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Author Topic: Pulled 160 Stingers from my Gloves!  (Read 2726 times)
sarafina
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« on: July 26, 2009, 04:55:56 PM »

I posted some of this in the re-queening section but I thought this would be appropriate for the main forum also:

This is what I call a HOT HIVE!

Yesterday I went digging in all 3 boxes - 2 broods and a shallow looking for the queen.  I found her on frame 29 of 30.  The weather was clear as a bell, sunny, no wind and it was around 2:00 pm in the afternoon - classic best time/weather conditions to dive into your boxes.

This is what I have been dealing with:  This morning I took a pair of tweezers and picked out all the stingers from my gloves from yesterdays queen-hunting adventure.  I counted them as I pulled them and put them on a paper towel and I got 160 total - 89 from my left glove and 71 from my right glove!   shocked



I told my husband he did REAL GOOD when he bought these gloves for me.  They are leather welders gloves with a rubberized inner layer.  He has to tape them to my suit since they don't have elastic and they are very bulky but I never would have been able to re-queen without them - they are STINGPROOF!  I used a frame puller and went slow and careful and didn't drop any frames.  I will be glad when I can go back to my canvas ones, though!

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Bee-Bop
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« Reply #1 on: July 26, 2009, 05:11:08 PM »

I notice your from Houston, were I understand the Africans fly !

You didn't ask but I know what I would do with them if they were mine.

Let us know the next time you open this hive.

Good Luck
Bee-Bop
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sarafina
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« Reply #2 on: July 26, 2009, 06:49:26 PM »

I notice your from Houston, were I understand the Africans fly !

You didn't ask but I know what I would do with them if they were mine.

Let us know the next time you open this hive.

Good Luck
Bee-Bop

What would you do with them?  I only have 2 hives and wanted to give it a chance with a new queen from Kentucky (outside of AHB territory).  If they supercede her then I will have to kill the hive - I am not re-queening again.  And if I have to start over with a package next spring, I will also have it shipped in from a non-AHB place.  That is why I do not go chasing after swarms around here.    Sad
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Bee-Bop
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« Reply #3 on: July 26, 2009, 07:07:18 PM »

If I may, How many other stingers did you pull from your bee suit ?
Was it only the gloves ?

If so, I think first I would consider changeing gloves, perhaps they had a strong new leather smell,{ever been in a leather working shop ? ] or some other odor.

What about your other hive, with these gloves ?

 I've been in a couple of hot hives in the distant past, and they were all over me, not just the gloves, they were hitting hat, veil, suit etc.

Then again if this is a repeat performance, is it worth it ?

I think Your area is the detereming factor.

Again Good Luck, & keep us informed.
Bee-Bop
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Pond Creek Farm
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« Reply #4 on: July 26, 2009, 08:07:24 PM »

Bee Bop has a good point.  While neither Bee Bop nor I have to deal with AHB, yet,  I would think that if that were the cause of the defensiveness, your gloves would not be the sole target of the hive's aggression.  What does your suit look like?  Were they in your face?  What do they do when you are not doing an inspection but merely walking by the hive?  I have not had a hot hive, but re queening would be my first step. Actually it would be my second.  My first would be to post to the forum begging for advice:) 
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Brian
sarafina
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« Reply #5 on: July 26, 2009, 09:25:53 PM »

My bee suit has a lot of stingers in it also, but I don't think as many as my gloves.  You may be right about the leather smell.

I did come begging for help, Pond and the advice was to re-queen which I did today.  This forum is a life-saver!

This hive has always been hotter than my original one from the get-go.  They are easily riled and once riled, they do not give up, come after me with lots of reinforcements and do not give up even though I am over a hundred feet away from the hive.

The first time was just pulling the entrance reducer off last spring - they came after me and I got stung several times through my jacket and jeans (didn't have my coveralls on then) and they wouldn't give up even though I was way away from the hive.

I tried to inspect them 2 weeks ago and got popped twice through my canvas gloves just looking at the shallow super on top.

