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Author Topic: Increased defensive behaviour in my Carnies...  (Read 2941 times)
Mklangelo
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« on: September 04, 2007, 08:02:53 AM »

I have the State of Wisconsin Apiarist coming out for fall inspection.  My three packages were installed in April.  I did allot of inspecting through May and June, since I had a suppercession happening.  Once I found that to have been a success, I curtailed my inspections to just peeking my head in a few times through July and August, just lifting the cover and looking in.  I was doing a fall feeding (fumigilin-B) yesterday and the bees have become quite defensive.  They definitely are not used to being disturbed.  The ladies were on high alert.  I had one follow me all the way back to the car (about 200 feet) 

These are Carnies, which have a more docile reputation.  Apparently even these "friendly" bees can grow accustomed to being left to their own devices and take offense when being bothered.


Is this something others can attest too?
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« Reply #1 on: September 04, 2007, 08:07:57 AM »

# 5-10 rule is(don't know the exact number, hehe), don't inspect unless you really have to.

don't inspect during dearth-induces robbing, gets you stung etc etc.
i assume you have similar climate conditions as i, well, by the mid august inspections should be over-unless you migrate to some better pastures.

to put it simply, don' peck if you don't have to.
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« Reply #2 on: September 04, 2007, 08:46:02 AM »

My bees usually have one follow me after an inspection. If he starts head butting me is when I am worried.

Sincerely,
Brendhan
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Mklangelo
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« Reply #3 on: September 04, 2007, 09:18:54 AM »

My bees usually have one follow me after an inspection. If he starts head butting me is when I am worried.

Sincerely,
Brendhan

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« Reply #4 on: September 04, 2007, 09:44:30 AM »

Mklangelo.  You were speaking about something called supperccession.  I am slightly unclear of what you mean by that.  Don't want to sound weird about this, but did you mean a supercedure?  This is where the bees raise a new queen because they "doubt" the abilities of their present queen and are going to replace her.  Please clarify if this is what you meant.

I have noticed the past few days when I was working around the colonies, that two of the colonies were on much higher defense.  These two colonies (I have Cool have always been just a little more protective than the other ones that seemed to not care less about anything, and remain so.  These colonies will be ones that if their behaviour by late next spring does not improve, I will requeen them.  I don't care for any colonies that are even in the slightest bit nasty, and I can feel the difference as soon as I go near them.  Strange how these can be so different than the neighbouring village.  Have a wonderful day, best of this beautiful life.  Cindi
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« Reply #5 on: September 04, 2007, 10:25:05 AM »

If your bees superceded they are not carnies anymore, but a mix w/ umknown drones.
Anyway, bees get more defensive as fall approaches. My bees are getting ready for fall, as the drones were being assassinated this weekend, population dwindling and testy attitudes as well.
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Mklangelo
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« Reply #6 on: September 04, 2007, 11:34:16 AM »

If your bees superceded they are not carnies anymore, but a mix w/ umknown drones.
Anyway, bees get more defensive as fall approaches. My bees are getting ready for fall, as the drones were being assassinated this weekend, population dwindling and testy attitudes as well.

The bees were carnies and the new queen was produced from eggs of the original queen so how could they produce anything else but a carnie?  Unless of course the new queen mated with a drone not from my three colonies, which in this case was unlikely but not impossible.
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« Reply #7 on: September 04, 2007, 11:42:56 AM »

Mklangelo.  You were speaking about something called supperccession.  I am slightly unclear of what you mean by that.  Don't want to sound weird about this, but did you mean a supercedure?  This is where the bees raise a new queen because they "doubt" the abilities of their present queen and are going to replace her.  Please clarify if this is what you meant.

I have noticed the past few days when I was working around the colonies, that two of the colonies were on much higher defense.  These two colonies (I have Cool have always been just a little more protective than the other ones that seemed to not care less about anything, and remain so.  These colonies will be ones that if their behaviour by late next spring does not improve, I will requeen them.  I don't care for any colonies that are even in the slightest bit nasty, and I can feel the difference as soon as I go near them.  Strange how these can be so different than the neighbouring village.  Have a wonderful day, best of this beautiful life.  Cindi

Supercedure and Supercession are just different forms of the word.  In beekeeping, both refer to the act of a hive replacing their own queen.

Supercedure  It is the process by which an old queen bee is replaced by a new queen. Supercedure will occur naturally or can be induced. Natural supercedure may be initiated due to old age of a queen or a diseased or failing queen. As the queen ages the pheromones diminish. Nosema disease is also implicated in queen supercedure.


Supercession is defined as: The act of replacing one person or thing by another especially one held to be superior.


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« Reply #8 on: September 04, 2007, 01:23:35 PM »

Quote
bees were carnies and the new queen was produced from eggs of the original queen so how could they produce anything else but a carnie?  Unless of course the new queen mated with a drone not from my three colonies, which in this case was unlikely but not impossible.


Not as unlikely as you would think....

Quote
Queen breeders generally have about 2 or 3 inseminated breeder queens that they raise all their queens from. The progeny is then mated in yards (often isolated) so it will mate with selected drone parent colonies. The difference is that the queens fly to the nearest DCA (drone congregation area which can contain 100's of thousands of drones. So it is very difficult to get a pure mating. In this case at least a good proportion of the progeny carry the charecteristics of the breeder.


