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Author Topic: they turned on me  (Read 3468 times)
rgy
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« on: July 19, 2010, 08:07:14 AM »

I have one realy good hive and two terrible hives that we started this yr.  They have been so gentle and nice that I haven't been using smoke or wearing my veil or gloves.  Boy did that change yesterday!!!  walking up to the hive I got blasted by one right on the temple so I decided to suit up.  took the top off and started to take the inner cover off and the girls came out of there on a seek and destroy mission.  I must of got 10 stings on my hands before I had the inner half way off.  Man am I glad that I decided to get the suit on after the first warning sting!!!! My hands are swollen and ITCH like you can't believe with little blisters where the sting was.

I see on the "Bam in the eye" thread that Kathy says they get mean when they have a honey store.  Is that why?  It does have one honey super on.

This one hive seems to be a super one.  we started it in may with a 3lb package and put a honey super on two weeks ago.  There are bees every where!!!! (less about ten)
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lisascenic
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« Reply #1 on: July 19, 2010, 08:14:09 AM »

I'm glad I wear gloves. The bees stung the gloves repeatedly this weekend.

Also, one got inside my zipped-on veil, which was disconcerting.

And one stung me on the inner thigh. Must not scratch in front of co-workers!
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FRAMEshift
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« Reply #2 on: July 19, 2010, 10:24:53 AM »

I'm sure having honey to protect makes them more touchy.  I don't know if this is true but I have heard that the bees have a stronger sense of hive identity in the late summer and fall.  I think this was in the context of it being harder to merge colonies.  Anything that gives them more hive identity would probably increase their aggressive instinct.
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"You never can tell with bees."  --  Winnie-the-Pooh
sarafina
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« Reply #3 on: July 19, 2010, 10:51:11 AM »

You'd be mean and cranky too if someone was stealing the food you needed to make it through the winter!

I never work my hives without gloves, suit and smoke no matter what time of year.  That's just me and I admire others who can work thier hives with less protection.  I am not afraid of getting stung and don't have a terrible reaction, but I don't like it and since I know a way to (mostly) prevent it then I adhere to it.  It gives me a sense of comfort and security so I am calmer when I work my hives so it works out better for both of us.   grin
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AllenF
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« Reply #4 on: July 19, 2010, 12:48:34 PM »

I get mean and cranky every month doing my tax deposits.
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AliciaH
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« Reply #5 on: July 19, 2010, 03:54:15 PM »

I feel for you! 

Last year, my hives were out in front of our barn and work shops.  When Western WA got a week of upper 90's, my normally docile bees got very cranky and no one could go near them.  A sprinkler (for better water access, not on the hives themselves) seemed to help, but what a shocker it was to be chased! 

I guess it's no surprise then that when I told my husband I wanted to get more bees that he evicted my little apiary to our back field!
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greenbtree
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« Reply #6 on: July 19, 2010, 04:17:23 PM »

I have one of my hives semi-close to the house.  Usually mow in front no problem, although I make sure to go the direction that doesn't throw grass clippings on them.  Mowed close, ten minutes later was mowing elsewhere and saw a huge swarm of agitated bees by that hive.  I thought robbing was going on or something, so I threw on my veil and checked it out.  Nothing wrong - just really angry off bees!  It was like the whole hive turned out to run off the intruder.  I backed off VERY slowly.  Glad I had not returned to make another pass!

JC
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beequeen1
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« Reply #7 on: July 19, 2010, 04:22:03 PM »

Spray your hands with apple cider vinegar and you should be fine smiley
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Bee Happy
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« Reply #8 on: July 19, 2010, 06:06:37 PM »

Mine got cranky when the stores were up and the flow had reduced; so I took the honey and split the hives, that'll teach 'em.
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mdaniels
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« Reply #9 on: July 19, 2010, 07:03:00 PM »

Maybe something happened to your queen and you don't know it?

I am new at this and I won't work with the bees without smoke and my suit.  I am much more confident that way and do not spaz, even when they are a little cranky.
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Paynesgrey
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« Reply #10 on: July 19, 2010, 07:42:27 PM »

We are new at this, but evolving Smiley

One of our hives is grumpier than all the others. We started out in bare hands. longsleeves and veils, WITH SMOKE Smiley but now that there is honey in the picture, we started wearing the long leather gloves, veils, of course, & full mechanics jumpsuits (Dickies)to work with the hives (Picture light grey beesuits, marked down to $9 because it is "too hot to work in them in Texas" now. Unless you are working with bees. Just remember to sew the wallet pockets closed Wink)  

We wear them "just in case". It does make us calmer, especially if something happens that makes the bees less than calm.  

I'm sure a bee will sting thru someday, but I watched one try for quite a while, give up and go after the veil. The other hives are fine, but as you near the grumpy one, you start to get harrassed by it's guards.

I cleared weeds by hand & scythe from in front of the hives the other day, still dressed in full bee gear. No problem, except from that one hive, that sent the obligatory 2 guards out to bob in front of my face for the next hour I worked in the yard.  

