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Author Topic: Robbing  (Read 1528 times)

Offline Zoot

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Robbing
« on: October 04, 2007, 11:34:41 PM »
I made the mistake of leaving a medium packed full of capped honey in the back of our pickup for a few days. Inside the cap. I've done it before with no problem. Never once saw a bee come near it. Yesterday around 6:00 PM I noticed thousands of bees flying around it - didn't really worry since evening was approaching. When I went out later the entire box was robbed clean - not a speck of honey left.  They did this in about 2 hours. In the morning they even came back and ate up all of the wax debris that had accumulated which I had hoped to salvage for the melter. It was an amazing lesson in how quickly this can happen.

Offline Brian D. Bray

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Re: Robbing
« Reply #1 on: October 05, 2007, 12:11:10 AM »
Robbing is more likely to happen when nectar sources are few and far between.  Dearths breed robbing.  This is one of the reason I use a community feeder when I'm feeding weaker hives during a dearth. 
Your super of honey is now spread out amoung all the hives within 2 miles of where you parked your truck.
Lesson learned, I hope: Never remove a super you're not going to extract ASAP. 
If you have a dedicated honey room that the bees can't get into then you might be able to wait a day or 2. 

What I am seeing right now is not the honey bees robbing each other (because I'm feeding all my hives) but that the Wasps and Hornets are robbing the hives of both honey stores and bee carcasses.  You should see the piles of yellow jackets in front of my hives.
Life is a school.  What have you learned?   :brian:      The greatest danger to our society is apathy, vote in every election!

Offline Mici

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Re: Robbing
« Reply #2 on: October 05, 2007, 08:42:50 AM »
and never EVER try sawing a hive that is being robbed by combining it with another hive, or just taking 1 frame and put it in another hive.
the honey being robbed has it's smell, they'll quickly find it.

Offline TwT

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Re: Robbing
« Reply #3 on: October 05, 2007, 09:07:57 AM »
well Zoot it happens, that's the best way to learn is from experience, now you will remember lol.....
THAT's ME TO THE LEFT JUST 5 YEARS FROM NOW!!!!!!!!

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Offline Cindi

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Re: Robbing
« Reply #4 on: October 05, 2007, 09:58:48 AM »
Zoot, bummer!!!  That is a lot of honey down the drain.  Whodda thunk that they could clean out that super is such order eh?   Must have been great and fair game for all the honeybees that live far and wide, great easy food to bring home to their dinner table.  Oh brother.

Brian has the right idea about the communal feeding thing.  That is an idea that I will be employing today.  I had a robbing situation going on with one of my colonies the day before yesterday and I put up the robber screen, didn't see any robbers trying to get in yesterday.  The sun will shine for this day, the weather channel says so (yeah).  I know it is clear as a bell outside because when I stepped outside on my bedroom patio porch the first thing I noticed was a shimmer of frost, it was slightly slippery, then I saw the big black sky with all the beautiful stars shinin' through.  Wow, that is a beauty of a sight.  It is cold, very cold, unseasonably cold.

Zoot, good luck, I hope that this doesn't happen to you again, we all learn so many life lessons through our mistakes, and let me tell you, I am one that has learned most of my life, things the hard way   :roll: ;) :)  Have a wonderful day, beautiful life.  Cindi
There are strange things done in the midnight sun by the men who moil for gold.  The Arctic trails have their secret tales that would make your blood run cold.  The Northern Lights have seen queer sights, but the queerest they ever did see, what the night on the marge of Lake Lebarge, I cremated Sam McGee.  Robert Service

Offline shakerbeeman

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Re: Robbing
« Reply #5 on: October 05, 2007, 10:23:42 AM »
I think I need a communal feeder also. Robbing continues on one hive no matter what I do. How can I make a quick and dirty feeder for them all?

Offline Cindi

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Re: Robbing
« Reply #6 on: October 05, 2007, 10:48:25 AM »
Shakerbeeman.  I hear your plight.  Others on the forum have indicated that they simply put a pail with sugar syrup and floaty things in it for the bees to land on.

