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Author Topic: Major Robbing Frenzy  (Read 604 times)

Offline Captain776

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Major Robbing Frenzy
« on: May 03, 2017, 09:34:59 PM »
I brought home 2 NUC's yesterday.
Set them on the table next to my first Hive and 2 hrs later, it looked like a lot of activity from 40 feet away, as I got closer, it was obvious robbing was underway, can't tell who is robbing who.
I cut entrance reducers so there is only a 3/8" opening so one bee at a time can enter or exit.

Was that a mistake to put the 2 NUC's that close to the other hive?

The NUC's were side by side at the Bee Farm and 20 other hives close by, everyone was calm there.

How does this usually resolve itself?  When is it safe to remove the reducers?



Thanks,

Bruce
Bought my first NUC April 7, 2016.
Like all you when you first started, I am fascinated with beginning Beekeeping and trying to learn all I can.
I retired May 2015 and have added this to my short list of hobbies.

Online sawdstmakr

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Re: Major Robbing Frenzy
« Reply #1 on: May 03, 2017, 11:16:22 PM »
Captian,
Does not look like robbing to me. Were the bees flying around in circles?
If they are they are orienting. Usually it happens a couple of hours before sunset.
It also happens when you move the hive.
Jim
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Offline Captain776

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Re: Major Robbing Frenzy
« Reply #2 on: May 03, 2017, 11:29:39 PM »
Captian,
Does not look like robbing to me. Were the bees flying around in circles?
If they are they are orienting. Usually it happens a couple of hours before sunset.
It also happens when you move the hive.
Jim

I watched them when I first opened the NUC's yesterday and the bees were only flying a few meters, it was like they were orienting to see where the hive is and what it looks like when they are returning to it, but a few hours later, it was a madhouse over there.
It wasn't until this morning, I reduced the entrances, as soon as I reduced the entrance, everything calmed down significantly.
If it was robbing.........is it going to happen again when I remove the reducer?
Bought my first NUC April 7, 2016.
Like all you when you first started, I am fascinated with beginning Beekeeping and trying to learn all I can.
I retired May 2015 and have added this to my short list of hobbies.

Offline cao

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Re: Major Robbing Frenzy
« Reply #3 on: May 03, 2017, 11:30:55 PM »
>How does this usually resolve itself?
Either they will rob the weak hive until it kills it or until they find something else to eat.

>When is it safe to remove the reducers?
Not until they stop fighting at the entrance.  A better solution than just reducing the entrance is to put on robbing screens. 

sawdstmakr could be right on orientating flights.  When multiple hives that are next to each other are doing orientation flights at the same time it can look a bit crazy.  You need to look close at the individual bees.  If the bees are fighting(wrestling and not letting go and trying to sting each other) on the landing board then it is a robbing issue.

Offline Captain776

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Re: Major Robbing Frenzy
« Reply #4 on: May 03, 2017, 11:40:08 PM »
Those are 5 frame NUC's with the wooden type of feeder, the feeders just had dry white sugar in them when they gave them to me.
Now that things calmed down, I am going to replace the wood feeders with plastic 2 compartments..........one I will put syrup and dry sugar in the other one, hopefully that Keeps everyone happy until they get situated and locate the numerous food and nectar sources.

See the pic below, very calm there now, just in and out every hive, as you would expect to see.

Thanks

Bruce

« Last Edit: May 04, 2017, 12:26:25 AM by Captain776 »
Bought my first NUC April 7, 2016.
Like all you when you first started, I am fascinated with beginning Beekeeping and trying to learn all I can.
I retired May 2015 and have added this to my short list of hobbies.

Offline Captain776

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Re: Major Robbing Frenzy
« Reply #5 on: May 04, 2017, 10:22:00 AM »
After I installed the Entrance Reducers, things calmed right down and stayed calmed down all day but when I walked by at 6 pm, lots of bees in front if the 2 new NUC's but the first hive looks normal.
I think this us robbing when I see all the bees on the vent screen trying to get in anywhere they can.

Does this look like robbing or natural activity?

Bought my first NUC April 7, 2016.
Like all you when you first started, I am fascinated with beginning Beekeeping and trying to learn all I can.
I retired May 2015 and have added this to my short list of hobbies.

Offline cao

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Re: Major Robbing Frenzy
« Reply #6 on: May 04, 2017, 11:46:17 AM »
Without a close up of the entrance, to see if fighting is going on, I would say its orientation flights.  I can't see any bee wrestling going on.  These are newly moved nucs so all of the feild bees have to reorientate to the hive so there should be more flying for a while.  The bees that are on the screen are confused.  Bees can't see screen as a barrier and are going by the scent coming out of the hive.  With the closed entrances there is more hive smell coming from the screen so they are trying to get in the hive there.  I would open the entrance a little and maybe close the screen a little.

