We are first year beekeepers who live in the southern U.S. We have two flow hives which we’ve had going since March and they have done very well. Yesterday, we noticed robbing behavior. We closed off the entrance, took away the food, and called our local bee guru. He said that with the drought we’ve been having here that he has seen far more robbing than he’s ever seen and suggested adding a sprinkler on the hives for awhile. We did that. It looked better this morning but we put the sprinkler on again this morning just to be sure. I have not opened the hive to check on the status of queens.
I have two questions. First, is how long we should we keep the entrances closed? There are very small passageways. Second, is that we now have a lot of bees (we believe feral ones) in our yard (we have five acres). Should we try to lure them away by putting sugar water sources in the woods behind our house? On one hand, it seems like a plausible idea since it might move the feral bees to a more appropriate location. On the other hand, I’m afraid we will be encouraging more feral bees to come live here.
If anyone has any ideas on how we could do more or better than we are now, we would greatly appreciate it. Watching this has been heartbreaking. Thank you.