>This question keeps coming up when I want to feed a weak hive in my beeyard. People say that feeding a weak hive is dangerous since that invites robbing.
Yes it does. But letting them starve doesn't seem like a good alternative. One alternative, however is to steal capped honey from the strong hives and feed them if you need them to replace it.
>One proposed solution I have heard is to feed all the hives at the same time, to prevent robbing. Does this actually work?
It won't STOP robbing but it will help prevent it. Especially if you combine it with restricting ALL the entrances including the ones on the strong hives. Better, though, to steal from the rich and feed the rich.
>If it's the house bees in the strong hive that go to the feeder (we use top feeders), then the robber class and foragers are free to rob other hives, even as their own is being fed. But if the foragers are engaged in collecting sugar syrup from the top feeder, they would not be available to get into trouble robbing other hives.
Maybe. Any bee can be recruited for any job, though, so it's hard to say.
>So does anyone actually know which bees in a hive collect feed from a top feeder. I would think there must be some research on this somewhere but I haven't seen it.
My guess if from the point of view of the bees, the bees emptying the feeders are "receiver" bees who are just taking it to the combs. But both foragers and receivers can be recruited from the bees of the hive.