recipe for disaster?

Discussion in 'Beekeeping 101' started by Bhodi, Sep 10, 2009.

  1. Bhodi

    Bhodi New Member

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    Along with two strong colonies I have a nuc I'm trying to fatten up for winter. All three are within 10' of each other. I moved the five frames from the nuc box to a 10-frame deep today and filled the rest of the box with drawn foundation.

    To clean up the frames from this afternoons extraction, I put them on top of the small colony and reduced the entrance to the smallest size.

    I know the small colony needs to be fed and I thought this would be a good way to start. I know nothing is certain, but did I set them up to get robbed? That fresh honey sure does smell good!
     
  2. sqkcrk

    sqkcrk New Member

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    The other colonies may try to rob, but it sounds like you have done what can be done to minimize actual robbing. It bees do try to get into the one you are "feeding" reduce the entrance some more. I assume the rest of the hive is tight? If not, good ole duct tape works well. Cover any holes or cracks that bees could get through.
     

  3. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    at least with my largely italian stock everything that leaves a splatter like feeding or dripping some honey or nectar from a frame can create the problem of robbing. as long as it doesn't get too far most times it is over in one day. if the population is decimated in day one, it's pretty much over. at this juncture of the problem I try to carry along a queen cage, because a lot of time you can recapture the queen and start all over.

    for the quick fix (and as sqrcrk sezs) duct tape is your quickest remedy. for something a bit more long term and permanent I have altered the entrances of all my starter nucs (essentially 5 frame deeps and illinois depth boxes) with robber screens. I use to have a lot of problem in the early spring when the flow would falter... invariable this also led to robbing. I kind of acquired the idea from old iddee and I have also found that a side benefit of robber screens is they tend to make defensive hives a bit less jumpy.
     
  4. Bhodi

    Bhodi New Member

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    Everything is new enough that there are no gaps big enough for a bee to fit through and the reducer is set to the smallest opening. I've seen robbing before and I know it can get ugly real fast. I'll keep a close eye on things and see how it goes. Also, the goldenrod and aster are in full bloom here, so hopefully the other colonies are busy with that.

    I'd like to fatten up this colony before winter, so I do plan to start giving them sugarwater as soon as they clean up the frames.

    Would open feeding be an option? Maybe 150' away just to divert attention away from the nuc? Too risky?
     
  5. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    my experience (now quite dated) on open (we called it pot) feeding is that just by the nature of how it is done would create some robbing. the distance of the pot from the yard (in those days typically 40 hives) always lead to some robbing. we thought at the time that some sugar water got attached to the worker's bodies and when this got spread around robbing was a normal consequence.

    the real driving reason for why we pot fed was numbers. unless you are talking about large numbers I would think about how you got feed into these units. the other (and for me the larger) downside of pot feeding was the weak hives got little and the strong got more than enough.
     
  6. Bhodi

    Bhodi New Member

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    I checked early this afternoon and saw dozens of bees at the entrance and in the air in front of the hive. Luckily, they were just backed up due to the small entrance, and not being robbed.

    They also had every drop of honey cleaned off the wet frames. That didn't take long at all!
     
  7. rast

    rast New Member

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    My experiance with open feeding mirrors Tecumsehs. One other tidbit. Do not add any HBH to the sugar water. It will greatly add to the robbing.