Author Topic: Robbing Screens DIY  (Read 3434 times)

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Offline Jen

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Robbing Screens DIY
« on: July 03, 2017, 07:38:11 pm »
There is a post somewhere in the corridors of this forum on how to build your own robbing screens? Where would I go to find that? Thanks  ;) 8)
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Offline Bakersdozen

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Re: Robbing Screens DIY
« Reply #1 on: July 03, 2017, 09:22:03 pm »

Offline Jen

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Re: Robbing Screens DIY
« Reply #2 on: July 04, 2017, 02:05:03 am »
Cool! Thanks Baker... that's the specific one I was wanting
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Offline SmokeyBee

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Re: Robbing Screens DIY
« Reply #3 on: July 04, 2017, 10:45:46 am »
Where do you put the screens?They're way larger than the entrance...I don't get how this works. :newhere: :newhere:

Offline Lastfling

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Re: Robbing Screens DIY
« Reply #4 on: July 04, 2017, 12:22:45 pm »
They fit from one side of the bottom board to the other, which effectively covers the entrance.   I just finished building several myself this past week. 

Offline Jen

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Re: Robbing Screens DIY
« Reply #5 on: July 04, 2017, 01:11:37 pm »
Smokey, here is a vid of the robbing screens that I purchased a few years back, I still use them every year.

When you put the screens on at night when the bees are all inside the hive... the next morning they have to learn how to get back out and back in, but it only takes a couple days for them to learn that. But the robbers don't know how to get past the robbing screen from the outside. So, the bees from the hive with the screen learn how to climb up to the top of the screen and fly out, turn around and reorient, then fly away to forage, then come back and re-enter the hive thru the top of the screen. The robbers have not learned this tactic so they fly away.

I would not go thru a summer without robbing screens, robbers can decimate your entire hive within a hour while you are at work. So sad to come home and find thousands of dead bees in front of your hive. YouTube has many vids on DIY robbing screens.


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Offline 40 Acre Bees

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Re: Robbing Screens DIY
« Reply #6 on: July 04, 2017, 03:37:25 pm »
Just got home from work - checked on my hives now down to the basement to make a robbing screen, it looks like one of our hives is getting pounded.  That's a first since we started....  OH well hopefully my prototype will be OK with just plain window screen......, can't get 1/8" hardware screen till Friday
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Offline 40 Acre Bees

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Re: Robbing Screens DIY
« Reply #7 on: July 04, 2017, 05:14:07 pm »
OK so I built my robbing screen and will install it at dusk tonight (if the guards will let me).  My question is we have an upper entrance and I was wondering if I should leave that open or close it off.  It appears that most of the robbing bees are attacking at the bottom entrance and the resident bees have a preference to using the top entrance.  Second question if I put a robbing screen on this hive should I put one on all four of my hive just in case the robbers get any ideas, even though it is probably one of them doing the dirty deed.  Any ideas greatly appreciated.

Offline Jen

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Re: Robbing Screens DIY
« Reply #8 on: July 04, 2017, 10:37:34 pm »
Hi Forty, personally I never see robbing from the upper entrances, I think the bees can easily defend themselves with those smaller entrances. And, I put robbing screens on all of my hives.

The thing is, the robbers can kill your hive within an hour, so better safe than sorry.

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Offline 40 Acre Bees

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Re: Robbing Screens DIY
« Reply #9 on: July 05, 2017, 05:50:56 am »
Well I put the robbing screen on this morning, we will see what happens.  One last question though, I do not see any evidence of debris from robbing. which I thought there should be.   The bees are acting like they are fending off intruders, is it possible that this could just bee an attempted robbery and that the guard bees are doing their job for the most part.  If not we have something else going on with the hive that we need to figure out.

Offline Bakersdozen

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Re: Robbing Screens DIY
« Reply #10 on: July 05, 2017, 08:32:37 am »
Well I put the robbing screen on this morning, we will see what happens.  One last question though, I do not see any evidence of debris from robbing. which I thought there should be.   The bees are acting like they are fending off intruders, is it possible that this could just bee an attempted robbery and that the guard bees are doing their job for the most part.  If not we have something else going on with the hive that we need to figure out.

If you have a weak colony or a dearth going on, robbing can occur.  Given your location you probably aren't in a dearth. 
I heard Keith Delaplane speak last fall.  He commented that honey bees will try to seal their entrances down to a manageable size so why do we have big entrances in the spring and summer?  To allow the bees to bring back nectar faster?  I left my entrance reducers on this spring and summer as an experiment.  Weather wise, we have not had the continual searing heat...yet.  When that happens, I will probably remove the entrance reducers to help with air flow.  So far I don't see any difference.  The demeanor of all hives is very gentle and calm.  We will see when the nectar flow stops and that is very soon.

Offline Jen

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Re: Robbing Screens DIY
« Reply #11 on: July 05, 2017, 02:29:43 pm »
Good info Baker  ;) 8)
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Offline CBT

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Re: Robbing Screens DIY
« Reply #12 on: July 05, 2017, 08:33:50 pm »
It is my understanding that other places they only use a hole the size of a cork bottom and one on top.

Offline Les

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Re: Robbing Screens DIY
« Reply #13 on: July 06, 2017, 08:41:53 am »
Here is a video of one of my hives being robbed last year.  You can see the robbers will use any opening available to access hive.  So from now on, I close up all other entrances when robbing is occurring.  I will be installing robbing screens this year in August.


Offline Jen

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Re: Robbing Screens DIY
« Reply #14 on: July 06, 2017, 12:33:26 pm »
Oh Man! That is nasty and alarming. Makes sense too that they are at the top of the hive where the honey is. What did you do Les to stop the robbing?
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Offline yukonjeff

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Re: Robbing Screens DIY
« Reply #15 on: July 06, 2017, 02:51:18 pm »
Here is my attempt at home made screens, I hope they work or my NUCs will be toast. So they will rob out full size hives ? Les wow !


Offline 40 Acre Bees

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Re: Robbing Screens DIY
« Reply #16 on: July 06, 2017, 04:41:28 pm »
It would appear that our robbing spree was very mild compared to the video by LES, but things have already changed.  I managed to get the robbing screen on real early yesterday morning (the guards were still in a nasty mood).  By early evening there were still a few robbers around but the resident bees were going in and out behind the screen as if it had always been there.  You could see peace on the bottom board as they entered the hive and not an all out war like it was a couple of days ago.  Any ideas how long I should keep the screen on?

Offline Les

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Re: Robbing Screens DIY
« Reply #17 on: July 06, 2017, 06:17:05 pm »
Jen, I sprayed the hive with hose,threw a sheet over it going into evening but it was too late.  Popped the hive the next morning but they had been cleaned out and abandoned the hive.  They tried on my other hive but I was able to slap together a robbing screen and thwart their efforts.  I was so bummed because the hive I lost was booming.  Another lesson learned, those robbing screens are going on in August this year.

Offline yukonjeff

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Re: Robbing Screens DIY
« Reply #18 on: July 06, 2017, 08:18:27 pm »
Here are mine getting tested today after installing last night .

I am of the mindset now that all NUC's get a robbing screen on their Birthday from now on.


Offline yukonjeff

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Re: Robbing Screens DIY
« Reply #19 on: July 18, 2017, 01:37:31 am »
I ordered these screens off amazon, bought two and got two sets of 20 each.  lol

They have a groove on the back side that the entrance reducer would slide on, but  they don't fit. The groove is to narrow. I did a custom fit of one using push pins and it did look like it fit decent and would stay, but the flow came on and didn't get a chance to test them.

Any one have any experience with these ?