ROBBERS

As we mentioned before that bears love honey and will do anything including destroying a beehive to get it, they are not the only one that will steal honey from a colony. The smell of honey in the air is irresistible to bees and not just the bees that it belongs to and that creates the threat of robbers – bees from one colony attacking another and it can be devastating.  It can cause the collapse of a hive if allowed to continue without intervention, that is if you find out in time.

SOLUTION

This is one reason why the entrance feeder, sitting on the outside of the hive as it does, is not the feeder of choice for many beekeepers. By using an entrance feeder you are presenting an attractive source of food, not just to your bees but to others too. There are other options available, such as the highly-popular Ultimate Hive Top Feeder, which are placed on top of the inner cover and surrounded by a box, which greatly reduces the chances of robbing taking place.

Honey robbers

Honey bees attacking from one colony attacking another colony to steal their honey.

The robbing threat can be a particular concern with a young or weak colony. For example, after the bees in a package are installed, they have a good deal of real estate to protect at the entrance, at least in relation to their (relatively) small numbers. This is a good time to install an entrance reducer, specifically to limit the space to be defended if robbers attack.