Yesterday I had to dig all the way to the bottom brood box to find the queen - next to last frame - of course! - but at least I found her.  I have never had so many bees in my face and surrounding me - the sound was incredible!  After putting the boxes back together I had to walk around for 30 minutes in 94 degree weather before I could go in my garage because I had so many bees attacking me after a half hour!  Yes, i am sure I had the pheromone thing going on but I was way away from the hive.  Smoking doesn't seem to phase them.  When I finally couldn't stand it any longer I came in the house and my husband killed 5 or 6 bees who came in with me or were still on my suit.  Fortunately, they didn't make it out of the utility room and my husband is a patient man when it comes to my bees smiley

I hope they accept my new queen....... or this hive is toast.  This is their last chance  evil
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sarafina
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« Reply #6 on: July 26, 2009, 09:31:23 PM »

If I may, How many other stingers did you pull from your bee suit ?
Was it only the gloves ?

If so, I think first I would consider changeing gloves, perhaps they had a strong new leather smell,{ever been in a leather working shop ? ] or some other odor.

What about your other hive, with these gloves ?

 I've been in a couple of hot hives in the distant past, and they were all over me, not just the gloves, they were hitting hat, veil, suit etc.

Then again if this is a repeat performance, is it worth it ?

I think Your area is the detereming factor.

Again Good Luck, & keep us informed.
Bee-Bop


I only wore the leather gloves to find the queen because this hive is so hot and I needed sting-proof gloves, which these are.  My other hive is gentle as can be and I just wear my canvas gloves that came with my beekeeping kit.  I was digging around all the way to the bottom brood box a couple of weeks ago and they weren't even head-butting me and no stings through my gloves.  My hot hive popped me twice on the hands for just lifting the cover - smoking them seems to have no effect.  I couldn't even get them off my suit by smoking my suit until I was choking and I was way away from the hive.
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Pond Creek Farm
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« Reply #7 on: July 26, 2009, 09:41:16 PM »

It sounds like you have been as patient as anyone can expect.  I would not keep a hive around that is so difficult to work.  I hope the requeening goes well
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Brian
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« Reply #8 on: July 27, 2009, 11:58:37 AM »

    Though we have had AHB way south of us and a marker showed up west of here about two years ago, the first thing my son does when he is with me is notice whether the bees scatter to the edge of the frame or carry on with business as usual.  He always says, with relief..."...they are not leaving their babies dad."  Even with a hot hive that's the first thing he looks for.
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Everyone said it couldn't be done. But he with a chuckle replied, "I won't be one to say it is so, until I give it a try."  So he buckled right in with a trace of a grin.  If he had a worry he hid it and he started to sing as he tackled that thing that couldn't be done, and he did it.  (unknown)
sarafina
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« Reply #9 on: July 27, 2009, 12:41:29 PM »

    Though we have had AHB way south of us and a marker showed up west of here about two years ago, the first thing my son does when he is with me is notice whether the bees scatter to the edge of the frame or carry on with business as usual.  He always says, with relief..."...they are not leaving their babies dad."  Even with a hot hive that's the first thing he looks for.

aww... that's wonderful that your son is interested and helps you.

I looked up White County and it is not too far from our retirement property in Sharp County, AR (Evening Shade).  That was how I got interested in bees in the first place - I wanted to have hives on my property when we moved there and decided to start learning about them now.  Also building up my equipment inventory while I have a steady income.

It would be nice not the have to deal with AHB there, but if they make it to the area at least I will have some experience dealing with it.
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Scadsobees
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« Reply #10 on: July 27, 2009, 01:06:17 PM »

Once they are mad, smoke don't do nuthin' at all.rolleyes  That won't get them off, pretty much only quishing them will do at that point.

And once they got you marked a few times in the gloves, then the rest of them know right were to go.

Definately hotter than anything I care to deal with.

A couple of things that might have helped...
1. Seperate the boxes with a queen excluder for a week first.  Then you know by the brood that she's in that box or not.  Then you can split and requeen just the unqueened box, and when she's accepted (better chance in a small hive) you can kill the old one and put them back togather with newspaper.
2.  Start in the bottom box.  Not because of the queen, but by starting at the top you are alarming the whole hive, whereas if you set the boxes aside and start at the bottom, they aren't as alarmed, and then the next box will be somewhat but not as much.