Taken from:  http://forum.beemaster.com/index.php?topic=4439.msg25261#msg25261
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« Reply #9 on: September 04, 2007, 01:24:25 PM »

Queens fly farther away from the hive than drones to avoid mating w/ siblings. This would reduce the likelihood that all of her 15+ mates were from your hives. In my one hive that superceded, the new queen is awesome and I have no clue as to what she mated.
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Mklangelo
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« Reply #10 on: September 04, 2007, 01:40:17 PM »

Queens fly farther away from the hive than drones to avoid mating w/ siblings. This would reduce the likelihood that all of her 15+ mates were from your hives. In my one hive that superceded, the new queen is awesome and I have no clue as to what she mated.

Well, I'm all for genetic diversity in my bees.
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« Reply #11 on: September 04, 2007, 04:16:29 PM »

My husband and I have three hives in our yard.  He had rescued them out of a barn last year.  The first hive has been very weak and we had to feed them trough the winter and baby them along.  Suddenly, the hive is very busy and populated.  We assumed that they have a new Queen.  Unfortunately, the bees from that hive are very aggressive now.  I've always been able to water the plants that are around the hives, making sure that I didn't block their flight path.  In fact, I would have girls stop and drink from the water droplets on my hand or stop and groom themselves on me.  Now, you don't dare get to close.  Today we went into the hive just to check on them (haven't been inside since the increase in population).  The girls weren't just defendsive, they were attacking.  Any thoughts on how to get them to cooperate and be a bit less mean?
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Mklangelo
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« Reply #12 on: September 04, 2007, 04:42:00 PM »

My husband and I have three hives in our yard.  He had rescued them out of a barn last year.  The first hive has been very weak and we had to feed them trough the winter and baby them along.  Suddenly, the hive is very busy and populated.  We assumed that they have a new Queen.  Unfortunately, the bees from that hive are very aggressive now.  I've always been able to water the plants that are around the hives, making sure that I didn't block their flight path.  In fact, I would have girls stop and drink from the water droplets on my hand or stop and groom themselves on me.  Now, you don't dare get to close.  Today we went into the hive just to check on them (haven't been inside since the increase in population).  The girls weren't just defendsive, they were attacking.  Any thoughts on how to get them to cooperate and be a bit less mean?

Not really.  Bees is bees.  Like I said, mine are more active lately than they have ever been.  Good strong colonies all the way around.  I would say that a high level of activity is a good sign.   I have heard that bees may get more defensive when fall is coming.  I wouldn't worry about it unless you have kids and pets running around.
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« Reply #13 on: September 04, 2007, 04:42:34 PM »

Mk, no telling what kind of genes you have now. Also, I didn't see any mention if you smoked them before you inspected them. As the hives grow in size as you probably know they will get more defensive and smoking them gets pretty important.
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Mklangelo
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« Reply #14 on: September 04, 2007, 04:43:44 PM »

Mk, no telling what kind of genes you have now. Also, I didn't see any mention if you smoked them before you inspected them. As the hives grow in size as you probably know they will get more defensive and smoking them gets pretty important.

I just plopped a couple of boardman feeders on front.   But no, I didn't smoke em' at that time.
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« Reply #15 on: September 05, 2007, 12:44:48 PM »

I disagree with some. I have Carniolan's and have two hives that were bursting with bees and no aggressive behavior at all. All summer w/no protection grand total of 6 stings and three were from annoyed almost crushed girls. Queens exude a pheromone that induces 'forgetfullness' in workers and as the queens age the pheromone level drops so the house ladies get more aggressive. That is why re-queening calms them down. I would assume some queens are more pheromoney (real word?? lol) and so have quietest hives.

Most aggressive bees are thought to be the older foragers and inspecting hives during the day when they are mostly out foraging is recommended.

IMHO   lol

cheers

peter
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Mklangelo
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« Reply #16 on: September 05, 2007, 03:15:09 PM »

I disagree with some. I have Carniolan's and have two hives that were bursting with bees and no aggressive behavior at all. All summer w/no protection grand total of 6 stings and three were from annoyed almost crushed girls. Queens exude a pheromone that induces 'forgetfullness' in workers and as the queens age the pheromone level drops so the house ladies get more aggressive. That is why re-queening calms them down. I would assume some queens are more pheromoney (real word?? lol) and so have quietest hives.

Most aggressive bees are thought to be the older foragers and inspecting hives during the day when they are mostly out foraging is recommended.

IMHO   lol

cheers

peter

Yeah, the State Apiarist said that the older bees are the more defensive ones also.
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« Reply #17 on: September 05, 2007, 06:27:11 PM »

I wonder if they are more aggressive when they are about to swarm. Any insights on that?
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Mklangelo
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« Reply #18 on: September 05, 2007, 08:06:56 PM »

I wonder if they are more aggressive when they are about to swarm. Any insights on that?

All three hives are equally aggressive so I doubt that all three are getting ready to leave at once.  I think it's just that the colonies are three times the size now as when I was inspecting regularly, or at least thats a factor.
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« Reply #19 on: September 06, 2007, 06:32:28 AM »

>I wonder if they are more aggressive when they are about to swarm. Any insights on that?

Never noticed it.  They are more aggressive in a dearth, on a windy day, on a cloudy drizzly day and right about sunset.
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