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Author Topic: weak hive being robbed and nuc feeding question  (Read 1549 times)
twb
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« on: October 18, 2007, 05:23:38 PM »

My hive that threw out a Sept. swarm is being robbed, I believe.  I have closed all entrances leaving only 5 holes open in the metal mouse guard covering the main entrance.  Will the robbers give up eventually? 
There are only five frames of bees left and very little stores but they do have a laying queen.  I plan to feed until onset of cold weather and then transfer to a 5 frame nuc.  How can I continue to feed them in a wooden nuc box.  I have a division board feeder but do not want to sacrifice a frame for it.
I would like to try to baby them through the long winter,rather than combine, since all my other hives are queenright and have plenty of stores. Any helpful advice would be appreciated.  Thanks.
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"Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones."  Proverbs 16:24

Sincerely,
TWB
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« Reply #1 on: October 18, 2007, 05:56:29 PM »

Is the robbing taking place at a specfic time of day?

Sincerely,
Brendhan
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #2 on: October 18, 2007, 07:43:51 PM »

http://www.bushfarms.com/beesrobbing.htm
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Michael Bush
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twb
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« Reply #3 on: October 18, 2007, 08:07:23 PM »

I see the robbing mostly in the afternoon.  Today seemed less since hive had fewer openings maybe.

I did peek in today and found a few more bees than I expected(5 solid frames worth) and only one totally empty frame. It was a wall frame so I took it out and added the division board feeder and put the hive top that was on it onto a different hive.  My goal is to have a few frames of food stored, move them into a 5 frame nuc later and freeze the extra frames of stores for winter use.  I will plan on ordering a package to replace them next spring.  That is how confident I am about overwintering them.  We will see.

Thanks, M.B. I have read that before but I get more out of it when I am experiencing the problem.
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"Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones."  Proverbs 16:24

Sincerely,
TWB
Robo
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« Reply #4 on: October 18, 2007, 08:08:15 PM »

A community feeder was the only way I could stop robbing this year.  I even tried completely screening off the hive and three days later I still had a pound or so of robber bees clustered on the front of the screen every afternoon.
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twb
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« Reply #5 on: October 18, 2007, 09:30:16 PM »

Robo, that is interesting that you say that because I tried feeding with a chicken waterer and I think I may have started the robbing situation by doing this.  Also when the feeder emptied I would get a small fist sized cluster of bees inside the waterer.  These I would remove  after dark when the feeding frenzy was over and it was cooler, so they seemed quite lethargic and I think several died as a result.  I even put a screen over the waterer hole but they managed to get in anyway.  It is interesting what works for some and not for others.
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"Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones."  Proverbs 16:24

Sincerely,
TWB
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« Reply #6 on: October 18, 2007, 09:53:18 PM »

You are not being robbed you are dealing with orientation flights.

In the afternoon you will see the bees start to come out and fly in a circular pattern around the hive.

These are new bees orienting themselves. Wait until you have a bunch of hives doing it. Your yard is engulfed with a bunch of bees getting a sense of direction. It is a fascinating thing to watch.

Sincerely,
Brendhan
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Brian D. Bray
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« Reply #7 on: October 18, 2007, 09:57:16 PM »

Community feeding can be benefical if done correctly, done incorrectly it can be a disaster.
I use communal feeding when feeding selected hives, if I've feeding them all there is no reason for a communal feeder as the bees should have enough "at their door step" to prevent them from robbing.
When only feeding a few hives, the hives that are not being feed may begin robbing to get at the nectar source within the weaker hives it is then that I use a communal feeder.
Feeding communinally must be approached the same way as feeding the individual hive, the access must be limited, the source replenished as often as necesary (checked daily), and mimicing nature will decrease robing issued.  By limited access I don't mean what/who's it limited to but rather limited on how many bees can feed at a time.  To that end I use a 1 gallon paint can placed in either an orchard, a vegitable garden, or a flower garden.  I place it on a board, upside down, with spacers so the bees can access it from underneath.  I put about 18-24 holes in the lid for the bees to pull nectar from.
When I feed communally you can see the bees stacking up for their turn at the feeder and the only fighting I have noticed, of any note, is that of hornets, wasps, or yellow jackets trying to break into the line.
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CBEE
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« Reply #8 on: October 19, 2007, 12:07:19 PM »

I have learned more than I could put in one post.. Lots of Do's and Don'ts  grin
By the way whilst talking about greens. You can eat the tops of radishes and turnips and for those of you that make your own kraut you can make it with turnips just like cabbage. Heck.. All this talk about food has me hungry now rolleyes
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Cindi
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« Reply #9 on: October 19, 2007, 12:36:44 PM »

CBEE.  I do know about the turnip greens, but radish greens, yum, yum...I really do bet they would be awesome too.  Greens are the best of the best....yeah!!!! 

Our weather is now cool and rainy, I am going to sow some (and I mean lots) of spinach now in my tomato greenhouse.  I have lots of room, my reason for under cover is that the rains here can make growing stuff in the wintertime so dirty, the rain splashes and makes muck, muck like you have never seen.  So, onwards to the greenhouse for the sowing, at least I will be dry while I set these beauties into the ground. Have a wonderful and beautiful day.  Cindi
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twb
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« Reply #10 on: October 19, 2007, 07:34:12 PM »

Thanks all for the tips.  I am sure it is robbing and not orientation flights.  I, too, enjoy watching them do that(orientation flying).  This new swarm queen has not been laying long enough for any of her offspring to emerge and they were broodless for a time.  I placed some vapo-rub at the entrance this A.M. and it was a cooler day so things looked pretty good.  Plus all the bees were breathing well.(Sinuses cleared by the vapo-rub) Wink
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"Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones."  Proverbs 16:24

Sincerely,
TWB
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