Top Entrances and robber screens

Basic beekeeping, this is beekeeping after the first winter until about the third or fourth year. You are a beekeeper, but you still have a lot to learn. Talk about normal everyday beekeeping here.
moebees
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Top Entrances and robber screens

Postby moebees » Tue Dec 05, 2017 9:48 pm

I am having skunk problems at a couple locations so I am thinking of maybe going to top entrances only. I also had some robbing issues this fall but I don't know that I have ever seen robbing screens on upper entrances? All comments welcome but hopefully MB will answer too.
Sam Droege, a biologist for the U.S. Geological Survey—“bees are not optional."

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Greg H
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Re: Top Entrances and robber screens

Postby Greg H » Wed Dec 06, 2017 12:07 am

I had some robbing because the weather has been warm so I put some screens on my top entrances. I just took a piece of screen and bent it over the top edge of the hive with something to hold it in place.

moebees
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Re: Top Entrances and robber screens

Postby moebees » Wed Dec 06, 2017 1:23 am

I had some robbing because the weather has been warm so I put some screens on my top entrances. I just took a piece of screen and bent it over the top edge of the hive with something to hold it in place.


I am having trouble visualizing how that makes a new entrance away from the original. I don't suppose you have a picture?
Sam Droege, a biologist for the U.S. Geological Survey—“bees are not optional."

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Michael Bush
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Re: Top Entrances and robber screens

Postby Michael Bush » Wed Dec 06, 2017 5:17 pm

My observation on entrance size and how well the colonies did were that they did better with smaller entrances. So almost all my hives have a 1 1/2" wide 3/8" tall entrance all year around. I seldom have robbing issues. I did have one hive that got robbed out this last year and I can only assume it went queenless. If you want a robber screen you could do one pretty easily. I'd probably bend some #8 hardware cloth to come out and down and back and then cut a hole big enough for a couple of bees at the bottom or the side.
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moebees
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Re: Top Entrances and robber screens

Postby moebees » Wed Dec 06, 2017 7:40 pm

Thanks Michael. That makes sense.
Sam Droege, a biologist for the U.S. Geological Survey—“bees are not optional."

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Greg H
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Re: Top Entrances and robber screens

Postby Greg H » Thu Dec 07, 2017 1:26 am

I didn't leave an opening. I figured there was more benefit to closing off the hive since the bees don't have anything to gather than to taking the time to leave an opening. I took them off now that the cold weather is keeping them in the hive.

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Michael Bush
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Re: Top Entrances and robber screens

Postby Michael Bush » Thu Dec 07, 2017 1:36 pm

>I didn't leave an opening. I figured there was more benefit to closing off the hive since the bees don't have anything to gather than to taking the time to leave an opening.

Bees should always be free flying. They need water on warm days. They need cleansing flights on warm days. I have seen them flying when it was in the 20s F, calm and sunny. "Warm" is variable depending on other conditions, like how long they have been confined, how calm, how sunny etc.
"Everything works if you let it"--James "Big Boy" Medlin
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Mark Smith
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Re: Top Entrances and robber screens

Postby Mark Smith » Tue Dec 12, 2017 4:35 pm

In the July 2017 issue of Bee Culture there is an article about a robber screen that I used this year. Very easy to make out of #8 hardware cloth and worked great.

moebees
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Re: Top Entrances and robber screens

Postby moebees » Tue Dec 12, 2017 8:09 pm

Unread postby Mark Smith » Tue Dec 12, 2017 10:35 am
In the July 2017 issue of Bee Culture there is an article about a robber screen that I used this year. Very easy to make out of #8 hardware cloth and worked great.


Do you have a link?
Sam Droege, a biologist for the U.S. Geological Survey—“bees are not optional."

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Michael Bush
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Re: Top Entrances and robber screens

Postby Michael Bush » Tue Dec 12, 2017 9:34 pm

Maybe this one:
entomology.ucdavis.edu/files/147611.pdf
"Everything works if you let it"--James "Big Boy" Medlin
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moebees
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Re: Top Entrances and robber screens

Postby moebees » Tue Dec 12, 2017 9:54 pm

Thanks Michael. I am still trying to figure out a top entrance robbing screen. My entrance is not the same as yours but it is in the sense that it is between the top box and the hive cover. So anything I use needs to be attached only to the top box or the cover so that I can get the cover off easily for inspections. I notice the bottom entrance one in the pdf you listed is open all the way across the top. I maybe could attach a piece of hardware cloth to the lid that hangs down in front of the hive but is open on the bottom. It would probably need to wrap around the corners of the lid though because if there is no attachment to the top box there would probably be gaps on the sides.

I guess alternatively I could make a shim with an entrance in it and then I could attach the screen to it and not the lid. Then I can attach to both the shim and the top box.
Sam Droege, a biologist for the U.S. Geological Survey—“bees are not optional."

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Michael Bush
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Re: Top Entrances and robber screens

Postby Michael Bush » Wed Dec 13, 2017 1:55 pm

I think having it only open on the bottom may fail. Only on the sides, however probably would work fine. I find just opening the entrance all the way across and screening all but "one bee at a time" works well. In other words staple screen door screen over the entire entrance. After the robbers go home, poke a hole with a pencil or similar sized object. The screen confuses the robbers even if there is one hole. They keep getting misled by the smells.
"Everything works if you let it"--James "Big Boy" Medlin
http://www.bushfarms.com/bees.htm

Mark Smith
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Re: Top Entrances and robber screens

Postby Mark Smith » Wed Dec 13, 2017 3:10 pm

moebees wrote:
Unread postby Mark Smith » Tue Dec 12, 2017 10:35 am
In the July 2017 issue of Bee Culture there is an article about a robber screen that I used this year. Very easy to make out of #8 hardware cloth and worked great.


Do you have a link?

http://www.beeculture.com/downtown-easy ... reduction/

moebees
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Re: Top Entrances and robber screens

Postby moebees » Wed Dec 13, 2017 8:55 pm

Thanks for the link Mark. That looks like it might work if I put my entrance in a shim so I don't have to attach it to the lid.
Sam Droege, a biologist for the U.S. Geological Survey—“bees are not optional."

Mark Smith
Freshman Beekeeper
Posts: 17
Joined: Fri Mar 31, 2017 1:25 pm
Location: Locust, North Carolina

Re: Top Entrances and robber screens

Postby Mark Smith » Wed Dec 13, 2017 9:28 pm

moebees wrote:Thanks for the link Mark. That looks like it might work if I put my entrance in a shim so I don't have to attach it to the lid.


I think you'll like them. It was amazing to watch the robbers try to figure out how to get in the hive entrance but couldn't because of the screen. As you can see, it is open on both ends for the foragers to get in and out. Well, for some reason they always went to the end closest to the South. I have several out yards and all the colonies did that. Amazing.


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