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Foraging by honeybees does not bring in resources all the time. When nectar is not abundant in the environment, honeybees can go robbing each other. Bees other beehives (natural or man-made) enter a beehive with a weak colony and take away honey. This is a problem that occurs at a small scale constantly but goes overboard when there is no nectar where honeybees forage. When robbing happens at a large scale, the affected colony of honeybees can starve to death. Beekeepers use various beehive management practices to prevent robbing. In this article, we’ll discuss the best beehive moving and robbing screens. It also explains the need for a screen to prevent robbing when moving bees in a beehive.
What is a Beehive Moving and Robbing Screen?
A moving and robbing screen is a beekeeping equipment placed at the entrance of a beehive. It is used to close the beehive entrance when moving beehives and to prevent robbing. During transportation, sounds from wind and vibrations in the beehive during transportation aggravate honeybees, and as such, preventing their escape is important. When agitated, the bees will want to leave the beehive to defend it.
Beehive robbing screens can either be left open or closed. The screen is closed when moving bees. When preventing robbing, the screen is left open on at least one side. It allows the honeybees that are residents of the beehive to enter and even leave it, while denying robbers entry into the beehive.
What to look for in a moving and robbing screen
In purchasing one for your beehives, be sure to go for one that is easy to put on and remove. Some beekeepers leave their moving and robbing screens on their beehives all year round. The screens make great mouse guards in some seasons of the year.
The size of moving screen you use is determined by many factors, including the size of the beehive you will use it on. A moving and robbing screen or 8-frame beehives may not fit on a 10-frame beehive. The one for a 10-frame beehive may not in turn fit on an 8-frame beehive. However, there are some adjustable beehive moving and robbing screens that can be used on both 8-frame and 10-frame beehives.
What Causes Robbing?
A beehive can be robbed due to many reasons. A weak colony that cannot adequately defend the beehive is a major reason. Wasps, honeybees and other insects that eat honey can be robbers. They are attracted to the beehive by the scent, which includes the smell of honey. They then locate the beehive to eat the honey.
Some insects may harm bee brood and kill bees in the process of robbing. Excessive robbing leaves a honeybee colony weak. It may die out if you do not intervene. Preventing robbing using a robbing screen, is achieved by preventing non-residents of a beehive from gaining entry. The scent of the beehive brings the robbers to the entrance where they encounter a screen. As they move about searching for the entrance, the scent grows weaker and they return to the entrance area, unable to find a way in. Honeybees that are residents of the beehive know to go up the screen or to any other opening designated by the beekeeper.
In the management of beehives in your beekeeping operation, ensuring that they are properly sealed is one way to prevent robbing. Inspect all beehive boxes in the stack for proper seating and sealing. It makes sure that beehive scent does not escape through such gaps.
Keeping Out Drifting Bees
A function of beehive moving and robbing screens that is often overlooked in beekeeping, is their role in keeping out drifting bees. At times, honeybees go to another beehive with no intention of robbing.
Male drone bees are notorious for this behavior. Because they are male, they are usually allowed into any beehive they desire to bed in for a night or two. The bee could also be out foraging and is just passing through the area. Drifting bees can spend a night in another beehive and later go back to their home beehive. They have been accused of spreading pests, parasites and diseases of honeybees to healthy colonies.
The most significant parasite they spread is the Varroa mite. Beehive moving and robbing screens keep drifting bees out. They can be integrated in your pest management of the apiary. The screen forms a first line of defense against infections by microorganisms. It also helps prevent infestations of the beehive by parasites and pests.
With that said, let us now check out the best beehive moving and robbing screens you can get.
Best Beehive Moving and Robbing Screens
8. ToughTimbers 10 Frame Moving and Robbing Screen
The ToughTimbers 10 frame moving and robbing screen is a wooden equipment for covering beehive entrances. It is designed for use with 10-frame Langstroth beehives only. This beehive moving and robbing screen is stapled and glued together. It uses four pieces of wood and some screen mesh. The screen also has two movable metal plates for opening it up when it is used to prevent robbing.
This ToughTimbers moving and robbing screen allows for aeration of the beehive when in transport, and keeps out robber bees when used for that purpose. Both beginner and experienced beekeepers can use this screen with ease. Its use is intuitive and it fits onto the beehive entrance easily. You can use various methods of attaching the screen onto the entrance, including using wood screws.
- This moving and robbing screen is made using wood. It is easy to attach to the wooden sides of beehive boxes for transportation or to prevent robbing.
- Movable metal shunts on this beehive moving and robbing screen are easy to operate. They close up the screen or open it to give bees an exit from the beehive.
