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Are my bees being robbed


Start of spring here with days in mid teens Celsius and nights dropping down to near or below freezing.

Blossoms have just come out on trees in the last few days.

Have been seeing increasing activity outside of my hive for a couple of weeks now but nothing like what I saw today.

Do you think my hive is getting robbed, and if so, what should I do?



I would think you need to increase the opening to your hive to allow what seems like a healthy population come and go.


Orientation flights
Opening is neither her nor there. My hives are close to that all year and bees just queue but if you want to open it up a bit


Hi Matt, that looks like a very busy entrance to me, I can’t see any robbing. I would open that entrance to at least half the width of the hive & when the nights get a bit warmer, open it to full width. Make preparations for swarming. My second last phone call was from a local flow hiver. He has a swarm hanging in a tree not far from his flow hive. I told him it could be out of his hive, I asked him if the population in his hive has dropped, he replied that he hasn’t had a look.


It looks like daily orientation flights creating a very busy entrance during normal foraging activity.


What does robbing look like? I removed my FlowFrames, let the bees clean them and took them in. This morning there was a lot of activity outside the hive and it is getting cool here. Not knowing what robbing looks like I was worried that it was robbing because I know there are several full frames of honey in the top box. I put a entrance reducer on and 15 min later the activity was very much less. Any insights on this?


Hi Patti, I have seen robbing, mainly from the inside. In my experience it’s the weak colonies that get robbed out. If it’s robbing activity at the entrance, you’ll see a lot more comings & goings than there should be for the size of the colony. Also I’m trying to think back. I’m pretty sure you’ll get a lot of fighting at the entrance & on the ground outside the hive. A classic giveaway is when you look inside the hive, you’ll see honey caps ripped off the cells in a rough fashion, which I think only happens during robbing.

I think if you have any doubts, just take a look at the honey frames to take note of the capped honey for signs of roughly removed caps.


Thanks for that info. I will take a look and hope that is not the case.