We have one hive, our Utah hive that we bought as a nuc early this spring, that is robbing all of our hives blind. This is the hive that we brought back from the ranch because our first hive was robbing THEM. Once we brought them home, they build up nice and strong.
We brought all the hives home for the winter about three weeks ago and everything seemed fine. Then Hubby decided to get them set up for winter and moved all our big hives in a row up against the fence so they would be protected from the wind. Both of our purchased Nevada hives were broodless and that was worrisome. One was totally broodless and had week old brood but nothing younger.
I did some research and decided to feed them and see if the queen starts laying or if they might be queenless. We mixed up a five gallon bucket of syrup for them and started feeding them with a gallon ziploc bag on top of the frames.
One bag for some reason made a big mess. Not sure if the holes were too big or the bees just didn't want the syrup. Either way, syrup leaked out the front of the hive and puddled on the ground. Enter robber bees. They went nuts. We put entrance reducers on all of the hives so they could defend better, but there are still a pile of dead bees in front of the other three hives. Not what we wanted going into winter with already weak hives.
They even started going after the nuc in the front yard today. I rubbed menthol across the entrance and that seemed to help a lot. Going to do that to the other four hives tomorrow and hope it helps.
Oh yeah, and we still have to deal with the varroa issue. *sigh*