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Author Topic: A change has come... the girls have gone nasty!  (Read 1838 times)
Lesli
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« on: October 23, 2004, 07:19:03 PM »

So today I went out to feed the girls a bit more syrup. I brought a quart sized boardman feeder out. I removed the mouse guard and inserted the hive tool to live the hive a tad to slip the feeder in. No sooner did that tool go in the entrance than the girls came pouring out. A few came after me, but I didn't get stung. Once the feeder was in, they crawled all over it, checking it out and such.

Oh my. I pity the mouse that thinks this might make a good home!

The girls were so gentle all summer! Only in the fall did they get more aggressive--maybe because of their stores, or maybe they superseded and the new queen has some aggressive traits. But I did find it interesting.

I may well requeen in the spring. Smiley
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Lesli
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« Reply #1 on: October 23, 2004, 09:35:49 PM »

It's a tricky time around the bees - they have many concerns with sealing off drafts, they go in and out of a sluggish state as they near dormansy (you'll see this the most in the inner cover as bees make their way to the top on days when the sun warms the outer cover and then it cools off) that is when many bees get trapped above the inner cover in a dormant state.

They can be tempermental as Winter approaches, they can't afford any changes in their Pre-Winter settings and they just don't always understand that you mean well.

When dealing with sluggish bees who all of a sudden SNAP BACK into an alert mode, they can get nasty - sort of drunk or under anesthesia. I would imagine all will be well come Spring time when they aren't so concerned about the cold days ahead. I got my fingers crossed Smiley

I'm watching C1 and C2 closely. It's been overcast for days and VERY FEW flights have been made - I popped off the outer and inner covers and they too weren't all that happy with the Beemaster (obviously they haven't seen the website - lol) so I quickly re-lidded them after seeing they were very busy doing tidying up jobs about the frames.

When all else fails, remember that as long as they can be busy doing anything (other than clustering) they will. Clustering is the "Get into the car and drive around slowly until next Spring" to the bees, everything else to them until then is just packing for the trip!
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Lesli
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« Reply #2 on: October 24, 2004, 03:45:13 PM »

I watched them again today, as I threw a ball for my dog. A few wasps were hanging out, and I wondered if that was also making the girls antsy (beezy??). I ended up using the boardman feeder rather than the division board so that I wouldn't have to open the hive, but again today, they came out and some were even flying (though in theory it was "too cold").

I'm glad they can protect themselves, though. Gumption!
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« Reply #3 on: October 24, 2004, 11:59:39 PM »

As Beemaster stated, this is a tricky time around the bees. The nectar flow is pretty much gone and the bees really don't have much to do except defend the hive.
I lifted the top cover on one of my hives today (temperature about 70 degrees) and I had three bees chase me for about 30 yards. They were very upset with me to say the least. This is the only time of the year that I sometimes think that I might be better off with a full suit -lol.
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leominsterbeeman
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« Reply #4 on: October 25, 2004, 03:51:49 PM »

As for me,  I have seen this rowdy behavior too, I attribute it to me  stealing all their honey surplus.  I tried to rationalize with them by leaving behind hive top feeders with sugar syrup, but they wern't buying it.   I'm pretty much going to leave them alone for now.  Occassionally, I might go see if they are flying on cleaninsg flights  on a warm winter day and I'll give them more syrup later.     I do what I can to give them the best chance of making it through the winter.
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Lesli
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« Reply #5 on: October 26, 2004, 07:34:40 AM »

My girls emptied the quart of syrup in the boardman feeder, so I'm going to give them more. And they are still agressive, but I'm glad of that now--they can keep out the yellow jackets I keep seeing by the hive, not to mention any mice that might decide to use the hive (I do have a mouse guard on, so that when they cluster, it won't be a worry).
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