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Thread: aggresive bees

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Rockville, Maryland,U.S.A.
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    I have 1 russian hive ,1 Italian hive ,two starline hives ,1 tiger hive and just hived a buckfast package today.I've noticed the Italians get a little aggresive in the fall
    but all of them are gentle .The buckfast did not like being hived ,I sprayed sugar water on them and dumped them in getting stung on top of the head.went to get suit on to finish the job- finished .Came back two hours later to check on them and they still hadn't calmed down and one of my new buckfast girls flew right to my right eye and stung me 1/2 from the eye ,and now I sit here with the right side of my face swelled up and wondering if it will still be swollen come monday morning
    for work.None of the other packages were ever that angry .
    have any of you noticed a difference between strains ,also they came from PA so I doubt
    any african liniage

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    Williston, NC, USA
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    1,779

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    I got stung by my eye once and looked like Quasi Modo (sic) for quite a few days--one eye completely swollen shut and that whole side of my face as big as a watermelon. TAKE SOME BENADRYL!! As soon as I took it, I started to see the swelling go down. Now I always make sure I've got some handy.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    You can't tell anything about the temprament of a hive from installing a package. First the workers in the box are seldom even realted to the queen in any way. They are just whatever bees are handy and are seldom even of the same race.

    Secondly they have just been through a very trying ordeal and if they are grouchy it can hardly be their fault.

    Wait until they settle in raise brood from this queen, the old ones die off and the hives are booming and you'll know what their temprament really is.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2000
    Location
    crown point, NY, USA
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    971

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    Yes you will need to wait 6 to 8 weeks before you will know the colonies true temperment as the bees in packages are often just bulk bees.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Rapidan, VA. U.S.A
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    62

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    Well, last fall I requeened with russians. I went into two hives this past weekend to make some splits,and put on some supers and they were the most agressive bees I have experienced since starting this hobbie. They got so mad that at one point I had so many bees around me that I could barely see the frame I was holding. They covered my arms, and I got stung seven times through my suit. I thought well let me just let them calm down for a few minutes. I walked back to the house, which is through a small patch of woods, and they followed me back. I sat down on the edge of my property for about fifteen minutes, and they wouldn't go away. Finally they did, and I was able to go inside to chill out for a while. When I went back to the bee yard to pick up the equipment that I had left there, the minute I stepped out of the woods they attacked again.

    It was the first time since starting this hobbie that I didn't enjoy it.

  6. #6
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    Aug 2002
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    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    Mean bees suck.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Fredericksburg, Va
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    798

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    Charlie

    I live about 20 miles from Rapidan and I have had Russians for 3 yrs now and have only had one hive of them to be very aggressive. That one hive swarmed and left - thank goodness.

    I have been into my current 3 hives of Russians several times this spring and they are all gentle. I did a split on Saturday, then when back in on Sunday attmpting to locate the queen between the two hive bodies in the split. I was in them for over an hour and half - attempting to locate the queen. I even used a queen excluder under an empty hive box and knocked all the bees off each of the twenty farmes. No queen but also very little aggression from the bees. What little aggression I did see quickly calmed down.

    Since I could not locate the queen, I did see supercedure cells with larva in one hive body so I placed my new queen box in other hive (figured 50/50 chance). I went back today and the last attendant bee was dead but quenn appears ok. I removed the cork and stuck a pin into sugar and closed it back up. Will be checking again on Wednesday.

    [This message has been edited by JohnBeeMan (edited April 19, 2004).]

    [This message has been edited by JohnBeeMan (edited April 19, 2004).]

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Tulsa, Okla. USA
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    I've seen 2 reasons for mean bees. Either they have gone queenless, or something (possum, skunk, or other such thing) is bothering them frequently. There could certainly be other reasons, but those are the only ones I have seen.

    Good Luck!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Rochester, Washington, USA
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    973

    Big Grin

    Have 6 hives all Russian queens, anyway, and they have been a pleasure to work, of course I've only had them for 2 weeks. The only time I've had to suit up so far was to move one of them to a friends house...But I'm sure that will probily change.

    ------------------
    'WHEN WE CLOSE OUR EYES WE ALL LOOK THE SAME' GWPW 03

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
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    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    >I've seen 2 reasons for mean bees. Either they have gone queenless, or something (possum, skunk, or other such thing) is bothering them frequently. There could certainly be other reasons, but those are the only ones I have seen.


    I would have said the same. Until two years ago...


  11. #11

    Thumbs down

    Maybe it's just me but I just can't relate to beekeepers that don't wear a veil. Of course I've seen bees handled all my life by some that don't wear veils. But for me, the risk of loosing eye sight by that one random strike from an angry bee just isn't worth the risk (ever!). I frequently may not wear gloves but I try to always wear my veil. I don't mean to be "preaching" and to be perfectly honest I have opened and worked hives w/o my veil but I always look back on it as being a pretty stupid thing to have done.
    --
    Back to the other topic mentioned: angry Buckfast bees. Someone please correct me if this premise is wrong. As I understand there still is only ONE approved importer of Buckfast semen in America (NOT including Canada, where there are a few to choose from). So my question is how can you say your Buckfast don't possibly have African lineage by the fact you bought them from PA? Isn't the original PA source for Buckfast still from Texas?
    And even IF you tell me the PA source has raised their own Buckfast, then my comment is two fold: 1) I believe they are not true Buckfast (as this would violate the licensing agreement between Buckfast Abbey and the "officially" approved source for the U.S. and second comment is 2) it's been fairly common knowledge for a long time, that the second crossed generation from original Buckfast bees winds up being a pretty aggressive bee. Comments?

  12. #12

    Thumbs down

    double posting

    [This message has been edited by txbeeguy (edited April 24, 2004).]

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Lake county, Indiana 46408-4109
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    Texbeeguy

    I AGREE WITH YOU ON THE VEIL!!!!!!

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
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    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    >Buckfasts

    I had Buckfasts most of the time for about 30 years. The first time any of them ever turned mean was Two summers ago. The second generation of them before that did fine.

    I see this as a recent phenomenon

  15. #15

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    I can remember discussions within our local bee club about this phenomenon as far back as 1992.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
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    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    Maybe I was just lucky because I had them from 1976 to 2002 and only had that problem one year and it was with all four hives of Buckfasts at the same time.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Bartonville, TX USA
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    The F1's are supposed to be the meanest when you cross into a line bred line. Supposedly get better after that. Not sure I understand all this but that's what Dee says.

    Not sure I have the patience.

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