- The joints on this beehive moving and robbing screen are not very well done. They sometimes slacken up and lead to the screen losing its square. This requires you to work on reinforcing the screen after purchase.
7. ToughTimbers 8 Frame Moving and Robbing Screen
Beekeepers looking for a beehive moving and robbing screen for 8-frame Langstroth beehives have the option of this ToughTimbers screen. The screen consists of a mesh in the central region defined by an outer wooden frame. On the top part, movable shunts made of metal are found on this 8 frame moving and robbing screen. These metallic shunts are useful for closing and opening exits through the screen. When moving a beehive, the shunts should remain closed so that honeybees cannot exit the beehive.
This beehive moving and robbing screen is well designed and built. The wooden frame of the screen is glued and then stapled together. Wood is a material that is readily accepted by honeybees. What’s more, attention is paid to the small details such as cutting of the wooden pieces and mesh. The various parts come together nicely to give this screen an exact fit over the entrance of your beehive. A metallic honeybee screen mesh is used on this robbing screen. It can be replaced if it gets worn out or torn.
- Using wood makes the screen readily accepted by bees. They see it as part of the beehive entrance and figure out how to go past the screen.
- When moving honeybees in beehives, this screen closes up the entrance very well while allowing easy ventilation of the beehive.
- With exposure to the elements, this beehive moving and robbing screen can get warped out of shape. The joints also get weak over time and the screen loses its square.
6. Cutler Supply Robbing Screen for Beehive
The Cutler Supply robbing screen is adjustable, meaning that it can fit both 8-frame and 10-frame Langstroth beehives. It is made using plastic and has swing doors for allowing bees to exit; these swing doors prevent exit from the beehive when closed.
This moving and robbing screen features a mesh on the lower part and a sealed section on the upper part. Robber bees coming to the beehive smell it’s scent wafting out from the bottom entrance and through the screen section of the screen. The bees cannot go through the mesh and move upwards searching for the entrance. On the upper sealed section, no scent can waft through. Robber bees would then return to the bottom section of the screen where the scent is stronger, but they won’t be able to get inside the beehive.
The Cutler Supply robbing screen is a reliable, well designed and well built. Its plastic components last long and are waterproof. This screen does not warp out of shape even when it gets wet from rainwater.
- This robbing screen is made using durable materials.It can be used intermittently or continuously on beehives.
- The screen is adjustable and fits accurately onto the bottom entrance of Langstroth beehives. It works well for both 8-frame and 10-frame beehives.
- The robbing screen does not come with an instructions guide on how to install and use it. This can be a let down for beekeeping beginners.
5. Cypress 10 Frame Moving Robber Screen
This wooden beehive moving and robbing screen is for use with 10-frame Langstroth beehives. An outer frame for the screen is made using cypress wood that is very pleasant to bees. This screen is able to close up the entrance so that bees cannot leave the beehive during transportation of honeybee colonies. It can also open to work as a robbing screen. A single metal shunt moves on a simple hinge to allow opening and closing up of the beehive entrance.
Making this beehive moving and robbing screen using wood is a great move by the manufacturer. It makes the screen match with other beekeeping equipment and beehive boxes. Beekeepers that do not want to use plastics with their honeybees are also well suited to use this screen. It is well joined and the mesh for the screen is well attached.
- This cypress beehive moving and robbing screen is well crafted and built to last. It makes use of a frame on which you can mount a replacement mesh if the original one gets worn or torn.
- Both beginner and experienced beekeepers can use this beehive moving and robbing screen in heir beekeeping operations. It is easy to attach to the beehive entrance and its use is intuitive.
- The wood used on this beehive entrance screen is not treated for waterproofing. It absorbs water and moisture. This can cause the screen to warp out of shape and not fit the beehive well.
4. Cypress 8 Frame Moving Robber Screen
This is a wooden beehive moving and robbing screen. It is made using cypress wood. The manufacturer grows its own cypress trees for wood production in the process of making beekeeping equipment. This is an assurance of quality and beekeepers are sure their equipment has not contributed to unsustainable use of wood. Using cypress on this beehive moving and robbing screen makes it easily blend in with beehive boxes. It also makes the screen readily accepted by bees on the beehive entrance.
The moving and robbing screen is made for 8-frame Langstroth beehives. It fits onto the bottom entrance of the beehive with ease and works as promised. You can use screws to attach the screen onto the lowermost beehive box. This beehive moving and robbing screen can be used by both beginner and experienced beekeepers. It comes with a closing and opening metal slider. Opening it allows bees to leave and come back into the beehive.
- This beehive moving and robbing screen is great for use by beekeepers with 8-frame Langstroth beehives. It is made using precisely cut pieces and assembled well.