Rick
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Rick
sarafina
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« Reply #11 on: July 27, 2009, 01:32:44 PM »

Once they are mad, smoke don't do nuthin' at all.rolleyes  That won't get them off, pretty much only quishing them will do at that point.

And once they got you marked a few times in the gloves, then the rest of them know right were to go.

Definately hotter than anything I care to deal with.

a couple of things that might have helped...
1. Seperate the boxes with a queen excluder for a week first.  Then you know by the brood that she's in that box or not.  Then you can split and requeen just the unqueened box, and when she's accepted (better chance in a small hive) you can kill the old one and put them back togather with newspaper.
2.  Start in the bottom box.  Not because of the queen, but by starting at the top you are alarming the whole hive, whereas if you set the boxes aside and start at the bottom, they aren't as alarmed, and then the next box will be somewhat but not as much.

Rick

Thanks, Rick

I thought about using a queen excluder but I couldn't find mine and it also would have been an extra trip into the hive and I only wanted to go in once to find the queen and get it over with.

Yeah, I found out smoke doesn't help once they are riled and in the case of this hive - that means just looking sideways at it!    shocked

I didn't know that about starting at the bottom would be less alarming - I will remember that for the future.
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kathyp
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« Reply #12 on: July 27, 2009, 01:35:07 PM »

Quote
I didn't know that about starting at the bottom would be less alarming - I will remember that for the future.

divide and conquer!!  evil
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« Reply #13 on: July 27, 2009, 10:57:35 PM »

Wow, your "hot hive" sounds like trouble!  I'm also in Houston, have done a few swarm captures, but have not anything like what you've described.  Even if your hive started out as a package, you could have an AHB problem.  Have thought about sending some of bees for AHB testing?  The Texas Honey Bee I.D. Lab at Texas A&M will test samples from Texas for free.  They are part of the Texas Apiary Inspection Service.  You can find their site on the internet.  I'll test a swarm capture if they seem a little too aggressive for my taste ... just "to make sure".  Good luck ...

Here's some info from their website:

With the arrival of Africanized honey bees in Texas, one of the common concerns is
whether bees in a backyard or other site are Africanized. As an educational agency, the Texas
Agricultural Extension Service can offer advice and make referrals to competent persons (such as
beekeepers, pest control operators or other emergency personnel); however we cannot make site
visits or collect bees for identification.

When there is reasonable doubt as to the identity of an aggregation of bees, any person
may submit a sample of the colony to the Texas Honey Bee I.D. Lab for identification. The
laboratory is located in Bryan, Texas. Currently there is no charge for this service, and the lab
will accept bee samples from any location in Texas. Proper collection information and adequate
numbers of bees must be submitted, however, to get an accurate identification.

Because Africanized honey bees are nearly identical in appearance to our more docile,
domesticated (European) honey bees, the only way to make a positive identification is with the
use of sophisticated optical and computer equipment. In addition, at least 10 - 20 worker bees
must be submitted to accurately test whether the colony is Africanized. Bees collected away
from their nest or swarm-- for instance, at feeding or watering sites-- cannot be reliably
identified."
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sarafina
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« Reply #14 on: July 27, 2009, 11:16:44 PM »

Thanks for the info, Boccyman.  I hadn't really thought about having them tested, but I think I will look into it.  I actually live in Friendswood, but I put Houston in my profile because everyone knows where Houston is.  I will need to get the required sample by this weekend since they will be releasing her soon (pulling the cork tomorrow) and I won't be back in for a few weeks after I retrieve the empty queen cage on Sat.