One day when it was sunny here awhile ago, I thought I would try this out, this communal feeding thing.  All I did was put a shallow container outside near the apiary and put sugar syrup in it, it was actually just a lid from an old plastic container and I put a bunch of bubble wrap in it.  It was a very large lid, so it accommodated alot of bees, and I mean alot of bees.  I couldn't believe how they went to this food source.  Next time I would simply use grass, the bubble wrap was a pain in the butt.  I got a really good chance to take a cool picture of a bee's tongue.  HOpe this may give you some ideas on how to be inventive with our girls!!!  Have a wonderful day, great life.  Cindi






There are strange things done in the midnight sun by the men who moil for gold.  The Arctic trails have their secret tales that would make your blood run cold.  The Northern Lights have seen queer sights, but the queerest they ever did see, what the night on the marge of Lake Lebarge, I cremated Sam McGee.  Robert Service

Offline TwT

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Re: Robbing
« Reply #7 on: October 05, 2007, 10:50:28 AM »
I think I need a communal feeder also. Robbing continues on one hive no matter what I do. How can I make a quick and dirty feeder for them all?

if you have boardman feeders just fill them and set them out, you can use bitty waterer's just put rocks around the bottom so they can stand on, a 5 gallon bucket with something floating in the syrup like this picture http://www.gabeekeeping.com/ , about anything that will hold syrup and you can set up so they don't drown....
THAT's ME TO THE LEFT JUST 5 YEARS FROM NOW!!!!!!!!

Never be afraid to try something new.
Amateurs built the ark,
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Offline Zoot

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Re: Robbing
« Reply #8 on: October 05, 2007, 11:35:28 AM »
Mici,

This is definitely a lesson on how bees mark a location - they have come back again today even though the truck is nowhere near and the honey is gone, just thousands of bees flying around the old location.

Offline shakerbeeman

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Re: Robbing
« Reply #9 on: October 05, 2007, 11:50:28 AM »
Many helpful replies. Some fine pics by Cindi also. Love the bee tongue.

I think I read the feeder should be located a bit away from the apiary. True? How far?

Thanks all.

Offline TwT

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Re: Robbing
« Reply #10 on: October 05, 2007, 11:54:25 AM »
some put them about 5 feet from the hives, I dont walk that for from the house when open feeding, mine are about 150 feet from the hives, but I set mine just behind the house so I can keep filling ;)
THAT's ME TO THE LEFT JUST 5 YEARS FROM NOW!!!!!!!!

Never be afraid to try something new.
Amateurs built the ark,
Professionals built the Titanic

Offline Cindi

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Re: Robbing
« Reply #11 on: October 06, 2007, 01:03:59 PM »
Shakerbeeman.  I don't know, I set these feeders just infront of the apiary, about 10 feet away I would guess.  I think that is OK because the bees didn't have far to go, and "noticed" the sweet stuff really quickly.

Yesterday I did alot of manipulation with 7 of my colonies and I had the feeder set out again.  I kept a gallon milk jug out there and filled this feeder up constantly, eveytime I finished with a colony, this kept the foragers really busy, they consumed all the gallon in about 3 hours.  That is how long it took me to do the work with the hives.  I am slow I guess, but I have a great time working with these girls. It is a blast!!!!  Worked with my bee suit and veil cause it was sunny, but cooler, I only got 2 bee stings during this time on my wrist where.

But those blasted yellowjackets, man do they love the s.s. too.  I killed umteen dozen of them.  I squish them, they are so engrossed in drinking the sweets that they don't see my fingers grab them, squish.  I did notice a puncture on my thumb though after I finished and got into the house, it was quite sore and I thought I must have got a sliver from something.  Nope, I venture it was a nasty yellowjacket that had a chance to sting me.  It still kind of hurts this morning.  My fingers are so tough from working outside almost 365 days a year that probably it is difficult for any insect to puncture through my skin  :) :roll:.

