There will come a time, that your bees won't take your intrusions lightly. You do know this right? As winter turns to spring, those really strong hives that are just bursting at the seams are the ones most likely to give you a dose of their strong medicine. You want strong, virile hives coming out of winter, you want your boxes to be full, but you don't want them to swarm out on you either. So when do you add that next box? When do you make that split? Sometimes its hard to tell exactly, these decisions are based on the weather. You expand or split too early, a hard front comes through, and that hive may be in trouble, they just might starve, clustered together away from food stores, its a catch 22, this is why its so important to ensure your bees have enough food stores, this needs to be monitored, by you. Don't expect the bees to take care of themselves, check in on 'em now and again. You really don't know what reserves they have unless you CHECK your hives. Are they heavy or light?
If you wait too long to give a strong hive room to expand, or if they have too much honey stores above the brood nest, they will swarm out on you. Stay ahead of the game and watch your weather closely! Remember, swarming is an inate instinct for propogation. They want to sow their oats, if you will, it's a natural thing, but as a beekeeper, our job is to control this natural instinct, this urge they have. The experts say that sometimes a hive is dead set on swarming no matter what you do to alleviate the swarm urge, and so they fullfill that urge and well, swarm.
Now, boy, let me tell you did I take a detour there, did I go off on a tangent, ok, so I did, hope you got something out of my ramblings, now getting back to that attitude issue, and why I am posting this long, drawn out post. Your bees have been pent up, you have been paying attention to the weather and spring is knocking at your door, are you listening? It is time to go in, and do that inventory check. Well, let me tell you, you better have that smoker going good and well, you hear me? Are you listening? Them bees are gonna put up a fight now, it can get down right scary! Are you up for it? Don't freak out when they boil out of that hive, hell bent on destruction. Be patient, don't lose it, don't be a sissy, you're a beekeeper for God's sake!
You got that smoker going good now right? Well let 'em have it, don't freak out and run like a pansy, hang in there, you're wearing proper protection right? No, you better run then, just don't run screaming for your momma, this is not cool, and does not do anything whatsoever to promote good beekeeping. Go suit up and don't forget the gloves, they love to sting those hands, haven't you noticed?
Now go back in, so what if they're angry, you got your smoker going, you got your cute little veil on, and your in that cute little outfit, show them girls who's the boss!
Now I have first hand knowledge of this, or I wouldn't be talkin'. What you gonna do next, requeen? You bet your sweet bippy! ;)