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Author Topic: Hot Hive  (Read 2096 times)
luvin honey
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« on: May 27, 2009, 02:58:45 PM »

Related to my previous post about tearing down messed-up brood, this hive is now getting definitely ticked. I've been going in about every 7-10 days (only 3 times total now) and they are getting worse each time. Once they came out and attacked when I just opened up the back end of the hive to add more syrup. Unfortunately, my covers have warped in the damp and I bumped the hive trying to get the cover back into place. Within seconds, I had bees in my shirt, stuck in my hair, stinging me once on my face. I wasn't dressed for it since I was only going to refill syrup and had not had problems before then.

So, is there any way to calm a hive back down? Is this simply the nature of this hive and it's becoming more pronounced as they have brood and honey to protect? At what point do folks decide a hive is too hot and requeen? Or what are my other options?

I don't mind stings too badly, but I got 3 to the hands last night and don't exactly look forward to opening this hive. I'm mainly in this for pollination and boosting bee populations, I'd really like some honey and I am committed to this, but it'd be great if this hive were a bit more enjoyable!  rolleyes
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The pedigree of honey
Does not concern the bee;
A clover, any time, to him
Is aristocracy.
---Emily Dickinson
Grandma_DOG
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« Reply #1 on: May 27, 2009, 03:17:37 PM »

Related to my previous post about tearing down messed-up brood, this hive is now getting definitely ticked. I've been going in about every 7-10 days (only 3 times total now) and they are getting worse each time. Once they came out and attacked when I just opened up the back end of the hive to add more syrup. Unfortunately, my covers have warped in the damp and I bumped the hive trying to get the cover back into place. Within seconds, I had bees in my shirt, stuck in my hair, stinging me once on my face. I wasn't dressed for it since I was only going to refill syrup and had not had problems before then.

So, is there any way to calm a hive back down? Is this simply the nature of this hive and it's becoming more pronounced as they have brood and honey to protect? At what point do folks decide a hive is too hot and requeen? Or what are my other options?

I don't mind stings too badly, but I got 3 to the hands last night and don't exactly look forward to opening this hive. I'm mainly in this for pollination and boosting bee populations, I'd really like some honey and I am committed to this, but it'd be great if this hive were a bit more enjoyable!  rolleyes

Wait till the hive gets big, then you'll know what a hot hive is.
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G3farms
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« Reply #2 on: May 27, 2009, 03:24:12 PM »

some times the bees just get a little testy when the weather is still cool, or there is nothing to forage on, might just need to let them settle down for a week and try again. At one time I had some that would come for you at 50 feet from the hive, and I mean with a vengance. They finally just died out thak goodness.

good luck with them.

G3
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see my swarms and cut outs at https://www.youtube.com/user/soapy22bullet?feature=mhee

those hot bees will have you steppin and a fetchin like your heads on fire and your @ss is a catchin!!!

Bees will be bees and do as they please!
luvin honey
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« Reply #3 on: May 27, 2009, 03:26:43 PM »

Wait till the hive gets big, then you'll know what a hot hive is.

Oh great! Can you give me some details, pointers?
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The pedigree of honey
Does not concern the bee;
A clover, any time, to him
Is aristocracy.
---Emily Dickinson
luvin honey
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« Reply #4 on: May 27, 2009, 03:31:19 PM »

some times the bees just get a little testy when the weather is still cool, or there is nothing to forage on, might just need to let them settle down for a week and try again. At one time I had some that would come for you at 50 feet from the hive, and I mean with a vengance. They finally just died out thak goodness.

good luck with them.

G3


Yesterday was fairly overcast. Fortunately, they only are peeved when I bump their hive or am elbow deep inside it. Otherwise, they let me observe them through the observation window without problems, although occasionally one comes out and buzzes my head for a while.
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The pedigree of honey
Does not concern the bee;
A clover, any time, to him
Is aristocracy.
---Emily Dickinson
Natalie
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« Reply #5 on: May 28, 2009, 04:50:00 PM »

I think its most likely the weather and just being disturbed.
I know its not good when they sting when you are just checking the feeder but I think from what I have read on these forum is usually if they are really hot they will come after you when you are still aways from the hive and they will chase you for yards.
tlynn has a thread about one or two of his hives being hot and he got stung just getting out of his car and they also chased him into the house.
Your hive may just be getting larger and if they now have honey stored they may be in protecting mode, if its a new package they aren't usually as defensive as when they have honey stored.
I hope they settle down for you. If you have to do anything extensive you can take a bottle of sugar water with you and lightly spray them so you can work, some add honey bee healthy to it as well.
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luvin honey
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« Reply #6 on: May 28, 2009, 10:45:07 PM »

They were perfect today, which was calm, sunny and warm, when I went to peek at them. Okay--I see I didn't really know what a truly hot hive was. Yikes! Hard to imagine being chased into the house!