You should see my poor husband when he has to dig out a sliver (and I get lots of those from brambles, salmonberry bushes, roses, and the list goes on).  He has the time of his life trying to get through the skin to dig out the sliver.  He has had years of practice, and still he sometimes has a difficult time with those slivers.  He has an old lens from one of our video cameras that he uses for his device to searching and destroying slivers, yeah!!!!  My hat off to this dude who spends so much time fixing his wife!!!  Yeah!!  Sorry, I do have a way of getting off topic, but you all know me!!!!   :roll: :) ;) :-D  Have a wonderful day, best of this beautiful life we live!!!!Cindi
There are strange things done in the midnight sun by the men who moil for gold.  The Arctic trails have their secret tales that would make your blood run cold.  The Northern Lights have seen queer sights, but the queerest they ever did see, what the night on the marge of Lake Lebarge, I cremated Sam McGee.  Robert Service

Offline shakerbeeman

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Re: Robbing
« Reply #12 on: October 06, 2007, 05:55:29 PM »
I so love your stories Cindi. You paint a vivid picture with your words.

I set up a communal feeder about 10 ft. away from my three hives. May well move it in a bit closer tomorrow. Today I couldn't be home and when  I returned about 4 PM the feeder needed a splash of SS and there must have been a few fights as there were about 20 dead in the bottom of the bucket. Lesson learned- Don't let the SS run out. Tomorrow I will move the robbed hive to my brothers home. He will get an electric fence to surround it and wa la he will be a keeper of bees. I simply can't stop the robbing of this hive and really need to move it. Brother already had a keen interest and don't you think  it will be more fun to help each other. I told him perhaps we will call ourselves Bee Brothers. ;) For my first season I have seen many situations and that I am thankful for. Two packages were purchased and started May 15th. The weak one out did the strong one in a couple months and by Aug 15 the formerly strong one, now the weaker, cast a swarm. I caught the swarm and it became weak hive and the robbing ensued. Thought at one point the swarm lost the queen so I bought one only to find the queen a few days later. So begot the OB hive which is currently doing very well. What an exciting muse.

Offline Cindi

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Re: Robbing
« Reply #13 on: October 06, 2007, 06:31:00 PM »
Shakerbeeman, I love that you love my stories.  I love to tell tales, and they are not tall :) ;)  I love to put my feelings onto the keyboard, to make other people's day just alittle more interesting, reading about the strange and wonderful things that I write about.  It makes my day to think that I may have put a smile onto another's face, smile, smile.  A smile is a wonderful thing.

Sounds like you are doing great for your poor little colony that has these hungry little girls trying to steal all their food.  Your brother may become a beekeeper, just like you, yeah!!!! Another human brought into the depths of the love of the honeybee and all the mysteries that surround.

Yep, I have the same thing, a super strong colony that was going to swarm, did a cut down split, so prevented that swarm, but still, sometime later, this queen was so bent on raising babies that they eventually got their way and swarmed, now a weaker mother colony and a weaker swarm colony.  I should combine and kill one of the queens, but I am still in the experimenting stage and want all the experience that I can muster.  I have reluctance to combine and kill either of these queens because they are both new queens, born this summer and should be prolific layers next season.  If they follow in their mother's footsteps, then they will be.  They may have a swarming tendency, but oh well, that is another strong learning curve.  How to take proper care of the bees to prevent swarming.  I have learned lots again this past summer, plan on learning lots and lots more, until I just can't "learn no more", ha!!!!! ;) :) :) :) :)  And that will be the day!!!!  Have a wonderful day, best of our great life.  Cindi
There are strange things done in the midnight sun by the men who moil for gold.  The Arctic trails have their secret tales that would make your blood run cold.  The Northern Lights have seen queer sights, but the queerest they ever did see, what the night on the marge of Lake Lebarge, I cremated Sam McGee.  Robert Service