Protecting Your Beehives from Robbing: Essential Strategies and Innovative Solutions

Protecting Your Beehives from Robbing: Essential Strategies and Innovative Solutions


In the beekeeping world, the risk of hive robbing becomes pronounced when natural nectar resources dwindle. This article explores the causes of these shortages, the dynamics of hive robbing, and the most effective protective strategies, with a spotlight on the innovative ProtectaBEE® system.

Understanding Nectar Shortages

Nectar shortages can occur due to several environmental factors. Extreme weather conditions such as prolonged heat and dry spells can reduce nectar production in plants. Conversely, excessive rainfall can wash away nectar, leaving bees with fewer resources. Additionally, wildfires can devastate local flora, drastically cutting off nectar and water supplies. These shortages not only stress the bees but also make hives prime targets for various predators.

The Mechanics of Hive Robbing


During nectar dearths, a beehive brimming with honey and brood becomes irresistibly attractive to predators such as wasps, hornets, Yellow Jackets, and even other bees. A hive's large entrance often proves challenging for guard bees, making it difficult to fend off intruders who, once inside, can signal their colony to the newfound bounty. The invaders don't stop at honey; they also consume brood for protein, weakening even the strongest hives over time.

Traditional Protective Measures

Photo credit of bearding hive with entrance reducer: Nico Coallier @miellerieflavo

Beekeepers have traditionally used entrance reducers to narrow the hive opening, which helps guard bees defend against intruders. However, this can restrict airflow and increase internal hive temperatures, potentially leading to "bearding" — where bees cluster outside the hive.

BeeSmart Robbing Screen 

Robbing screens are another common solution. These devices alter the hive's entrance, forcing bees to exit in a manner that detaches them from direct contact with food resources. While somewhat effective, savvy predators can eventually navigate these screens.

Innovative Protection with ProtectaBEE®

The ultimate solution in beehive protection is the ProtectaBEE®. This device features patented red cone technology, which exploits predators' inability to see red, effectively camouflaging the entrance. With four separate entrances and exits, it facilitates maximum traffic flow without compromising security. The narrow part of the cone allows guard bees to effectively defend the hive, making it nearly impossible for predators to sneak past.

Additionally, the ProtectaBEE® integrates drawers for food, mite treatments, and probiotics, which can be added without opening the entire hive. This multifunctional device not only provides unmatched robbing protection but also guards against other threats like skunks and mice.


Choosing the right protection for your beehives is crucial, particularly during periods of nectar scarcity. While traditional methods have their merits, advanced solutions like ProtectaBEE® offer comprehensive security and ease of maintenance, ensuring your colonies remain strong and productive.

By integrating these strategies and leveraging cutting-edge technologies like ProtectaBEE®, beekeepers can significantly enhance their hive's resilience against robbing, thereby safeguarding their bees and their investment in beekeeping.

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