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Corban Borrie

NZBF Hive Doctor and Robbing Screens?

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Hi Beeks,

 

I have seen some robbing screens that are better suited for traditional wooden bases. I also have Hive Doctors bases however (Original x1 and Smart x 2) which have a lowered base for the entrance, rather than flush flat wooden. I have not had any robbing in mine, however my friend's apiary 30 meters away has had one of his weaker hive robbed out just a week ago. 

 

What robbing solutions do people suggest for Hive Doctor bases? I live 5 minutes away and it's not practical to check daily for any odd behaviours. So just seeking proactive strategies for my 3 hives.

 

Appreciate your thoughts. 

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2 hours ago, Corban Borrie said:

Hi Beeks,

 

I have seen some robbing screens that are better suited for traditional wooden bases. I also have Hive Doctors bases however (Original x1 and Smart x 2) which have a lowered base for the entrance, rather than flush flat wooden. I have not had any robbing in mine, however my friend's apiary 30 meters away has had one of his weaker hive robbed out just a week ago. 

 

What robbing solutions do people suggest for Hive Doctor bases? I live 5 minutes away and it's not practical to check daily for any odd behaviours. So just seeking proactive strategies for my 3 hives.

 

Appreciate your thoughts. 

Do you have the red discs that fit in the entrances ?

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24 minutes ago, kaihoka said:

Do you have the red discs that fit in the entrances ?

1) single disk (original)

2) triple disk (smart)

3) cover (smart)

 

My understanding is the screens act as a barrier to usual entrance..

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I have the smart bases on both my hives, have closed the outer 2 discs right up and put the centres on restricted access. The hives are stil quite active and bringing in a fair bit of pollen but although they sometimes queue they don't seem to have much of a problem getting in and out. So far no robbing issues (fingers crossed) even when wets went back on.

Edited by DuncanCook
typo
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6 hours ago, Corban Borrie said:

1) single disk (original)

2) triple disk (smart)

3) cover (smart)

 

My understanding is the screens act as a barrier to usual entrance..

I have single disk and no disk bases.

In the past my hives have been destroyed by robbing but now I have strong hives they can defend themselves .

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12 hours ago, DuncanCook said:

I have the smart bases on both my hives, have closed the outer 2 discs right up and put the centres on restricted access. The hives are stil quite active and bringing in a fair bit of pollen but although they sometimes queue they don't seem to have much of a problem getting in and out. So far no robbing issues (fingers crossed) even when wets went back on.

 

Yesterday, taking advantage of the rain I closed the two side disks and reduced the middle one. This morning there was a huge commotion at the entrance, I just created Auckland traffic jam for them... I hope they'll be ok and find a way to sort out their traffic, I am worried about robbing as food is scarce.

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2 hours ago, Gabor said:

 

Yesterday, taking advantage of the rain I closed the two side disks and reduced the middle one. This morning there was a huge commotion at the entrance, I just created Auckland traffic jam for them... I hope they'll be ok and find a way to sort out their traffic, I am worried about robbing as food is scarce.

I guess for myself, I don't want to go into 'wasp mode' just to winter my hives. So hence why my thoughts to those who might have a hive doctor + robbing screen setup that doesn't involve the size of the entrance, but rather deals with how yellow jackets and other foreign bees try to otherwise in biblical speak 'steal, kill and destroy'.

I'd be interested in hearing how your bees settle down after this commotion.

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15 hours ago, DuncanCook said:

I have the smart bases on both my hives, have closed the outer 2 discs right up and put the centres on restricted access. The hives are stil quite active and bringing in a fair bit of pollen but although they sometimes queue they don't seem to have much of a problem getting in and out. So far no robbing issues (fingers crossed) even when wets went back on.

I'd like to know how useful restricting access is vs placing on robbing screens you see on wooden bases. Kiwimana had the wooden examples but again, I don't believe these will fit Hive Doctor bases (Original or Smarts)

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2 hours ago, Corban Borrie said:

I'd like to know how useful restricting access is vs placing on robbing screens you see on wooden bases. Kiwimana had the wooden examples but again, I don't believe these will fit Hive Doctor bases (Original or Smarts)

I have just had a look on the Kiwmana site and the main thing that drew my attention was that they state that it takes several weeks for the bees to get used to the screens and for them to become effective. I quote:-

it's important to be patient with your girls when a robbing-screen is introduced because it does take them a few weeks to recognise it, then to ‘scent' it with propolis, whilst also allowing the guard bees time to work out the perimeter from where the propolis scent has been added.

