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Bee Sting

 
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mbc
Nurse Bee


Joined: 20 Nov 2012
Posts: 27
Location: Berwick, Victoria, Australia

PostPosted: Tue Dec 02, 2014 12:22 pm    Post subject: Bee Sting Reply with quote

My 1st bee sting.
New hive going well, been watching from outside & occassional openings.
As mentioned on a previous post, large initial swarm & lots of activity (they've filled the hTBH. I collected the swarm about 2 months ago)

Couple of days ago there were many bees flying/hovering outside hive.
Thought maybe a robber bee attack on hive, stopped to watch from a position I've observered the normal comings & goings from dozens of times previously(2 1/2m from entrances- about 60degrees from entrances- so well away!).

There was some thunder around that day, thought it might be related but there's been the same sort of bee activity the past 2 days also, without the thunder.
She flew from in front of hive (bee-line) at me, hit my lower right nostril.
They hit hard & fast.
Right-hand side of my face swelled up & couldn't open my eye the next day. A couple of days on alls ok.

Is this pre-swarm activity?
Is there anything to do to halt this?
As there's no way to expand, are hTBHs inappropriate for areas with a lot of 'bee food'?

mbc
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biobee
Site Admin


Joined: 14 Jun 2007
Posts: 1051
Location: UK, England, S. Devon

PostPosted: Tue Dec 02, 2014 1:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sounds like swarm rehearsal.

You could do an artificial swarm if you want to intervene.

I'm guessing you have Italians, in which case they are probably turning all incoming food into bees. I suggest you split them up, or remove honey, or possibly both if very prolific.
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Barbara
Site Admin


Joined: 27 Jul 2011
Posts: 1564
Location: England/Co.Durham/Ebchester

PostPosted: Tue Dec 02, 2014 2:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My bees get tetchy pre swarming and if forage is good and they have filled the hive, 2 months is about right for them to swarm again.

As Phil says, split them now if you can (but with the comb being new and fragile and most probably full of brood and nectar and the bees in defensive mood) it may be easier to put up a bait hive or Russian Scion and try to catch the prime swarm when it emerges, then make splits from the remaining queen cells in the original hive to prevent further cast swarms. Either way, you are going to need another hive pronto by the sound of it.

Good luck

Barbara

PS. My face swells up like that when I get stung on it.... took 5 in the face one day several years ago and both eyes closed up and I couldn't see for 2 days.... I have a full suit now but work mostly without gloves. Stings on the hands and wrists are not a problem.... bit of itching and swelling.... but not debilitating like stings in the face can be. I appreciate that on this occasion you were just observing the entrance, not doing an inspection, but just wanted to reassure that this sort of localised facial swelling is not necessarily indicative of a severe allergic reaction.
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mbc
Nurse Bee


Joined: 20 Nov 2012
Posts: 27
Location: Berwick, Victoria, Australia

PostPosted: Tue Dec 02, 2014 8:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow, 5 stings to the face Barbara. Not pleasant!!

I'm still in the very early stages of learning to read bee behaviour.
I've now learnt there's a time to stay away (unless wearing protection).

A new hive is on the way,
but if it's not ready I can call someone I know to collect a swarm.

Italian bees, because of prolific expansion or behaviour?
Are they not the best to have?

Thanks for your help and good wishes,
Mike
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mbc
Nurse Bee


Joined: 20 Nov 2012
Posts: 27
Location: Berwick, Victoria, Australia

PostPosted: Tue Dec 02, 2014 9:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Barbara, you are brilliant!
I just looked at info here about a Russian Scion.

Where I was standing when stung is next to a partially completed structure.
It will eventually be a single room earth-walled 'building'.
However, it is currently just a frame (wood) but has a small section of roof (also wood).
At this point it looks almost exactly like the Russian Scion!!

I'd be willing to bet the bees are looking at this site for their initial swarm cluster & I was standing right under it
Shocked
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Barbara
Site Admin


Joined: 27 Jul 2011
Posts: 1564
Location: England/Co.Durham/Ebchester

PostPosted: Wed Dec 03, 2014 12:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Italian bees, because of prolific expansion or behaviour?
Are they not the best to have?


Behaviour wise they are usually quite mellow, but they convert forage into brood very rapidly, so yes they are very prolific. That is beneficial if you have the right conditions, but it can lead them to starve themselves to death by becoming too large before a dearth or a late cold spell catches them unawares and chills the brood or sometimes they swarm at inappropriate times.

Here in the UK our climate can cause them problems because it is so changeable and we often get cold damp spells in the spring which catches them out. I would imagine a mid summer dearth as a result of heat and drought might be your problem to watch out for with them.

If you can scrounge an old empty brood frame from a local beek and hang it from the roof timber, making sure that it is shaded from the sun, that should vastly improve your chances of attracting the swarm to it when it emerges.

Regards

Barbara
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Paul Reyes
Nurse Bee


Joined: 14 Aug 2014
Posts: 26
Location: Scottsdale, AZ, USA

PostPosted: Thu Dec 11, 2014 6:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I couldn't have said it better then Barbara.
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mbc
Nurse Bee


Joined: 20 Nov 2012
Posts: 27
Location: Berwick, Victoria, Australia

PostPosted: Mon Dec 15, 2014 11:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

well, 2 weeks on and not yet swarmed.
we've had a period of cool, occasionally wet, weather.
but Friday 26c & sunny/Saturday 32c & sunny/Sunday 29c part sun&cloud.

fully expecting the bees were waiting for suitable weather to swarm,
but! guess I was wrong.

so, Sunday about 1pm decided to open hive, see what was going on.
actually 2 bars not worked, at 'honey' end of hive.

they really weren't happy with my intrusion, but i'm pleased i did though as some of the honey combs were crossing to the neighbouring bar.
Soft enough to just ease from next bar and 'tuck' back under.

my thinking, the bees not about to swarm due to lack of food but because of insufficient brood space?
Probably too little/too late but put 1 of the spare bars in amongst brood section.

didn't place 'strategically' just popped it in.
is there a best place to put an empty bar in brood area?

was hoping they'd swarm as we've a second hive ready now.
also, saw the bulging cells & thought, oh i know they're swam cells
but since then have read that the're not (they were on top half of comb, just off centre).

Sooo many bees though, i've no idea how one finds the queen!
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