I agree with SaraFina. I like not getting stung on the hands, which was turning into an every week occurance. In spring, with new meek hives, I will probably drop the beesuit, and return to it as, or more likely, shortly after  Undecided needed again.
« Last Edit: July 19, 2010, 07:52:44 PM by Paynesgrey » Logged
Scadsobees
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« Reply #11 on: July 20, 2010, 10:11:32 AM »

Wow, that's terrible!

Why just last saturday it was soo hot and I didn't feel like putting my shirt back on much less my veil so I said why not? and did some short inspections with just shorts and sandals!   grin  It was NICE!!!   afro

And they all have honey to protect right now.

There are some variables - weather, skunks, queenlessness, other invaders such as shb.   It could have been any of those.  Hive temperament can change as well over time.

Sunday was a bit unsettled as far as weather goes, that can play a large role - if rain is impending they seem to stay home more and get more cranky because they can't get out as much.

If it continues then you may want to consider requeening.

Rick


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Rick
harvey
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« Reply #12 on: July 20, 2010, 10:17:42 AM »

Bad weather, Bad back and lack of using smoker was my downfall,  I went into one of my booming hives without smoke,  Had never needed it before, In between a morning thundershower and a noon thundershower?  Turned wrong and dropped a deep!  Never saw so many angry bees in my life and don't plan on it again.  Both deeps came out to say hello and each one seemed like it just had to land on my legs and say hello.  Now the smoker will be lit each time!  and I will be comfortable with the weather first.
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sarafina
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« Reply #13 on: July 20, 2010, 11:02:20 AM »

I agree witrh scadsobees.......  if you have one hive that is a lot meaner than the others then I would consider re-queening, especially since you are in AHB country.  I re-queened one of mine last year and they are acting like true Italians this year - they just wave at me and say "Ciao" - instead of being in full-attack mode for looking at them sideways.  Within 4 weeks of re-queening their whole attitude changed for the better.  The downside is it sets them back a bit, but it was worth it.
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rgy
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« Reply #14 on: July 20, 2010, 11:12:11 AM »

I'm going to blame it on the weather for now.  It had been cloudy with a little rain and then cleared up before another small shower later in the day.  I thought the small window of sunny skies would be enough.  When the swelling goes down we will go look at them again and bring PLENTY of SMOKE just in case.
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Scadsobees
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« Reply #15 on: July 20, 2010, 12:50:00 PM »

I agree witrh scadsobees.......  if you have one hive that is a lot meaner than the others then I would consider re-queening, especially since you are in AHB country. 

I sure hope not yet!!  shocked

Southwest michigan    Wink
                ^^^^^
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Rick
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« Reply #16 on: July 20, 2010, 12:52:02 PM »

Due to back surgery a few years ago, I was not able to get to my hive (just had the one then) until late July to do anything more than remove the winter entrance block.  I knew they still had about half a medium left to fill with comb when I put them to bed, but this is a prolific bunch!  Needless to say, by then they were hot, honey bound, and bursting to the seams.  The entire hive was sleeping outside in one big beard each night!!!  

Imagine my concern when it came time to mow the (now waist high) grass.  I thought for sure they'd all be tee'd.  I had several neighbors over helping out since I was still recovering.  I wanted them to have a "good bee experience" so I sucked it up and grabbed the weed whacker, no veil, no gloves, no suit.  I did, however, tell hubby to be ready with the epi-pen.  To my amazement, they never flinched, not even the guards.  Temperament does matter.
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kathyp
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« Reply #17 on: July 20, 2010, 01:09:15 PM »

temperament and timing.  i would have mowed around my hives without problem earlier in the year.  i would not do it now.  i stand in the flight path and watch them early in the year, but i would not do it now.
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.....The greatest changes occur in their country without their cooperation. They are not even aware of precisely what has taken place. They suspect it; they have heard of the event by chance. More than that, they are unconcerned with the fortunes of their village, the safety of their streets, the fate of their church and its vestry. They think that such things have nothing to do with them, that they belong to a powerful stranger called “the government.” They enjoy these goods as tenants, without a sense of ownership, and never give a thought to how they might be improved.....

 Alexis de Tocqueville
sarafina
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« Reply #18 on: July 20, 2010, 01:24:16 PM »

I agree witrh scadsobees.......  if you have one hive that is a lot meaner than the others then I would consider re-queening, especially since you are in AHB country. 

I sure hope not yet!!  shocked

Southwest michigan    Wink
                ^^^^^

I hope not, too!

sorry... should have specified I was replying to Paynesgray in East Texas  grin
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Mason
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« Reply #19 on: July 20, 2010, 01:56:22 PM »

Same situation here.  My bees hate me.  They are far too mean to go at them with no protection at this time.  They have stores but we seem to be in somewhat of a dearth with not much blooming.  Very very hot.  The longest day of the year was just a few weeks ago so I think we may be between the spring and fall bloom.

I have re-queened both of my hives this year due to some crappy queens I got with my original packages.  I don't think it is genetics causing them to be crazy.  I'm hoping they settle down.  I even tried giving them a little syrup to see if that might make them more calm.  It didn't work. 

You have heard about a beard of bees....I had gloves of bees the other day and must have got hit 25 times.  Not fun.  I can't even take the outer cover off these days without them coming after me.
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