For now, I plan to leave them for at least 2 weeks before checking again for eggs and brood.
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The pedigree of honey
Does not concern the bee;
A clover, any time, to him
Is aristocracy.
---Emily Dickinson
Natalie
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« Reply #7 on: May 29, 2009, 12:07:57 AM »

Great news! Smiley
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Cheryl
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« Reply #8 on: May 29, 2009, 01:24:23 AM »

So, is there any way to calm a hive back down? Is this simply the nature of this hive and it's becoming more pronounced as they have brood and honey to protect? At what point do folks decide a hive is too hot and requeen? Or what are my other options?
My best friend (aside from a complete bee suit) is SMOKE. I smoke the hive, I smoke the air around me - and keep the smoker going.

Smoke doesn't just make them gorge... it masks pheromones in the air (alarm pheromones) and it masks my scent. This is very good, because later in the same day I can go back outdoors and not get dive-bombed if I happen to be standing upwind. ...Used to be they would catch my scent again and fly right over and I'd go running.

Until I started using smoke all the time, I was pretty restricted to the indoors unless I was wearing a veil.

Bees recognize people. I read somewhere that they recognize individual human faces... but (unless this theory was tested with images of peoples faces), I think they actually recognize our scent (I doubt they give a hoot about looks).
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We are what we repeatedly do.
Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.

~ Aristotle
luvin honey
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« Reply #9 on: May 29, 2009, 08:11:22 AM »

Hi Cheryl--That's exactly what I'm concerned about. I don't want them to associate me, or any human activity, with alarm, fear or whatever they are feeling. I want us to get back to the nice, calm relationship we used to have  Undecided
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The pedigree of honey
Does not concern the bee;
A clover, any time, to him
Is aristocracy.
---Emily Dickinson
Natalie
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« Reply #10 on: May 29, 2009, 12:16:59 PM »

I don't like to overdo the smoke on the bees, I have heard it can have negative affects.
 I use it but not to an extreme but I heavily smoke myself and have no problems.
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Cheryl
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« Reply #11 on: May 29, 2009, 11:02:42 PM »

Anyone who works AHB's uses plenty of smoke. You kinda have to... with enough smoke, they don't get enough of your scent to remember you by, later. This is why I can't go out in the yard if I worked my bees earlier (several days earlier) without smoke. I mean, I've done that, in a full suit and everything, but had no freedom of movement in the yard for some time after. And we have over an acre.

It's an Africanized thing.
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We are what we repeatedly do.
Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.

~ Aristotle
Natalie
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« Reply #12 on: May 30, 2009, 01:06:58 PM »

First of all if I was working africanized bees I would be lighting a bonfire grin but I was just talking about regular ol bees.
I had heard that it will agitate typical bees and make them more grouchy to deal with and if you use alot of smoke on a new hive they may abscond.
Don't know any of this for sure but I am very lucky that most of mine are fairly mellow, out of all of my hives I only use smoke on one of the russians because they get very pingy and I suspect I may have to on my minnesota hygenics as well.
I worked all of them yesterday and didn't have to light the smoker at all, even the one that is normally pingy.
Strangely my easiest hive to work with is the ferals, that kind of surprised me.
I also rub vicks vapor rub all over the back of my hands and my wrists before I put the nitrile gloves on because someone told me it helps mask your scent and it repels them at the same time.
I wonder if that is part of the reason I do not need much smoke either.
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #13 on: May 30, 2009, 05:31:39 PM »

>So, is there any way to calm a hive back down?

Smoke.

> Is this simply the nature of this hive and it's becoming more pronounced as they have brood and honey to protect?

Possibly.

> At what point do folks decide a hive is too hot and requeen?

If I'm doing my job, i.e. using smoke, being gentle, opening on a nice day, and they are not being harassed by skunks (look for scratch marks and piles of dead bees) and they are hot three times in a row (I put a red pin in the lid every time and when I get to three I know) then I requeen.

http://www.bushfarms.com/beesrequeeninghot.htm
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Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
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"Everything works if you let it."--Rick Nielsen
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