I do know for certain that I still had the original marked queen from R Weaver's and not a superseded queen, so if they turn out to be Africanized then Weaver's should be notified.  It's not just the ferociousness of their stinging that makes them suspect to me - also the fact that they won't give up after 20-30 minutes even when I am away from the hive.  Nothing like my other hive, which is a typical Italian hive - very gentle even when I really dig into the bottom boxes, which I try not to do any more often than I have to.
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bee-nuts
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« Reply #15 on: July 28, 2009, 03:06:15 AM »

This is the maddest I have ever seen my Italians.  They stung the fingers and thumbs of my gloves quite a bit but what do you expect when you raise hell with them.  Even then I walked to my car about 60 feet away took off my bee stuff and not 1 bee came after me.  I was not stung once.



I have seen others get worse but not mine.  Here is a video when they are as gentle as can be before I made the nuc above from them (when I'm not slamming frames around).



Italians can be very gentle.  Half the time I wonder if I even needed the smoker.
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Hayesbo
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« Reply #16 on: July 28, 2009, 05:48:46 AM »

The difference between a hot hive and gentle is amazing.
My first year I fought 4 hot hives and then requeened from Fatbeeman. Immediate improvement.

 Now two years later my hives are so gentle that I can and have walked up with no protection, no veil and lifted the cover and removed one frame on the top super to check if the honey was capped. I haven't been stung yet this year (haven't messed with them much other than extracting 3 times)

If the hive is hot is isn't nearly as much fun. I hope you see the improvement that I did.

Steve
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JP
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« Reply #17 on: July 28, 2009, 08:06:37 AM »

These gloves http://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/ju3ipGpG6c96gU01ZIsLVA?feat=directlink can be purchased at H.D. They give you dexterity, made out of heavy latex and this type of material does not harbor alarm pheremone like leather or cotton, etc...

And they are sting proof.


...JP
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sparks
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« Reply #18 on: July 28, 2009, 10:04:41 AM »

Sarafina,

Please have them tested and let us know what the outcome is.  You have plenty of time to collect a sample.  I have been real close to purchasing bees from R. Weaver but have held off for now. Living in AHB country we need all the help we can get to keep them gentle.  I have 3 hives started this year from a nuc and packages picked up in LA and they are so gentle I feel silly wearing protection.  However, I am certainly fearful of supercedure in this area of the country.  Looks like this thread is good for at least another month as we watch the progress of your "taming of the hive".

Bee-Nuts,

I would hate to sound critical but it looked to me like you were getting a bit too strong with the smoke in your first video.   They work better for me when I  just waft it over them a couple of times and not blast them with it.   Just a thought.

Chuck

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sarafina
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« Reply #19 on: July 28, 2009, 10:28:55 AM »

These gloves http://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/ju3ipGpG6c96gU01ZIsLVA?feat=directlink can be purchased at H.D. They give you dexterity, made out of heavy latex and this type of material does not harbor alarm pheremone like leather or cotton, etc...

And they are sting proof.


...JP


Thanks, JP.  I really need some that give me more dexterity and if you say they are stingproof then I beleive you with all the swarms you collect!


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sarafina
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« Reply #20 on: July 28, 2009, 10:44:07 AM »

Sarafina,

Please have them tested and let us know what the outcome is.  You have plenty of time to collect a sample.  I have been real close to purchasing bees from R. Weaver but have held off for now. Living in AHB country we need all the help we can get to keep them gentle.  I have 3 hives started this year from a nuc and packages picked up in LA and they are so gentle I feel silly wearing protection.  However, I am certainly fearful of supercedure in this area of the country.  Looks like this thread is good for at least another month as we watch the progress of your "taming of the hive".

Bee-Nuts,

I would hate to sound critical but it looked to me like you were getting a bit too strong with the smoke in your first video.   They work better for me when I  just waft it over them a couple of times and not blast them with it.   Just a thought.

Chuck



Thanks for the videos, bee-nuts.  I always enjoy watching other beeks doing inspections since I don't have any mentors.  If I didn't have my other gentle hive - if this was my fist and only - I would have given up on beekeeping by now!  And I don't give up easily smiley

I thought the same thing as you did Chuck.  When I was smoking my hot hive what I considered "heavy" I don't think I used that much smoke.  Bee-nuts, it looked like you were using the smoke to brush the bees aside so you wouldn't squish them before you put the tops back on.  I use a bee brush but inevitably some get squished anyway.  Beautiful hive and beautiful bees !!!