Offline bwallace23350

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Re: Major Robbing Frenzy
« Reply #7 on: May 04, 2017, 03:11:11 PM »
Looks my orientation flights earlier this year. Go out and look to see if you see any fighting near the entrance.

Offline kathyp

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Re: Major Robbing Frenzy
« Reply #8 on: May 04, 2017, 05:35:12 PM »
Food on some hives and not on others may encourage robbing especially if there is no good flow.  If you are seeing the activity at the same time in the PM for 2 or 3 days it's probably orientation flights.  The fly up and down facing the hive and crawl up the front of it.  The go out farther with each orientation flight.

Watch for fighting and also watch the big hive and see if bees are going from that one to the other.  A few will, but if you see a lot going over, going in, and coming back, they are probably robbing.

It looks like orientation flights to me as I don't see a lot of agitation on the front porch of the new hives.  Make sure the big hive has plenty of food stored and they won't be so apt to look for more.
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Offline Captain776

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Re: Major Robbing Frenzy
« Reply #9 on: May 04, 2017, 09:21:11 PM »
There is a Flow on here, right now there is so many trees in full bloom, the whole tree is covered in purple flowers and 20-40 feet tall,  plus everything else.
All 3 have frame feeders with syrup and sugar.
Between all that is in bloom and the frame feeders, they should not be fighting for food.
I removed the Entrance Reducers this morning, not much going on at the NUC's just looks like normal in and out but a lot of activity at my first Hive.
This video is taken closer, a lot f traffic in and out but I don't see any fighting.
I watched them up close for about 5 mins before going to get the IPad, while I was watching, I saw many returning with pollen sacks full.




Thanks for your answers

Bruce
« Last Edit: May 04, 2017, 10:40:15 PM by Captain776 »
Bought my first NUC April 7, 2016.
Like all you when you first started, I am fascinated with beginning Beekeeping and trying to learn all I can.
I retired May 2015 and have added this to my short list of hobbies.

Offline billdean

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Re: Major Robbing Frenzy
« Reply #10 on: May 05, 2017, 08:02:31 AM »
Looks very normal to me. If theres a flow going on I don't think you will be seeing any robbing. Just looks like what bees do. Congratulation on what appears to be the start of a great hive.

Online Acebird

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Re: Major Robbing Frenzy
« Reply #11 on: May 05, 2017, 08:54:35 AM »
Perfect, none of the bees are coming out of the hive and confronting the ones that are landing.  Nothing dead on the porch.
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Offline bwallace23350

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Re: Major Robbing Frenzy
« Reply #12 on: May 05, 2017, 02:41:35 PM »
Hives look normal. Got some good looking activity going

Offline Captain776

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Re: Major Robbing Frenzy
« Reply #13 on: May 06, 2017, 12:19:54 AM »
Thanks again for your replies.
It was calm all day yesterday with not much traffic in and out of all 3 hives but about 6 pm bees were out and all over and around hive 3, one of the NUC's and then it started thundering, the high wind came up and they were back in the box in a flash........looks fine now at 10:30 Sunday morning.
Bought my first NUC April 7, 2016.
Like all you when you first started, I am fascinated with beginning Beekeeping and trying to learn all I can.
I retired May 2015 and have added this to my short list of hobbies.

Offline tycrnp

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Re: Major Robbing Frenzy
« Reply #14 on: May 08, 2017, 12:46:19 PM »
So I am expecting my new colony to arrive soon.  How close to or far from my 1st hive should the 2nd hive be to help prevent robbing?

Offline cao

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Re: Major Robbing Frenzy
« Reply #15 on: May 08, 2017, 08:55:20 PM »
How close to or far from my 1st hive should the 2nd hive be to help prevent robbing?
It depends on several things.  If there is a good flow going there probably won't be an issue.  What is the difference in size of hives.  If they are equal is size there shouldn't be a problem whether a flow or not.  If the new colony is less than half the size of the old one then I would put a robber screen on the smaller one.  I keep hives that are close to the same size within inches of each other.  The nucs that I have are about 100 ft. away.  This time of year I don't worry about robbing.  The bees are too busy working all the stuf that is blooming.  In late July and August without robbing screens the nucs would be toast.

Offline tycrnp

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Re: Major Robbing Frenzy
« Reply #16 on: May 16, 2017, 12:26:52 AM »
How close to or far from my 1st hive should the 2nd hive be to help prevent robbing?
It depends on several things.  If there is a good flow going there probably won't be an issue.  What is the difference in size of hives.  If they are equal is size there shouldn't be a problem whether a flow or not.  If the new colony is less than half the size of the old one then I would put a robber screen on the smaller one.  I keep hives that are close to the same size within inches of each other.  The nucs that I have are about 100 ft. away.  This time of year I don't worry about robbing.  The bees are too busy working all the stuf that is blooming.  In late July and August without robbing screens the nucs would be toast.