Which means that it is not going to help much fitting them when you discover you have a problem

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2 hours ago, Corban Borrie said:

 

I'd be interested in hearing how your bees settle down after this commotion.

 

I'm concerned as well. I hope they figured out the way. I'll let you know when I'm home.

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We made guards very like the Kiwimana one in January - but $4 for kitset, (not $35 assembled + postage) and help with assembly. The trick is to put them on at night when all the girls are at home, and they naturally find the exit in the morning as they leave the hive.

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Ok, I totally thought bees are sorting out the reduced entrance problem and they absolutely did not. THey were out in great numbers, tons of them under the floorboard, scooped out most of them and opened back the middle entrance. They were very unhappy bees. When I got home I checked them first thing and jumped into the suit, grabbed the first pair of gloves (dewalt protectors for building works, turned out very good beek gloves, hehe) and run to the hive. Took them almost an hour to get back to the hive, I hope they'll be OK. I guess the entrance was too small to the bee numbers. 

 

 

reduced.jpg

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@Gabor I reduced the entrances and the weather got hot and the bees clustered all over and under hive.

I unblocked entrance and they all went home by nightfall.

I put match sticks between boxes to help with ventilation .

Your hive looks very tightly sealed and new.

Older hives with out strapping are often gappy so ventilation is not such a problem .

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is that a top feeder? @Gabor

Edited by black bee

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3 hours ago, kaihoka said:

@Gabor I reduced the entrances and the weather got hot and the bees clustered all over and under hive.

I unblocked entrance and they all went home by nightfall.

I put match sticks between boxes to help with ventilation .

Your hive looks very tightly sealed and new.

 

You're right the boxes are fresh, I'll see how many will come out for a stroll on the fresh air and apply the matchsticks if necessary

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40 minutes ago, black bee said:

is that a top feeder? @Gabor

yes it is and it's empty, I'll refill it tonight. greedy bugs gobbled up all the sweet juice from it

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On 14/03/2018 at 11:17 AM, Gabor said:

yes it is and it's empty, I'll refill it tonight. greedy bugs gobbled up all the sweet juice from it

Wow three boxes full with bees and sugar syrup. That’s a potential recipe (if the bees are healthy) for spring swarms in Auckland.

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16 hours ago, StephenP said:

Can you post a link?

No he can't. He sells them and it's against forum rules. It he wants to advertise his product he can use the marketplace properly like everyone else.

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On 12/03/2018 at 1:53 PM, Corban Borrie said:

Hi Beeks,

 

I have seen some robbing screens that are better suited for traditional wooden bases. I also have Hive Doctors bases however (Original x1 and Smart x 2) which have a lowered base for the entrance, rather than flush flat wooden. I have not had any robbing in mine, however my friend's apiary 30 meters away has had one of his weaker hive robbed out just a week ago. 

 

What robbing solutions do people suggest for Hive Doctor bases? I live 5 minutes away and it's not practical to check daily for any odd behaviours. So just seeking proactive strategies for my 3 hives.

 

Appreciate your thoughts. 

I saw some nice looking ones for hive doctor bases on trademe that are plastic 3d printed and price looked ok to me. I purchased a few of his Nuc entrances (same seller) to give them a try and these have been fine. I need to get design time on Solid Works so I had designed my own nuc entrance guard which is quite different and I think it works better. These are in test and I'm thinking of how to improve them with help of bee feedback. Lots of fun, so why not make your own? Disclaimer I personally don't have any hive doctor bases and that is unlikely to change.

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Corban, I have just joined the Forum and saw your 2018 question.  Did you get an answer?  I have two hives with Hive Doctor bases and I fitted robbing screens to the front of the brood box on each hive.

This transferred the entries to the top of the screens - about 220mm above the entrances in the bases.  They are working well and I'll leave them on all year round.

I also placed two troughs in front of the hives. These are planted with Thyme which the bees seem to love.  They also hide the screens to a degree.   

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