Question about robbing.

Discussion in 'Beekeeping 101' started by Yankee11, May 18, 2012.

  1. Yankee11

    Yankee11 New Member

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    How do I know when robbing is going on. I have new hives. 2 have been doing quiet well on their own and one
    was a cut out that has been slow. The 4th was a very small swarm. They are place about 6/8 feet apart.

    I am feeding the slow one and the very small one inside their hive. I have a top board with a hole cut out and have a quart mason jar turned upside down over the hole. I have a entrace reducer on the small hive and have removed them on the other 3. I just went down there to check on the hives and those two hives being fed are extremely active around the opening. The two I am not feeding seem pretty normal coming and going.

    Can I tell if robbing is going on from looking at them AND should I be feeding all 4 hives at the same time. I'm thinking I am going to start feeding all 4 hives until they fill up 2 deep brood boxes.

    Man, can they go through some sugar syrup.

    THanks,
     
  2. dr.buzz

    dr.buzz New Member

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    They aren't likely to rob when a flow is on. Feeding syrup might start a little robbing during a dearth, especially if you leak or spill any.

    If you ever see robbing, you will probably know it. Bees will be fighting at the entrance, after a few minutes you will have dead bees by the dozens or hundreds on the ground in front of the entrance. Also, watch bees leaving the hive. If they crawl up the outside of the box and take off heavy, it tells you that, instead of being a forager bringing a heavy load into the hive, it's robbers taking a heavy load out of a hive, and sometimes they'll climb up and take off from higher to get the lift they need. Robbing will be different behavior than orientation flights or anything else you've seen before.
     

  3. PerryBee

    PerryBee New Member

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    Robbing is characterized by bees darting in and out and zig-zag type flying pattern in front of the hive. If the bees are doing kind of a lazy figure eight, gently bobbing and weaving, they are play flights, new bees just learning how to fly and locking in their hive location.
    Plus, what the good Dr. just posted. Beat me by {} that much. :lol:
     
  4. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    what Perry said... a lot of new beekeepers will confuse playflight/orientation flight (where the newer bees are testing their wing and often hoovering directly in front of the hive) with robbing. with robbing at it's early stages there is most often bees in pairs wrestling on the ground directly in front of the hive. the way you seem to have things set up there is little chance of robbing.... since the topic is on your mind robber guards are a good thing to look into for possible placing on weaker populated hives (I have them pretty much built in to my home made nuc boxes).