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I've been keeping this blog for all of my beekeeping years and I am beginning my 19th year of beekeeping in April 2024. Now there are more than 1300 posts on this blog. Please use the search bar below to search the blog for other posts on a subject in which you are interested. You can also click on the "label" at the end of a post and all posts with that label will show up. At the very bottom of this page is a list of all the labels I've used.

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I began this blog to chronicle my beekeeping experiences. I have read lots of beekeeping books, but nothing takes the place of either hands-on experience with an experienced beekeeper or good pictures of the process. I want people to have a clearer picture of what to expect in their beekeeping so I post pictures and write about my beekeeping saga here.Master Beekeeper Enjoy with me as I learn and grow as a beekeeper.

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Saturday, August 11, 2007

Robbing in the Small Swarm Hive

(Something is wrong with Picasa today and the posts are not allowing me to post under the pictures (FWIW))

Last week I added two frames of brood and food to the small swarm hive and they were completely robbed out. I put up the robber screen that I have (not adequate - it was built for a 10 frame deep) but it did little good and today, the small swarm hive had no food in the hive, wax moth damage, and seemed quite discouraged - and of course, queenless.

Today I added two full frames of honey and two frames of brood and larvae to the small swarm hive. I took the brood from Mellona.

No sooner did I close up the hive than the robbing started again. Last week while the robbing was going on, I saw bees inside the robber screen passing honey through the screen to their sisters on the outside. Today I wanted to give the hive every chance. I put up the robber screen again and tightly secured it with bungee cords. I stuffed grass in the side openings. I reduced the hive entrance with two sidebars from a set of deep frames that I have never built. I even put a rock on a top opening on one side.

But robbing is happening although not as vigorously as I've seen last week. I remember reading on Beesource that if you wanted to stop robbing from happening, open the tops of all the hives and they will have to return to their hives to defend them. I don't feel secure enough to do that.

I'll check again tomorrow. If the SShive is completely robbed out again, I'm considering combining it with Proteus Bee to increase Proteus Bee's strength and relieve these girls who have barely survived now without their queen.
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  1. Anonymous1:36 PM


    Does your robbing screen totally close off the entrance??? I was curious how they worked, or is it still open on the sides??

    What does the grass do???


  2. The only screen I had was one I built last year for a 10 frame deep hive body, so I was make-shifting. I used the grass to stuff to opening at the side. Normally a robber screen is closed off except for the top edge which is open. The bees who are drawn to their queen come in easily that way. The robbers keep aiming for the entrance and are foiled by the robber screen. This was a useless effort and I'm about to post about what I did today.


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