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jezd 

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Did a search on robbing bees and there is very little even on forums so I thought I would ask for help, I have my home hives split in two locations - about 60m apart. One is for full colonies of known quality (bit grumpy too) and the other is for new swarms and weaker colonies. About a week ago I had put some sugar syrup in a frame feeder for one of the nucs and this week it has been getting robbed out and it now looks like a bad habit is forming. I have now replaced the nuc with an empty one and let the bees empty the feeder themselves – let them exhaust the feed and hopefully things will quieten down.

Any thoughts on the best feeder or feed to deter robbing? (I suspect a contact feeder maybe better than frame feeder)

Cheers

Jez
 

Poly Hive 

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Narrow the entrance to an inch or even a touch less.

Frame feeders should be the safest way to feed.

I know a way of stopping robbing in it's tracks but in a populous area it is not such a good idea and that is running an outside feeder as hungry bees winna rob if there is free feed on the go.

PH
 

jezd 

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Narrow the entrance to an inch or even a touch less.

Frame feeders should be the safest way to feed.

I know a way of stopping robbing in it's tracks but in a populous area it is not such a good idea and that is running an outside feeder as hungry bees winna rob if there is free feed on the go.

PH
Interesting, I'm in the middle of a farm so no issue with the locals :) the nuc they have been robbing is small mind, and the entrance is about 1cm hole too - this was why I used it.

I will monitor and try the open feeder if it continues.

I figured a contact feeder would be best next time as its going to sit on top of the bee cluster itself, hard for other to get at it.
 

jezd 

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and dont forget we are in the middle of stormy weather ie grumpy bees and also in the middle of the june gap, when there is little forage for them so a feeder is perfect for them to rob
true, weather picking up hear and its more stable, I do disagree on the feeds mind, frame feeders are the equivalent to having a happy hour, a contact feeder I suspect is more restricted to house bees :)
 

Poly Hive 

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jezd?

I have promoted the use of frame feeders over contact feeders for more than 20 years. I just fail here to follow your logic. If robbers are getting in then they can gain access to an above contact feeder just as easily as to a frame feeder.

The problem really is access and lack of strength on the part of the nuc.

Personally I never add brood to nucs unless there are more than sufficient bees in the nuc to keep the donated brood warm enough.

PH
 

hedgerow pete 

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very good point poly hive why not remove freshly laid eggs for capped brood to keep the level of frames the same put this move will be the quickest way to increase bee numbers very quickly, or the other way is to do a hive swap in another spot to help with the bee numbers
 

jezd 

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does not realy matter what feeder you use its the getting in that is the problem, i would suggest removing a full capped frame of brood and place it into the hive this will boost the population very quickly allowing them to protect themselves
could be 11/12 days before that emerged?
 

jezd 

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jezd?

I have promoted the use of frame feeders over contact feeders for more than 20 years. I just fail here to follow your logic. If robbers are getting in then they can gain access to an above contact feeder just as easily as to a frame feeder.

The problem really is access and lack of strength on the part of the nuc.

Personally I never add brood to nucs unless there are more than sufficient bees in the nuc to keep the donated brood warm enough.

PH
Ok, but I dont agree, a frame feeders serves a very good role for giving easy access to loads of feed. Problem is its an open trough, however a contact feeder placed on the cover board serves the in house bees far better if the bees are in a ball near the roof - robbing is much harder. The entrance is not the issue in this case but the fact that the nuc is weak is/

Inceasing brood is far too long term, I have shook a few more bees in from the parent hive, things had already calmed down and its helped with the weather getting better too.
 

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