I will collect my sample to send to A&M on Sat when I retrieve the empty queen cage.  I don't want to collect them now while I am still getting them to accept their new queen.  By Sat she will have been in there a week and hopefully they have made their mind about her.

I need about 50 bees in a jar and then I have to soak them in alcohol.  Reminds me of when I was a kid.  I use to take a mason jar and go up to the ligustrum bushes and collect bees.  I had holes in the lid and loved to listen to them buzz.  I always released them after a couple of hours - didn't want them to die.  Never got stung, either, but I wasn't near their hive.
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bee-nuts
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« Reply #21 on: July 29, 2009, 03:01:54 AM »

chuck

The edited video is one thing but standing there looking down the frames and knowing that all the bees that just got smashed and slammed around were very unhappy and letting off "tons of sting the crap out of this guy pheromone" is another.  Maybe I should have masked the "tons of sting the crap out of this guy pheromone" smell a little more!!  You know they can sting through jeans, right?  Without smoke I could not work the frames without getting more stings either.  They were mad as hell and I knew it.  If you drop a frame and crush lots of bees, you will find out.  You have to smoke the bees to get them out of the way.  If you think the smoke got them mad you are mistaken.

When things go well and I dont accidentally crush or kill many bees, I just waft it over them a couple of times, or just into the entrance and into inner cover a little.







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sarafina
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« Reply #22 on: July 29, 2009, 09:54:19 AM »

You know they can sting through jeans, right?

Yes, I know it very well!   grin  I used to work my bees with just my jeans and a jacket, but that was before I had to deal with really hot bees.  You don't have to drop a frame or squish bees to get them riled up - just pulling the top cover off or even a few puffs of smoke at the entrance is enough.

I finally bit the bullet and invested in a full bee suit and I should have it next week.  But if you want extra protection on the cheap, go to Home Depot and buy one of those disposable painters coveralls and wear that over your jeans.  It is a bit hotter than just jeans, but the extra loose layer makes it virtually sting-proof, plus it is white which is more calming to the bees.  I also have the elastic velcro straps that I use to cinch down my pants against my boots so they can't crawl up my pants legs  shocked
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« Reply #23 on: July 29, 2009, 10:37:18 AM »

Sarafina,

Thanks for taking the time and effort to get those wild ones tested.  Your childhood bee collecting made me smile.   Smiley  I am reading a book right now that, although it is a novel, it incorporates bees throughout.  One of the characters collected bees in a jar.  I would highly recommend  The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd.

Bee-Nuts,

I guess that I just haven't experienced bad bee behavior yet.  Hope it's not anything like teenagers.  evil Wink At least they can't get a drivers license.  grin 

Chuck

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bee-nuts
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« Reply #24 on: July 30, 2009, 04:20:27 AM »

Sarafina

Glad you enjoyed the videos!  I have a bee brush but rarely use it.  I don't like brushing the bees because I think it hurts them sometimes and makes them mad.  If they are in the way I find a little smoke usually does the job just fine.  I also find that the less crap I have to remember where I just put it, that I am more efficient anyway.  I'm also hoping that my bee escapes will work too so I don't have to shake and brush many bees when I harvest.


Chuck

I would rather deal with AHB than teenagers.  LOL.

One of the reasons I like to record and watch my visits later is I notice many mistakes and/or see things I would like to do different next time.  For instance, maybe if I would have set the frame that slipped aside, maybe I would have been able to work the bees without them boiling out.  Reason being is, because I stuck a frame of mad bees letting off pheromone back into hive making em all mad.  Probably would not have made a difference (many reasons I wont list) but next time I will try and see anyway.

I also returned to that hive yesterday and thankfully found lots of eggs, larva, and capped brood.  I was really worried I hurt or killed her (the queen I introduced that is) in the incident.  They were also very gentle.  Just a couple puffs of smoke before I entered.
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The moment a person forms a theory, his imagination sees in every object only the traits which favor that theory

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