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Author Topic: Now What?  (Read 1261 times)
Chad S
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Location: Groton MA


« on: May 10, 2005, 09:38:02 AM »

Got home last night, and the bees were at it again.  Lots of activity around one of the weeker hives, but I could tell they were both getting robbed out.  (See previous post on the result of moving 2 of 5 hives).  I shut down the hives, and got my smoker out.  Smoked robbing bees away from the entrance, and stapled a section of window screen on the front for ventilation.  I smoked the inner cover and had a quick look, there were three solid frames of bees.  I spritsed them with lemon grass syrup to settle them down and get everyone smelling the same, and covered them up.

So on the up side I got three solid frames of bees in each hives, and two good queens.  Unless the queens got killed of course, but I am going to keep it posative for now.  My plan is to keep them in for 72hrs. which Michael suggested to get them re oriented, and hopefully get them building a brood nest.  They have syrup, and brood builder patty.  My other hope is after 72hrs. the robbing will stop.  We are coming into a big blossom period here with fruit trees dandy lions and such.  So hopefully the robbing bees will find good fair else where.  When I open them back up I am going to cut the entrance down to one bee space, and gradually widen if they can get some momentum going.

Is there anything else that anybody can think of short of taking them off the property that will help these two hives stop getting robbed by the other three stronger hives?
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #1 on: May 10, 2005, 10:22:09 AM »

First, don't feed them.  Feeding will just encourage the robbers.  Second, IF you feed them don't use essential oils or honey as it will only atrract the robbers.  Third, minimize the size of the entrance on the hives.  All of them.  The robbers can't work so fast if they have a traffic jam at both the victim's door and their own door.  Fourth, you can build a robber screen.  The robbers tend to go by smell, the residents tend to go by remembering how they got in and out.

http://www.bushfarms.com/images/RobberScreenHiveSide.JPG
http://www.bushfarms.com/images/RobberScreenOutside.JPG


Another solution is to put some vicks vapo rub around the entrace to confuse the smells.
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Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
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"Everything works if you let it."--Rick Nielsen
Michael Bush
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« Reply #2 on: May 10, 2005, 10:33:02 AM »

A trick I haven't tried is to open the robbers hive and leave it open for an hour or so.  This causes them to be more worried about defending their own hive rather than attacking the weak one.  If you have more than one strong hive, you may need to do this on all of the strong hives.
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Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
-------------------
"Everything works if you let it."--Rick Nielsen
crw13755
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« Reply #3 on: May 10, 2005, 10:50:49 AM »

"to open the robbers hive and leave it open for an hour " Just out of couriosity Michael would that draw flys?
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #4 on: May 10, 2005, 12:33:41 PM »

Vicks?  Draw flies?  Of course not.
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Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
-------------------
"Everything works if you let it."--Rick Nielsen
Chad S
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Location: Groton MA


« Reply #5 on: May 31, 2005, 02:39:45 PM »

I ended up moving the two hives that were getting robbed to a friends place down the Rd. from us a couple of weeks ago.  Two hives had roughly three frames of bees with brood etc.  One week later each queen was laying nicely, and things looked good.  The capped brood that I put in was more of a hinderance than a help as the brood died with the cold wet weather and not enough bees to keep them warm.  The bees were cleaning out the dead, and things looked good.  Then we had a week of rain.  This weekend I went to check, and one hive was dead.  The other is still small, but getting along o.k for now.  I am going to chalk this up as a rookie mistake.  

I do regret A not splitting the hives up before I installed the Bees, and B listening to people when they suggested I move two hives with newly installed pkg.'s.  I am hoping this queen can stick it out until I can do a cut down split with my strong hive before I loose another coloney of bees.
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