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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Western Illinois
    Posts
    111

    Default An unhappy hive?

    I went out to the bee yard to "just check" on my teeny tiny swarm that I captured a couple weeks back to see if the queen was laying or not. I had checked last week and thought I saw a couple of double eggs... but all was well. She's a beautiful looking queen with a good laying pattern. She just needs more bees to help her!

    Anyway, while I was out there I couldn't help myself and thought I'd just peek underneath all the new swarm boxes from this year to see if they needed anything. I went to my solitary deep that is about 50 feet from all the rest of the hives (and unfortunately under shade much of the day) and as I lifted the cover there must have been some burr wax holding the cover to some frames. After lifting about an inch I felt and heard a "thump" and immediately, and I mean immediately, there were hundreds of bees at the opening of the hive looking for the culprit. I have never seen so many bees on the porch of this hive. I just closed the lid, backed away about 5 feet and stood still. They settled down in about 5 minutes without incident. I didn't proceed since I didn't have any smoke with me. They were queen right 2 weeks ago. Is this hive too defensive? Or just a bad day with bad timing? Suggestions?

    Chris

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Hillsboro, Wisconsin, USA
    Posts
    1,672

    Default

    I've found that with the humid weather lately, they are a bit more defensive. I'm from Illinois - I know how humid the weather can be in the flatlands of Illinois.

    I was just checking out a hayfield for dryness for baling this morning, about 150 feet from one of my yards, and one of my "ladies" without provocation stung me in the neck. I had been in there doing inspections a couple days ago, it was breezy, the humidity was low, and they were docile as can be. With large honey stores, hot humid weather and strength in numbers, yep - they can be defensive this time of year.

    MM

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Western Illinois
    Posts
    111

    Default

    Well it certainly was hot and humid. The other hives were OK though but they were out in the sun and breeze. I'll check on them again in a week or so.

    Funny, Mapman, I'm from Wisconsin! And you're right, it is more humid here. And thankfully I live close to the Mississippi so no "flatland" on our property or surrounding properties. Actually remind me a lot of Wisconsin (Madison area). Hope your neck is OK.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Hillsboro, Wisconsin, USA
    Posts
    1,672

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Beacon Woods View Post
    Well it certainly was hot and humid. The other hives were OK though but they were out in the sun and breeze. I'll check on them again in a week or so.

    Funny, Mapman, I'm from Wisconsin! And you're right, it is more humid here. And thankfully I live close to the Mississippi so no "flatland" on our property or surrounding properties. Actually remind me a lot of Wisconsin (Madison area). Hope your neck is OK.
    Neck is fine, thanks. Just a bit worried about stings in general, as I had a systemic reaction last week - had a case of hives/bad rash from a dozen or two stings. First I had itching all over my body - insanely intense itching, especially my hands and the bottom of my feet, until the Benedryl took effect. Then the rash, and a gravelly feeling in my throat, maybe from drying out from the Benedryl. Never had this type of reaction, usually localized only, so I am being a bit more careful. Got some Epi-pens now, just in case...

    If that particular hive is unnecessarily nasty, it might also be a skunk skulking about, annoying the hive. That'll give 'em fits.

    MM

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Johnston, South Carolina, USA
    Posts
    554

    Default

    I'd wait a while and try again with smoke to see how they react. Being a swarm, there's a good chance they're a little more "aggressively" defensive.

    -Nathanael
    Beaches' Bee-Haven Apiary http://beachesbeehaven.com
    Aiken Beekeepers Association http://aikenbeekeepers.org

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Sacramento,California,USA
    Posts
    3,839

    Default

    I always use smoke, it calms the bees. Also, this time of year your nectar flow may be diminishing, and with a strong hive they are more defensive. I dunno about your nectar flows there tho. also, it's the time of year where less daylight hours in a day, bees are slowing down laying and are more defensive working on stores for the winter. it's the defensive time of compacting stores in prep for winter coming up.
    “When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world.” – John Muir

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Greenville, TX, USA
    Posts
    4,411

    Default

    If somebody picked your house up and dropped it, you'd run out on the porch too.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Western Illinois
    Posts
    111

    Default

    "If somebody picked your house up and dropped it, you'd run out on the porch too." Ha!Ha!Ha! Oh so true. That made me smile.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Russellville, Alabama
    Posts
    112

    Default

    Do you need a prescrip for the epi-pens? I had the same reaction this spring from a sting on the tip of my finger.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Hillsboro, Wisconsin, USA
    Posts
    1,672

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Docking View Post
    Do you need a prescrip for the epi-pens? I had the same reaction this spring from a sting on the tip of my finger.
    Yep. Because of the rash and constriction in my throat (and to appease my wife - I'm way too stubborn - "I'll be alright"), I went into urgent care and the Dr. gave me an injection of a steroid, and Benedryl. Cleared up the rash (and it was a nasty rash/hives) within a half hour. Magic. The Dr. then called in and got me what the maximum the insurance would allow, which was two twin packs of the Epi - one to bring along, and one pack for the residence. I guess you can't be too safe (and less stubborn).


    MM

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    McGraw,NY,USA
    Posts
    580

    Default

    MapMan if you know anyone who has the peanut allergy they renew their prescriptions yearly and sometime discard the older epi-pens. My grandaughter hass the allergy. So my daughter saves the year old pens for me to carry in my truck. As long as the liquid is clear it is my understanding that the pens are still good. Sounds like might be a good idea to have a few extra just incase. I keep mine so that if some watching a cutout or swarm removal gets stung I have it available...Rick
    Turn stumbling blocks into stepping stones

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