breakdown is on how much each hive contributed to those 500 lbs, but it seems to me that you are calling them "nucs" from the way they started the season--not what they are now--well developed, full fledged hives.
    Congrats on raising them well and getting them to where they are. :thumbsup: