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Are Commercial Hives Increasing Robbing Of Hobbiest


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Since a number of commercial hives have been introduced to our local area I have found an increase of robbing of mine which have reduced entrances. With commercials stimulating their hives to build up early & poor weather, lack of flow, are these hives now out to get whatever they can? For some hobbyist that allow for natural build up their hive would be considered on the weaker side in comparison. How are others finding it in there part of the country? Especially now with hives being stacked on top of other apiaries.

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The short answer in my opinion is most definitely yes

We are in an area surrounded by hives because we flood our areas with drone hives for mating. With the weather being as awful as it has been for the past few weeks it's been a nightmare trying to cage

we have plenty of our own sites fairly close to each other in places and no shortage of other beeks hives around. i certainly havn't seen robbing of our weak hives, even the failing hives.

 

are they being robbed ?

are they being robbed by your own bees?

what condition are those hives in?

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Could reduce down to 1x FD with increasing chances of swarming but initially more bee to guard. This time of year is a fine balance to having all things come together at the right time when the main flow kicks in.

 

 

weaken a weak hive, they will be open to robbing from anything.

 

Weaken a weak hive & your asking for trouble.

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These things could be aggravating your situation. Queenless splits, combs in the hives with honey the bees cannot protect, entrance not matched to what bees can guard, mites not treated properly, hives open too long while working them or gear left exposed while working the yard, improper feeding methods.

 

The commercial apiaries have multiple hives in them and any of them could be robbed by the others. But sounds like instead they are robbing your hives so there is probably something that needs to be fixed.

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The commercial apiaries have multiple hives in them and any of them could be robbed by the others. But sounds like instead they are robbing your hives so there is probably something that needs to be fixed.

What's the fix being suggested.

Can a bee escape be used to trap robbing bees to strengthen a hive?

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In my opinion.No.. why muck around trying to trap robbing bees, ridiculous, promote strong hives, don't split until hive is busting, treat diseases, feed bees if they need it, re Queen if needed, combine small hives if need, it is survival of the fittest in the insect world. If anyone is going to have stronger hives surely us with a few spoilt hives should be able to outdo the hard working commercial hives.

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If anyone is going to have stronger hives surely us with a few spoilt hives should be able to outdo the hard working commercial hives.

exactly

 

this goes back to the threads on the myth that hobbyist hives a poor little defenseless hives and commercials are big bad hives that will terrorize them.

theres really no reason hobbyist hives shouldn't be as good if not better than any commercial hive.

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As hobbiests we made far more honey per hive in our home garden. I had one or two of hundred match what that first and second hive did last year. Micromanagement of two hives is so much simpler. Keep them strong.

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exactly

 

this goes back to the threads on the myth that hobbyist hives a poor little defenseless hives and commercials are big bad hives that will terrorize them.

theres really no reason hobbyist hives shouldn't be as good if not better than any commercial hive.

All you say is true and the answer is strong hives.

But different areas have different climates and getting hives up to strength early in spring with our climate is a mission.

The migrant beeks get there hives going early in a favourable climate and bring them here strong.

So local hives can be playing constant catch up.

I think my hives are strong enough this year , so far

 

 

Since a number of commercial hives have been introduced to our local area I have found an increase of robbing of mine which have reduced entrances. With commercials stimulating their hives to build up early & poor weather, lack of flow, are these hives now out to get whatever they can? For some hobbyist that allow for natural build up their hive would be considered on the weaker side in comparison. How are others finding it in there part of the country? Especially now with hives being stacked on top of other apiaries.

I have had a big whinge about this issue on other threads.

I have hive doc bases.

When there is actual, or likely hood of robbing I move the boxes onto the winter position and close the red dial which shuts down the hive .

I allow a couple of hours flying in the morning then shut it down till dusk .

That works pretty good , it means I can occasionally open my hives and look even when there is not a flow on , generally bees do not when there is a good flow on

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In my opinion.No.. why muck around trying to trap robbing bees, ridiculous, promote strong hives, don't split until hive is busting, treat diseases, feed bees if they need it, re Queen if needed, combine small hives if need, it is survival of the fittest in the insect world. If anyone is going to have stronger hives surely us with a few spoilt hives should be able to outdo the hard working commercial hives.

That's one side of the coin. On the other it could be helping the robbers hive by not sharing honey between hives just in case of disease. :D Hives could be weak while in all the process of getting it stronger.

Not much different from swapping position of hives for the foragers except the word robbing bees and the source of food.;):)

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theres really no reason hobbyist hives shouldn't be as good if not better than any commercial hive.

I think the main reason why hobbyists fall short is that when starting out we don't know what a strong hive looks like. Too little experience and too few hives for comparison. Consequently we play catch up - closing down the entrances after we suspect robbing rather than opening them as the colony expands.

 

I've seen some pretty strong colonies survive with relatively small entrances. It's busy, yes, but they seem to manage. With that knowledge I run reduced entrances to some degree pretty much year round.

 

The only robbing here in my limited experience was a group of nucs placed too close to the parent hives and without entrance discs. Couple of hours later when I realised what was happening I stapled mesh over the entrances then that night I moved them. All but one survived.

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theres really no reason hobbyist hives shouldn't be as good if not better than any commercial hive.

 

Yes, but there are different needs. A hobbyist may not want to have excess boxes of honey to process. For some hobbyist they may only have weekends to manage hives. It comes down to what the beek wants out of their beekeeping. But health of hives should not be compromised which can be the case due to lack of knowledge & experience.

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The migrant beeks get there hives going early in a favourable climate and bring them here strong.

thats always the way with migrant beekeeping.

however usually they don't bring them untill flow is just about on.

if your local aera requires you to feed them up to get them going then i would do that. match the beekeeping to your honey flows.

 

 

Yes, but there are different needs. A hobbyist may not want to have excess boxes of honey to process.

yes and no.

bees will do what they do. pretty silly to run them badly just because you don't want to extract honey.

 

a beehive needs to be of a certain strength to survive and work properly. weakening them to below that point runs a risk of failure.

there is a good article in the beekeeper mag by Frank Lyndsay about hobbyists running their hives far to weak.

 

 

I think the main reason why hobbyists fall short is that when starting out we don't know what a strong hive looks like. Too little experience and too few hives for comparison.

absolutely.

many people have no idea what a good strength hive looks like.

 

 

I've seen some pretty strong colonies survive with relatively small entrances.

here they over heat and die very easily. some beeks do run small entrances in winter, but they are known to run around and unblock them all if there is good weather in winter.

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Yep.

Commercial bees are definitely robbing your hives.

There are some particularly c u next tuesday commercial beekeepers around who are very inconsiderate and quite frankly stupid with their hive distances and stocking rates.

Hopefully you might have a good one.

Try talking to them if you see them and see if they can offer a solution, they may not even know you're there or that they are effecting you.

I would like to know if I had a large apiary too close to someone else and I didn't know, because I don't feel the need to crowd people, I still have plenty of places I can go without upsetting other beekeepers.

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It seems now even commercial beekeepers are being effected by corporate type of keeping bees. Ethics is some what becoming lost by greed from some of these operators.

Yup.

It is corporates, but it's also new commercial beekeepers who haven't put much thought into why there aren't bees in certain places or why there are only so many here and there and thinks they can just put their hives wherever they like and ###### everyone else, because legally they can!!!!!

There are no rules for hive placement and commercial beekeepers haven't needed rules in the past because they had common sense and manners.

People tend to have neither of those things now.

It benefits NOONE to over stock an area, it doesn't benefit them, and that's why it makes no bloody sense to me.

Are these rude people also thick?

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I do not think it is solely greed which drives the current unacceptable behaviour .

I think it is combined with a high degree of delusional optimism

People need to make money if they have borrowed it. I would say there's a lot of that going on.

So the stakes are high.

I think there are more good commercial beekeepers than bad ones, but the bad ones are definitely there, and nobody likes them.

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