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Problem with robber bees, but then



I am a newbee, and I have a hive of Carniolans. I don’t have a flow hive, just regular 8-frame Langstroths. One deep and one medium super of brood. I’ve had a problem with robber bees for about two weeks now, an after temporarily solving the problem by throwing a wet sheet over the hive, they came back. My bees bravely fought them (and still are), but I don’t want this to cause stress on the hive, which can lead to several other problems.

I installed a robber screen about 4-5 days ago, and my bees found a way out of the hive to go forage, but by the end of the day, they have difficulty finding their way back home. We’ve had some 80 and 90 degree days, and I also saw several bees fanning at the entrance. I have a screened bottom board, but I have a sticky IPM board for varroa. Could that be blocking the airflow in the hive somewhat?

I took off the robber screen this morning, and bees immediately rushed in the hive, many with full pollen baskets, and others I believe were robbers. I’m not sure what to do now to keep the robbers away. Should I just keep experimenting here and there with the robber screen, putting it on some days, and removing it other days?

I took a few minutes this morning to just stare at the activity happening at the entrance. I saw something I had never read about. One bee coming in with pollen pants was…green! All normal colors, for the head and thorax, but the abdomen was lime green! Is that something to be concerned about? (maybe a diseased bee of some sort? Maybe a mutation of a Carniolan?)


Hello Kat and welcome to the forum where you will find lots of help and advise.

You should put some small branches with leaves restricting an approach to the hive entrance, that might give the guard bees a chance to repel the robbing bees.

Apparently the other bees are accepting the green bee as one of their own so just let it do its thing. You have seen something that I haven’t heard of, but bees sometimes do the strangest things. It is likely just a mutation or an Irish bee :grinning:


did it look like this:


Thanks for posting that Jack. That photo looks like the bee is painted in ‘full gloss’ as only mother nature can do it. Sort of makes our Italians look rather bland, eh…


Thanks for the reply Peter48. I tried stuffing the entrance with leaves and little weeds as tight as I could, and within a few days they were removed, in a little pile in front of the hive.

Yesterday I went back to the hive and saw dozens of bees fanning underneath the hive. I decided to take the sticky board out, to increase the airflow and help them out a bit. Later in the day i barely saw any robbers, and there were fewer fanning bees. Tons of foragers were coming home, heavy with pollen baskets.

I’m thinking this whole situation was just a problem with ventilation in the hive, but there may still be some robbing going on.

I’ll keep you posted…



The bee I saw didn’t quite look like the one in the picture.

The one I saw had a regular dark head, normal looking brown thorax, but a solid lime green abdomen, not shiny or glossy.



Don’t stuff anything into the entrance, place foliage with leaves UP AGAINST the entrance, that is so any robbing bees will have to slow down near the hive to figure out where the entrance is and give the guard bees some extra defenses. Causing a blockage of the entrance will only increase the heat inside the hive. If you are part of the heatwave in the U.S. at the moment then I would remove the board till the weather cools off to something like normal.

  1. Water in a tray placed in the shade near the hive with plenty of floating sticks for the bees to land on and drink water to take back to the hive.
  2. Remove the bottom board if your temps are getting over 95F.
  3. Place foliage against the entrance, it will do no harm leaving it there for a couple of weeks, by then the robbing should have stopped.