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Author Topic: Bad timing, that's all. I hope.  (Read 1302 times)
Nyleve
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« on: July 03, 2013, 05:45:30 PM »

It looked like a nice enough morning, so I decided to suit up and check on the honey super I put on a couple of weeks ago. I know enough not to go visit the girls when it's chilly and miserable out. But this morning it was calm, a little foggy...not bad. Well, my normally mild-mannered bees were in a horrible mood! As I lifted the lid I heard some very loud buzzing but continued anyway. As soon as I got it open they came out at me. I dropped the lid and ran. A couple followed me all the way back to the house and one or two had gotten under my jacket. Grrr. A couple of very itchy stings on my side, but otherwise escaped. I'll wait until later in the day tomorrow to go and finish my visit, fix the lid, which is now askew, and this time I'll use smoke.

I hate it when this happens because then I get all paranoid about working with them. Will let you know how tomorrow's visit goes.
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iddee
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« Reply #1 on: July 03, 2013, 05:48:51 PM »

I love it when people finally learn that the smoker is not just a marketing tool, but a real necessity for keeping bees.
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"Listen to the mustn'ts, child. Listen to the don'ts. Listen to the shouldn'ts, the impossibles, the won'ts. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me . . . Anything can happen, child. Anything can be"

*Shel Silverstein*
GSF
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« Reply #2 on: July 03, 2013, 05:52:53 PM »

...just about the time you think you've bonded... Undecided
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"Life is hard, It's even harder when you're stupid."

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rober
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« Reply #3 on: July 03, 2013, 06:19:13 PM »

often the smoker is not needed but there's always the exception. kinda' like the old gun addage. it's better to have & not need it than to need it & not have it.
i opened a normally docile hive last week & when i lifted the inner cover you'd have thought this was an africanized colony or a nest of yellow jackets & of course i'd forgotten my gloves so i was using leather work gloves. i toughed it out & closed up the hive but my wrist looked like pincushions.
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Steel Tiger
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« Reply #4 on: July 03, 2013, 06:21:46 PM »

 Everything was too wet around here this morning and I really wanted to drill a top entrance today. I suited up, put the entrance reducers back on the hives (the number of bees coming back quickly clogged them).
 I drilled the holes, angles downward to keep rain from coming in, and not one bee came at me. They may have been too confused by the entrance reducer to bother with me. Normally, when I do smoke them, I have 1 or 2 bees buzzing at me.
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kathyp
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« Reply #5 on: July 03, 2013, 06:32:52 PM »

they are protective of their stores.  in spring, they haven't much to protect.  now they do. wait another month!  then you'll really want the smoke. Wink
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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
Nyleve
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« Reply #6 on: July 03, 2013, 06:35:00 PM »

Well I really do have to go and fix the lid. But I will use smoke. Funny I just didn't think I would need it today because I wasn't going to do anything particularly invasive. Just a little peek...
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tjc1
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« Reply #7 on: July 03, 2013, 07:18:22 PM »

Funny I just didn't think I would need it today because I wasn't going to do anything particularly invasive. Just a little peek...

Oh, yeah - I still remember the day that I uttered those same words...
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Wolfer
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« Reply #8 on: July 03, 2013, 07:29:38 PM »

I'm smellin what yer stepping in!
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iddee
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« Reply #9 on: July 03, 2013, 07:32:17 PM »

So if I break into your house, can I just say I wanted to look for a bit? Will that make you accept me?
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"Listen to the mustn'ts, child. Listen to the don'ts. Listen to the shouldn'ts, the impossibles, the won'ts. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me . . . Anything can happen, child. Anything can be"

*Shel Silverstein*
kanga
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« Reply #10 on: July 03, 2013, 07:40:53 PM »

So if I break into your house, can I just say I wanted to look for a bit? Will that make you accept me?

Many years ago when I first started into beekeeping the first thing my mentor said was before you do anything with your bees place a gentle puff of smoke in the front as it is just like knocking on the door and letting them know you are coming.

