So I attempted to do a cut out this morning of a hive that has been in a soffit space for quite some time now. The owner recalls bees being there for about 20 years. There used to be orchards around his property that migratory bee keepers had brought hives to for pollination. So, here is what happened and please tell me what you think.
I smoked the entrance of the hive lightly and instantly the bees starting acting different. I waited about 5 or 6 minutes, turned on the bee vac, and bees starting stinging the vacuum, me, and everybody in the general area. As I climbed up on the scaffold to start removing bees, they were pouring out similar to how a swarm leaves a hive. Within about 10 minutes, I took 53 stings though my suit and veil. Bees were stinging anything that moved and followed me for almost 100 yards and did not give up. My gloves were covered with bees to the point that they were literally crawling. ( I later took another 67 stingers out of my gloves that did not make it though the leather) All of this happened before I even made the first cut into the soffit, just while trying to vac up the bees on the outside of the entrance. I ended up sucking up a 10 frame deep that was so full before I made the first cut as well. ( I use a robo vac) After the initial cut, it only got worse. More stinging, swarming, and they were stinging the contractors that had me do the cut out on the other side of the house not even in view of the hive.
Finally, I said enough is enough as it was getting to be a bad situation. Packing up equipment rewarded me with more bees trying to sting me and as I was driving down the driveway, they were bouncing off my windows in large numbers. I have seen hot hives before, but never ever like this. I have never had them go after the vac or anything for that matter before even making a cut. I talked to a few beekeepers who have experience with AHB and they said this sounds very familiar to what they have seen. But, I'm in New York! Like I said though, I have seen hot hives, but never to the point where I could not remove them.
Please tell me what you think. When I got home, I pulled the stingers out of my suit and gloves. 67 were in the gloves and another 91 were in my suit. 53 made it through to get me as I have 53 little bumps in my arms, legs, neck from the veil touching me briefly, and 1 in my eyebrow from one of the bees trying to get into the windows of the car before I closed them up and got out of dodge!