Robber screen

Discussion in 'General Beekeeping' started by james007, May 17, 2015.

  1. james007

    james007 New Member

    Messages:
    40
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    This is my first post. Thanks for all the good info. I have four hives and they are all being robbed. I used open feeders and even though they were about a hundred yards from the hives it happened. I built robber screens at least I think I did and installed them last night. The hives are calmer today and bees are leaving but I haven't seen a single bee find her way back in. I have an entrance at top about 3/4 inch but wonder if I should remove the whole top piece. Robbing was pretty bad but now I'm worried they may not be able to get back in. Thanks!
     

    Attached Files:

  2. james007

    james007 New Member

    Messages:
    40
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Later this afternoon things seem to be more congested. I'm not sure if my girls are stuck outside or if these are the robbers. Just too inexperienced to know the difference. I would appreciate any input.
     

    Attached Files:


  3. camero7

    camero7 Member

    Messages:
    713
    Likes Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Did things calm down last night? From the photos in the op I didn't see robbing, what made you think it was robbing? I couldn't see a bee fighting in any of the photos. That should be a tip off that there is robbing going on. And there should be bees trying to get in at all junctions of the hive, top, sides, etc. I have never used robber screens so my comments are just that. But bees should figure out how to get in the hive and be settled last night. Check them this morning early and see if the bees are still clustered outside the hive. If so pull the screens.
     
  4. james007

    james007 New Member

    Messages:
    40
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Thanks very much for your reply. Yes they calmed down last night about 9pm but were still trying to get in. After I installed the screens things seemed to calm down a bit. Before there was a cloud of bees on and around the hives and small piles of wax cappings under them. The otherwise calm bees went AFB on me and I could hear the buzzing from 15 feet away. I'm very new at this so still not sure what I'm seeing so probably a little overcautious. I'm picking up hivetop feeders today but plan to wait a couple of days to start using them. Thanks again.
     

    Attached Files:

  5. james007

    james007 New Member

    Messages:
    40
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    AHB not AHB. Oh well.
     
  6. camero7

    camero7 Member

    Messages:
    713
    Likes Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    18
    That does sound like robbing from your description. Internal feeders should help. the bees will figure out the robber screens and the robbers won't so leave them on.
     
  7. james007

    james007 New Member

    Messages:
    40
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Thanks! I will. This is kind of fun when your bees aren't getting robbed.
     
  8. james007

    james007 New Member

    Messages:
    40
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    By the way the goo on the k landing pad is Vicks. Didn't work. Thanks again.
     
  9. ibeelearning

    ibeelearning Member

    Messages:
    316
    Likes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    18
    I hate robbers. Grrrr.

    IMO... I'd leave the screens on and give the bees 2 or 3 more days to figure it out. The idea is to give the guard bees a smaller space to defend, but your opening seems pretty small for 2 or 3 boxes this time of year. Once things calm down, it might could be just a tad bigger, though not much. The pic with the entrance reducer looked almost right to me.

    So the noise sounds right for robbing, but were there stores missing? What's going on inside? Pull up a chair and watch the entrance, is there fighting going on? Did you see yellow jackets or wasps or non standard honey bees? (I battle yellow jackets occasionally.)

    Your pic shows 2 hives... are both or more impacted?

    Why are you feeding this time of year? Is there a temporary dearth? If you need to feed, I agree that internal feeder should help. Clumped sugar, or a Broadman feeder on the top board inside an empty supper makes a cheap internal feeder.

    Where in SW TN? I grew up in Savannah.
     
  10. james007

    james007 New Member

    Messages:
    40
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Thanks for the advice. they seemed to have figured it out and there are fewer bees on the outside today. they seem to be going in and out normally. I know it sounds funny to you in this time of year. they are new colonies and I'm trying to give them a good start building comb. I'm about is new at this as the bees are so this may not be the best approach. we are in the Selmer area so not too far from Savannah. thanks again for the good advice. not knowing what I'm doing I really appreciate any help I can get. thanks again
     
  11. ibeelearning

    ibeelearning Member

    Messages:
    316
    Likes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    18
    This is a pretty humble board-- none of us "know" what we are doing, we've just made more mistakes that don't have to be repeated every year for every person.

    I am 180 miles east of you, but the same latitude (think of it as a tad southwest of Chattanooga, or just east of Huntsville).

    After the first 2-3 weeks I remove the feeders and make my new colonies work for their living. If they hit a mid summer dearth or come up light in the fall, I can always feed then (per above). I like the "idea" of open communal feeding, but have only found it really useful in the very early spring, or in the summer for water. My 2015 new colonies (installed 2nd week in April) are running with 1/2 entrances at the moment (but will go to 1/5 if the yellow jackets show up) and building well into the second box.
     
  12. james007

    james007 New Member

    Messages:
    40
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Thanks for the great advice and for taking time to help. I think I'll take your advice and take away their food stamps for a while and see how they do. There's a lot more to this than I thought. Thanks again.
     
  13. camero7

    camero7 Member

    Messages:
    713
    Likes Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    18
    If you established these hives on foundation I would feed until I had at least 8 frames filled out. If you established on drawn comb I would feed until you had at least 6 frames of bees and four of brood.
     
  14. james007

    james007 New Member

    Messages:
    40
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Looks like 2 of them may need a little help and the other two seem to be fine. Thanks very much for the advice. This is a little scary when you are guessing.
     
  15. Gypsi

    Gypsi Super Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    2,887
    Likes Received:
    16
    Trophy Points:
    38
    are your bees getting in and out now? A traffic jam at day's end is pretty normal for a large hive with a small entrance, as all the foragers are coming home at once. Fighting is robbing, but a bunch of bees hovering looking at the hive are usually an orientation flight memorizing "home".
     
  16. james007

    james007 New Member

    Messages:
    40
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I checked the reduced entrance for dead bees and everything is open. I think the robbing ended a couple of weeks ago. Just looks like a lot fewer bees.
     
  17. ibeelearning

    ibeelearning Member

    Messages:
    316
    Likes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    18
    )(&^%$#$%^ yellow jackets are back...

    ...plus some other damn bee that looks slightly different, but isn't my tribe.

    ​I am making a decision. I have neither the time or money to intervene with the number of hives I have spread across four sites. Yellow jacket traps are worthless. I am not building robbing screens for everyone. I can't babysit them all. I am slowly learning that I can't outspend nature.
    The harvest is over. This year-- while I'll help-- the girls are gonna have to fight this fight on their own.:hunter:

    ​I have choked the affected entrances down. I'll relent and Fall feed any crew that survives.

    Bluff lot.jpg
     
  18. Gypsi

    Gypsi Super Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    2,887
    Likes Received:
    16
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Close the entrances down, don't spill syrup, and make sure the hive doesn't have more resources than bees. ME, I put a robber screen on the nuc with the purchased queen for startup but I lost between swarms and robbery about 4 hives this year. Leaving me with one. Hence the nuc with purchased queen I'm trying to get going