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Kathy Porter

Is my hive the robbers?

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Hi all,

 

I have 3 top bar hives and have been experiencing some robbing the last week or so. I live in Bay of Plenty

 

I have closed down entrances and seemed to have controlled it. Needed to add my OA&G strips and opened up my most populous hive and found it was totally full of nectar. I quickly put strips in but didn't see any sign of brood or sight queen.

 

My other hives are all struggling for nectar but don't see to have torn combs

 

I'm thinking the big hive may be a) queenless and b) the robbers

 

Is this likely? If so how do I stop them robbing?

 

Thanks

Kathy

ps. Sorry about poor grammar in title😀

 

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if the hive has no laying queen and brood to feed it will full up with honey.

you may need to feed your other hives.

i could say you could give the honey to the other hives, but i would be shot down in flames for encouraging disease spreading bad practice

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I will check for a queen and then decide if I can risk combining hives.

 

Thanks I have added syrup and pollen patties when I put strips in so the others should be OK for now

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Posted (edited)
13 hours ago, Kathy Porter said:

Thanks I have added syrup and pollen patties when I put strips in so the others should be OK for now

That may have been what has caused the robbing.  I would certainly not feed until just on dusk.

Were the bees robbing before you started to feed.

 

What type of feeders are you using

Edited by Trevor Gillbanks
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Quote

 

Sorry I wasn't very clear. The robbing happened well before I opened up any of the hives. I think initial incident was as I took too long with inspection last week. 

 

I am using plastic containers in the base of the hives for feeding - taking care not to spill any. However I have mesh floors so I think the smell would be quite strong. I hang the pollen patty  inside hive from bars near the edge of the brood

 

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Usually feed at the top of the hive, so robbers have to run the gauntlet of the guard bees to reach it, and with a reduced entrance, guards should win. Feeding at the bottom was always going to be a problem, as guards are on a hiding to nothing.

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59 minutes ago, Sailabee said:

Usually feed at the top of the hive, so robbers have to run the gauntlet of the guard bees to reach it, and with a reduced entrance, guards should win. Feeding at the bottom was always going to be a problem, as guards are on a hiding to nothing.

Yes, but in a top bar hive it is normal to feed at the back of the hive furtherest from entrance, it is still the same principle as you describe.

I'm not a fan of mesh bottoms on top bar hives, in this case I would not give any further feed until/unless critical and I'd consider masking tape around trapdoor covering the mesh.

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Thanks both.

 

I'm not seeing robbing any more. Checked hive that is full of nectar this morning. (my previous robbers). No new brood and some remaining unhatched brood. Saw queen so hoping they will get on and process nectar and make some space for her to lay in. Bit strange they still are making honey comb rather than brood comb.

 

Thinking queen may be failing. Should I replace her?

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2 minutes ago, Kathy Porter said:

Thanks both.

 

I'm not seeing robbing any more. Checked hive that is full of nectar this morning. (my previous robbers). No new brood and some remaining unhatched brood. Saw queen so hoping they will get on and process nectar and make some space for her to lay in. Bit strange they still are making honey comb rather than brood comb.

 

Thinking queen may be failing. Should I replace her?

If it was my hive I'd forget about it & leave them alone.

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That was my other option. Just not wanting them to keep on robbing my other hives :-)

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