Kevin
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duryeafarms
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« Reply #11 on: July 03, 2013, 08:40:07 PM »

If you have incidents like this more than once that make you apprehensive I'd think a full suit is in order. My bees get ticked off at points even with smoke but I don't have to worry about getting stung because I'm protected (to the extent you can be). For that reason I can't say I really understand the jacket concept. I see the attraction but not the idea that you are half exposed.
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Wolfer
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« Reply #12 on: July 03, 2013, 08:52:53 PM »

I rarely get stung thru Levi's but a few week ago I wore a pair of Lee jeans which are considerably thinner.
The girls were in a snot. When I took the second deep off of a three deep hive the alarm went off big time. Took about 40 stings to the legs before I was done. A week or so later I wore an old pair of sweat pants over my jeans. Worked several hives including this one and probably could have done it naked. ( although we'll never know)

If you expect the worst you might be pleasantly surprised. Better than the other way around.
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kathyp
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« Reply #13 on: July 03, 2013, 10:06:43 PM »

i only use the jacket with attached hood.  i have pretty nasty reactions, so i'd be the first to use a whole suit if the jacket were not enough.  jeans work.  even if i get hit though them, they seem to spend more venom in the material than me, and it is a rare thing that it happens at all.
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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
tjc1
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« Reply #14 on: July 03, 2013, 10:51:08 PM »

Not to scare anyone, but I got stung through the suit a week ago... Right at the edge of the cuff of my gloves, I don't know if that girl was burrowing in there on purpose trying to get me, or if she got caught in a fold there and got squeezed down tight when I bent my arm which allowed the close contact... I was quite surprised. I'm sure that you could avoid this possibility by wearing a long-sleeved shirt under the suit - I had a t-shirt on, so it was bare arm there under the suit.
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Steel Tiger
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« Reply #15 on: July 04, 2013, 12:58:38 AM »

My bees are too small to be able to sting through denim. I wear a jacket with veil and a pair of nitrile gloves that I pull over the end of my sleeve.
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brushwoodnursery
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« Reply #16 on: July 04, 2013, 07:51:24 AM »

I always wear my jacket and gloves and i always smoke at least a little. It's probably overkill but I like the idea of not being distracted by stings. I can go about my work calmly and i don't have to stop to suit up if it's necessary to dig in based on something I find on a light inspection. Yes, it's hot in summer but still worth it for me.
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sawdstmakr
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« Reply #17 on: July 04, 2013, 08:23:34 AM »

It looked like a nice enough morning, so I decided to suit up and check on the honey super I put on a couple of weeks ago. I know enough not to go visit the girls when it's chilly and miserable out. But this morning it was calm, a little foggy...not bad. Well, my normally mild-mannered bees were in a horrible mood! As I lifted the lid I heard some very loud buzzing but continued anyway. As soon as I got it open they came out at me. I dropped the lid and ran. A couple followed me all the way back to the house and one or two had gotten under my jacket. Grrr. A couple of very itchy stings on my side, but otherwise escaped. I'll wait until later in the day tomorrow to go and finish my visit, fix the lid, which is now askew, and this time I'll use smoke.

I hate it when this happens because then I get all paranoid about working with them. Will let you know how tomorrow's visit goes.

Nyleve,
What time was it when you tried to open up the hive. You say it was a little foggy? Could you see a blue sky? Sounds like it was too early. If so you can expect them to be pissy. You do not want to be in the hive before the field bees have left the hive.
Jim
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HomeSteadDreamer
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« Reply #18 on: July 04, 2013, 09:01:15 AM »

I had a queen castle set up and had to get them some stores during a cloudy cool day this week.  They stung me through my jacket.  They were really not happy with me stealing their honey. I took 4 to one arm and 1 to the shoulder all through my bee jacket with attached hood. Had to put in a blank bar to close them up quick.  I need to get back in there and replace the blank bar but it is rainy here all week.
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Nyleve
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« Reply #19 on: July 04, 2013, 01:26:00 PM »

Yeah it was too early - I know that now. It was hazy and they hadn't gone out foraging yet. So my fault, for sure. I guess I felt like it was later than it was because I'd already walked the dog and done ten other things. Still cloudy/hazy here. I'm not going out there until its bright and sunny! And I will wear a full suit, plus my jacket, gloves, rubber boots and take the smoker with me. The two stings I got yesterday are swelled up and insanely itchy! I don't need any more of this.
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