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Feisty bees in TBH

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Scout Bee

Joined: 04 Jul 2014
Posts: 304
Location: Uk/Horsham/RH13

PostPosted: Sun Aug 06, 2017 8:03 am    Post subject: Feisty bees in TBH Reply with quote

So I have six nationals and one tbh this year for comparison.

I put a goodly swarm into the tbh in May and up until last week they were fine although I have not disturbed the nest, just put extra bars in when needed.

Yesterday I checked each end of the nest and they were very aggressive.

Stinging the suit and generally buzzing me.

The weather has been very changeable and later that day we had a thundear storm so I am giving them the benefit of the doubt.

Has anyone else noticed aggressive behaviour in this unusually changeable weather?
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L Plates
House Bee

Joined: 26 Jul 2012
Posts: 16
Location: Orkney, Scotland

PostPosted: Mon Aug 07, 2017 10:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Andy,
At the moment my bees are all in framed hives and all bar one colony the are generaly fairly peacable. On the odd occasion that they do become defensive I can usually attribute that to being my fault for dropping my hive tool into the hive or being clumsy. A few weeks ago I was insecting 3 hives on a warm sunny afternoon with oow wind. The first one, which is low in numbers was, as normal, quite amiable. However the second two were not happy, so both had a short inspection and the lids back in place as soon as possible.
I was puzzeled at this behavior until that evening when we had a good going thunder storm.
Since then, they have been as good as gold, even the one that is often quick to anger. Both those hives have since been split and seem to be doing well.
Just a wee extra suggestion. On rare occasions like that, I hang my bee suit in an old wardrobe with my smoker on the floor of the wardrobe. After a good smoking, next inspection, the bees don't notice any sting smell and all goes well.
Can the bees sense such pending weather, and if so why does it upset them even when it arrives several hours later?
Hope this is helpful,
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Scout Bee

Joined: 04 Jul 2014
Posts: 304
Location: Uk/Horsham/RH13

PostPosted: Tue Aug 08, 2017 7:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for your reply Robin.

Anecdotally it seems they know when the weather is changing but funny how only a few react.

The hive I took a super off for honey were calm as you like and no smoke at all just a quick spray with water.

I wash my suit regularly and whilst I seldom use smoke I always smoke the suit if I have noticed any stings in it.

Mostly the sleeves around the wrist area seems their favourite target so I have taken to wearing protectors that can washed each visit and that has helped too.
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Scout Bee

Joined: 04 Jul 2014
Posts: 304
Location: Uk/Horsham/RH13

PostPosted: Tue Aug 08, 2017 7:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Our appiary manager reports one of our training colonies has turned feisty and he thinks it is shortage of stores as the nectar has dried up around here and they have been consuming honey rapidly.

He has noted it before.
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B Dawson
House Bee

Joined: 08 Mar 2017
Posts: 15
Location: Berkeley Springs, WV USA

PostPosted: Mon Aug 28, 2017 7:33 pm    Post subject: fiesta bees in my yard Reply with quote

I posted on another thread about my cranky girls. I'll do a search next time!

Here's whats up:

My bees have been defensive in the last few days, even when I merely opened the lid to start feeder jars last Saturday. I didn't have any gear on and within 30 seconds, guards were pinging me. I had to close the top and leave with several bees chasing me. I figured it was because it was a little early in the morning and a bit chilly (15C with a few bees flying).

The entrances were restricted to a single hole about 3 weeks ago due to yellow jacket robbing but were reopened after I destroyed the nest. Although things were cranky for a bit afterwards, I was in the hives one week ago, spending about 30 minutes between the two hives without any problem.

I did take note of the post about flow, thanks for that bit of information AndyC. We've had a huge amount of Goldenrod in bloom but about half of it has gone by now so maybe it's tapped out - a sort of mini dearth. Yellow Crownbeard (Verbesina occidentalis) has just come on and the girls are all over it today.

Our weather has definitely turned abruptly here in West Virginia. Daytime temps in the upper 70's (25C), night time in the mid-50's (12C) after weeks of very hot & humid conditions.

Have any more of y'alls hives returned to more calm attitudes?
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Site Admin

Joined: 27 Jul 2011
Posts: 1857
Location: England/Co.Durham/Ebchester

PostPosted: Tue Aug 29, 2017 11:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I had one that was a bit testy a few weeks ago. Not figured out which one, but suspect my main top bar hive. A couple came out and harassed and stung a friend who had come to collect his hives and then 10 days ago a couple of them came out and had a go at me when I was doing some work on an empty hive nearby. They seem to have settled down again now though. I occasionally have a slight problem like that around swarming time but clearly we are well past that now. I can't honestly say that there is anything particular that has triggered it, but since I have the odd day when I'm not in the best of temperament, I accept that my bees can have an off day too, as long as they don't make a habit of it.
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