My current hive is small.  Actually, I haven't been able to find my queen and it is slowly dwindling.  I will keep the hives separated to give this one a fighting chance.  Thanks for your help.

Offline Captain776

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Re: Major Robbing Frenzy
« Reply #17 on: May 16, 2017, 03:59:02 AM »
How close to or far from my 1st hive should the 2nd hive be to help prevent robbing?
It depends on several things.  If there is a good flow going there probably won't be an issue.  What is the difference in size of hives.  If they are equal is size there shouldn't be a problem whether a flow or not.  If the new colony is less than half the size of the old one then I would put a robber screen on the smaller one.  I keep hives that are close to the same size within inches of each other.  The nucs that I have are about 100 ft. away.  This time of year I don't worry about robbing.  The bees are too busy working all the stuf that is blooming.  In late July and August without robbing screens the nucs would be toast.

My current hive is small.  Actually, I haven't been able to find my queen and it is slowly dwindling.  I will keep the hives separated to give this one a fighting chance.  Thanks for your help.

Don't worry about finding the Queen.
Look for eggs, Larvae, pupa, if you see those, you know she is there.
Do you see any Queen cells and Drone cells at the bottom of frames?
Do you see empty Queen cells?
Bought my first NUC April 7, 2016.
Like all you when you first started, I am fascinated with beginning Beekeeping and trying to learn all I can.
I retired May 2015 and have added this to my short list of hobbies.

Offline tycrnp

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Re: Major Robbing Frenzy
« Reply #18 on: May 16, 2017, 07:38:56 PM »


Don't worry about finding the Queen.
Look for eggs, Larvae, pupa, if you see those, you know she is there.
Do you see any Queen cells and Drone cells at the bottom of frames?
Do you see empty Queen cells?
[/quote]

Unfortunately I don't see ANY of the above....

Offline Captain776

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Re: Major Robbing Frenzy
« Reply #19 on: May 17, 2017, 03:35:14 AM »


Don't worry about finding the Queen.
Look for eggs, Larvae, pupa, if you see those, you know she is there.
Do you see any Queen cells and Drone cells at the bottom of frames?
Do you see empty Queen cells?

Unfortunately I don't see ANY of the above....
[/quote]

Then do what I did a week ago when I saw the same.........re-Queen it
Bought my first NUC April 7, 2016.
Like all you when you first started, I am fascinated with beginning Beekeeping and trying to learn all I can.
I retired May 2015 and have added this to my short list of hobbies.

Offline tycrnp

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Re: Major Robbing Frenzy
« Reply #20 on: May 17, 2017, 11:05:28 AM »
I re-Queened 3 weeks ago. Now I can't even find her (she was marked and clipped). I didn't see any eggs or larvae  after I introduced her. I am just at a loss. The bees are storing honey.

I just caught 2 swarms in traps  and I was thinking I would put a frame of brood cells from one of them in there to try and help them out, unless you have another suggestion.

Offline Captain776

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Re: Major Robbing Frenzy
« Reply #21 on: May 17, 2017, 04:33:50 PM »
I re-Queened 3 weeks ago. Now I can't even find her (she was marked and clipped). I didn't see any eggs or larvae  after I introduced her. I am just at a loss. The bees are storing honey.

I just caught 2 swarms in traps  and I was thinking I would put a frame of brood cells from one of them in there to try and help them out, unless you have another suggestion.

I am familiar with marking but not clipping   in all I have read and videos I have seen I have not seen or heard of clipping?
Clipped her wings?
What I did read is........if the Queen is damaged, a damaged wing or leg they would supersede her, but you aren't seeing anything, that is strange.
Bought my first NUC April 7, 2016.
Like all you when you first started, I am fascinated with beginning Beekeeping and trying to learn all I can.
I retired May 2015 and have added this to my short list of hobbies.

Online sawdstmakr

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Re: Major Robbing Frenzy
« Reply #22 on: May 17, 2017, 08:34:01 PM »
If you damage the queens feet, she cannot measure the size of cells and puts the wrong sex in the cells. If you damage her abdomen, you reduce her egg laying abilities. In both cases they will build superceedure cells and replace her.
Her wings only come into play, if cut properly, when they swarm.
Clipping will not stop swarming. When they try to swarm the queen cannot leave with the swarm so they go back to the hive and then they will swarm with the first queen that hatches.
Jim
"If you don't read the newspaper you are uninformed.  If you do read the newspaper you are misinformed."--Mark Twain

Offline Captain776

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Re: Major Robbing Frenzy
« Reply #23 on: May 18, 2017, 09:37:36 PM »
Smart little buggers......they are
Bought my first NUC April 7, 2016.
Like all you when you first started, I am fascinated with beginning Beekeeping and trying to learn all I can.
I retired May 2015 and have added this to my short list of hobbies.