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Author Topic: An unhappy day at the hive  (Read 660 times)
robk23678
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Location: Northern Wisconsin - near the UP


« on: August 29, 2013, 11:52:46 PM »

Went to check the hive today, in addition to adding a second strap around the hive, and setting the screws for the mouse guard in preparation for winter. Pulled the top box off, lifted the bottom box and base together, just enough to slip the strap under and set gently back down. I had intended to pull frames and get a good look down in both boxes, but never made it that far. All of a sudden, they went crazy. I smoked them, put the second box back on, and things went crazier.

The kids who were playing in the field on the other side of the house were getting chased and stung, I got at least 15 on my back. I managed to get the inner cover back on, and when I went for the outer cover I noticed a few wasps fighting with the bees. Smashed the wasps with my hive tool, flipped them off into the grass, and got the outer cover back on. It seemed like half the hive was all over the front and sides of the hive when I went to put the outer cover back on. I never managed to put the strap back around the hive. I figured let them settle down and I will get it put back on in a day or two.

My best guess is the wasps decided to crash the party, and I was the unfortunate one to be present at the time. No amount of smoke would move them or calm them. There was no diverting their attention.

At least they should be ready for winter, as both boxes are nice and heavy.
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T Beek
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Location: USA, N/W Wisconsin


« Reply #1 on: August 30, 2013, 08:16:37 AM »

Sounds (to me anyway) more like an attack of yellowjackets with your bees acting accordingly, defensive.  Did you also reduce entrances in anticipation of winter?  Yellowjackets can completely destroy a colony in a few hours by taking the honey and killing the queen.  And it will most certainly piss your bees off if they've been infiltrated.  Can you tell that I hate yellowjackets?

I'm in Sawyer County and the extended drought we just came out of severely lessoned area nectar availability/collection.  Goldenrod got slammed with rain last night and my bees had only just started hitting on it, can only hope they can salvage some before first frost.
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Palouse
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Location: Pullman, WA


« Reply #2 on: August 30, 2013, 05:57:16 PM »

Yellowjackets are the devil.

My really strong hive only needs a reduced entrance, but the weaker of my two hives I've got a robbing screen on as it's constantly being under attack by yellowjackets. This year is a bad one for us.
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robk23678
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Location: Northern Wisconsin - near the UP


« Reply #3 on: August 30, 2013, 11:09:32 PM »

I made my own mouse guard, a strip of "L" that is the entire width of the bottom board with evenly spaced 1/2" holes drilled in it, that I was going to get the mounting holes drilled, but never made it that far. I figured best thing I could do for them was to get the hive back together and closed up so they could defend themselves. the other day was a pretty hot day and I was sweating like crazy trying to get them closed up, which was made worse by me getting stung. They definitely have their numbers up, as they had the entire front, sides, and top of the hive completely covered with bees. I will wait for a day in the low 70s before I go opening them up again, as I seem to have much better luck around them if the temp is below 75. Only other way I can get the holes drilled so it can be mounted is to go out late at night with a red flashlight and drill the screw holes then. I'm going to order one of the robbing screens that I saw yesterday.

I'm on the border of Marinette County and Oconto County, and this is my first year and first hive. I found out recently the local beek assoc meets in the town hall down the road from me. I plan on attending next months meeting.

And, I also hate the Yellowjackets. I keep several cans of CRC brakekleen (the red can) on hand for my encounters with them. one quick blast and problem solved. works good when I find their nests too as I can hit them from the ground to the top of the garage roof.
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GSF
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Location: Central AL (nw corner of Elmore County)


« Reply #4 on: August 31, 2013, 10:20:40 AM »

I love the smell of burning yellow jackets first thing in the morning - it smells like,  like,   victory!
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"Life is hard, It's even harder when you're stupid."

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sterling
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Location: mt juliet tn


« Reply #5 on: August 31, 2013, 12:58:34 PM »

Something that helps control yellow jackets is: a few little balls of raw hamburger with aspritan [the fake sweetener. it was a poison before it was a sweetener] mixed in with the burger and put around the hives. yellow jackets like meat but the bees don't.
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rwlaw
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Location: Grand Rapids Michigan


« Reply #6 on: September 02, 2013, 06:46:17 PM »

 You might want to look real close at the landing board to see if you've got scratch marks. Skunks'll make a hive super testy.
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Can't ever say that bk'n ain't a learning experience!
robk23678
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Location: Northern Wisconsin - near the UP


« Reply #7 on: September 08, 2013, 04:40:42 PM »

No scratch marks. Don't see too many skunks around here. They generally don't like lead... Same with raccoons. I'm going out tonight late, once they are all in for the night, to attach the mouse guard.
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