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Author Topic: so many bees! Help  (Read 639 times)
lisbethanne
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Location: San Antonio, Texas


« on: October 01, 2013, 08:41:15 AM »

I am a new beekeeper in south Texas and I am over run with bees. I now have two brood boxes and two supers in the hive. Every time I get near my hive they approach me aggressively. When I get into the hive I have to totally suit up and use smoke smoke smoke. When I started I only wore a jacket, no gloves, and used smoke very liberally. Is this normal? Is it just because they are healthy and 3/4 full? The queen is around, laying in regular patterns, we have great pollen flow and I have fed with my top feeder syrup(2to1). No honey to steal that is sealed in the supers. They have made many practice queen cells which are never filled. I was going to add a second hive but I don't think I should because I can't imagine opening the second hive near the first one since they come to greet me every time I get close to the first one and the hives will be close together. Any advice will be greatly appreciated. I am a newbee and can be very ignorant even with all the reading that I do.
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kathyp
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« Reply #1 on: October 01, 2013, 12:10:26 PM »

they tend to be more aggressive in fall when they are protecting winter stores.  they also get fussy if they are low on food.  have you been able to check stores? 

if they are good, i'd say leave them alone.  if they are well fed and you know you have queens this is  a good time to stay out of them.
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iddee
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« Reply #2 on: October 01, 2013, 06:02:41 PM »

Try to lift the back of the hive. If you can't, they are ready for winter. Leave them alone until spring. If you can lift it easily, remove all empty frames and boxes. Then feed.

Come spring, if they are still aggressive, requeen them. You are in Africanized territory and they may have been usurped.
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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"

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rwlaw
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« Reply #3 on: October 01, 2013, 07:39:44 PM »

Check around for pests, ants, hornets etc. Maybe thats making them cross. d
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sawdstmakr
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« Reply #4 on: October 01, 2013, 09:58:41 PM »

Do you have skunks in the area. They may bee harassing your bees. The more they do it the prissiness they get. How high off of the ground is the entrance. If skunks are the problem, raise the hives to expose the bellies to the bees.  Some people place a tack strip in front of the hives to deter them.
It may be the bees are just being hit with robber bees. How big is the entrance to the hive? I keep the opening to my strongest hives at most at 2" x 3/8" and 1/2" x 3/8" on the weak hives. Hope this help.
Jim
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Wolfer
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« Reply #5 on: October 02, 2013, 06:17:18 PM »

It's very common for a young, new hive to be gentle but get more defensive as they get established.
It's also very common for fall bees to be cross. Early spring bees can sometimes be cross also.
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RHBee
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« Reply #6 on: October 06, 2013, 08:39:46 PM »

I am a new beekeeper in south Texas and I am over run with bees. I now have two brood boxes and two supers in the hive. Every time I get near my hive they approach me aggressively. When I get into the hive I have to totally suit up and use smoke smoke smoke. When I started I only wore a jacket, no gloves, and used smoke very liberally. Is this normal? Is it just because they are healthy and 3/4 full? The queen is around, laying in regular patterns, we have great pollen flow and I have fed with my top feeder syrup(2to1). No honey to steal that is sealed in the supers. They have made many practice queen cells which are never filled. I was going to add a second hive but I don't think I should because I can't imagine opening the second hive near the first one since they come to greet me every time I get close to the first one and the hives will be close together. Any advice will be greatly appreciated. I am a newbee and can be very ignorant even with all the reading that I do.

I spent a little while in San Antonio, USAF. I know you guys have skunks. Jim may have hit the nail on the head. Look for scratch marks at the hive entrance and possibly skunk scat. If they are being messed with at night they will be cross during the day.
 
When you use smoke don't over do it. More is not good, this can make them ill tempered. If my girls are being less than friendly I give them a couple shots in the entrance and a couple under the inner cover and then let them sit for 10 min or so.

Wash your bee suit. If they are hot anyway, the leftover alarm pheromone from previous visits can set them off.

Lastly, iddee could be right about the AHB. I hope this isn't the case.
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Later,
Ray
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