- Both beginner and experienced beekeepers can use this beehive moving and robbing screen in their beekeeping operations. It is easy to put on the beehive entrance and operate with no prior experience.
- This wooden beehive moving and robbing screen can warp with time. The joints too lose their strength and the screen loses its square. Some reinforcement work on the joints is needed after purchase of the screen.
3. Cypress 5 Frame Nuc Moving Robber Screen
This moving and robber screen for nuc beehives works with nucs of a 5-frame size well and fits with no problems. The screen is made using wood and metal mesh. Bees cannot go through the mesh but air currents can pass. This screen allows for adequate ventilation of the beehive. It can be closed or opened to work as a robbing screen. The manufacturer has taken steps to ensure quality in its products. The wood used to make this moving and robbing screen is grown by the company itself.
This beehive moving and robbing screen is great for beekeepers selling bees in nucleus hives. It comes fully assembled and ready to be put on the beehive. The wooden frame of the screen is easy to nail or screw onto beehive boxes. This moving and robbing screen is very well designed and built. It is durable and easily accepted by bees because it is made using wood.
- This screen is adequate for beekeepers moving bees in nuc hives. It covers the entrance of the beehive and prevents bees escaping from the beehive. In transit, it allows for adequate air flow for ventilation of the beehive.
- A simple design is used in making this robbing and moving screen. It fits well onto beehives and can be used by both beginner and experienced beekeepers. Screws allow for easy attachment and removal of the beehive moving and robbing screen.
- Joints on this beehive moving and robbing screen need some reinforcement after purchase.
2. Bee Smart Ultimate Robbing Screen
Beehive moving and robbing screens are made using various materials. Choosing which materials to use is up to individual beekeepers. The Bee Smart ultimate robbing screen is made using plastic. It is an effective robbing screen that does its work very well. The screen is simple in its design and easy to use. It goes onto the entrance of your beehive with ease. You can use it despite your skill level in beekeeping.
The Bee Smart ultimate robbing screen is made by a reputable manufacturer of beekeeping supplies. Its design and production show careful consideration for its end use and practicality. This makes the screen very effective at its job. The plastic screen features two openings on the top side. They are easy to operate and stay in the chosen position.
- This beehive moving and robbing screen is made using plastic. It is waterproof and allows air into the beehive. The robbing screen works very well and lasts for many years. It is a worthy investment for beekeeping operations of any size.
- Bee Smart Ultimate robbing screen is well designed and built. It makes use of a strong plastic that does not break easily. The beehive moving and robbing screen is easy to use and fits well over the beehive entrance of Langstroth beehives.
- The plastic material used on this beehive moving and robbing screen is a problem for some beekeepers. Health concerns have caused increased awareness of food production processes. Some beekeepers prefer not to use or minimize the use of plastics in their beekeeping operations.
1. Florida 10 Frame Beehive Moving Screen
This is a 10-frame beehive mowing and robbing screen. It is made using wood and metal mesh. The moving and robbing screen features a frame on which honeybee screen mesh is fit. A piece of wood reinforces the length of the screen. This Florida moving screen is well designed and built. It feels solid and shows great craftsmanship. The moving and robbing screen is built for use with Langstroth beehives of the 10-frame size.
The Florida moving screen has excellent quality assurance measures in place. This gives you assurance that this a high quality beekeeping equipment. The wood used in making this moving and robbing screen is durable, even with some rough treatment. You can use this screen to prevent robbing and to close up the entrance during transportation.
- This beehive moving and robbing screen is well built. The mesh used on the screen is a durable metallic mesh. Wood for the screen is also best quality and cut to precise sizes. Assembly of these components of the Florida moving screen is done well to ensure its durability.
- The Florida moving screen is easy to use by both beginner and experienced beekeepers. It is made using wood that is easily accepted by honeybees.
- You can use this beehive moving and robbing screen on 10-frame beehives only. The screen is not adjustable to fit other sizes of Langstroth beehives.
A Final Word
Using a beehive moving and robbing screen is a reliable way of preventing robbing between honeybee colonies. The screen is also useful for when you are moving beehives from one location to another. It can be closed up to prevent bees from getting out of the beehive. The screen allows ventilation of the beehive in such transportation times. Closing up the beehive when you are moving it long distances suffocates the bees in the hive. Cooling of the beehives is also needed during transit.
A moving and robbing screen is great to use on your beehives. Transporting many beehives might require you to also use a bee hauling net to cover the beehives. Invest in any of the best beehive moving and robbing screens in your hive management for great beekeeping yields.
Have you ever used any of the beehive moving and robbing screens discussed above? Leave a comment below and let us know your thoughts.