Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 42

Thread: Mean Bees

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Murfreesboro, TN, USA
    Posts
    53

    Default Mean Bees

    My bees are furious. They attack every time I try to check my hive. Not just a few, but clouds of them swarming at me, following me a long way from the hive, and continuing to buzz and sting at me. Starting the past few days, they even come after me when I change the empty feeder jar for a new one or just venture to within 5 feet or so of the hive to water the flowerbed it is in. Yesterday I got stung twice right through my bee suit. My mentor (my brother) came out today to try to help me and got stung by bees that just couldn't leave us alone even after we were finished with them and had been standing 25-30 feet away from the hive for more than 15 minutes.

    We decided that my queen must have mated with a gangster bee and been producing wiseguy girls. So we extinguished her and I will replace her this afternoon with a queen he has raised for an extra.

    So here's my question: Will I just have to wait for all of my old queen's daughters to hatch out and die off before my hive calms down? Or, might it be just the presence of the old bee and her pheromone that has kept them so riled up? Any tips for calming down the back yard environment will be appreciated.

    Background information: At first, I thought that they might just feel vulnerable because the hive did not do well after it swarmed the 2nd time in mid June. But we put in a new mated queen on July 5th and now there are plenty of bees. We have had a hot, dry summer, and two weeks ago they didn't have any honey stored so I started feeding 1:1 sugarater. They are drinking about a quart a day. They seem to be bringing in plenty of pollen. I don't see any signs of hive beetles.

    Once again, please offer any tips for appeasing the girls.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    fairfield,ohio
    Posts
    672

    Default Re: Mean Bees

    You should bee feeding 2to1 instead of 1to1 2 sugar to 1 water

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Murfreesboro, TN, USA
    Posts
    53

    Default Re: Mean Bees

    Okay. Will that help with their temperament?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Greenville County, South Carolina
    Posts
    87

    Default Re: Mean Bees

    Is there any nectar/pollen stored? They will get grouchy with no food. Keep feeding.
    Are your queens coming from your Apiary? You may want to order one this time and get some new genetics in the pool.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Kingsville, OH
    Posts
    959

    Default Re: Mean Bees

    My hive was hot hot hot then I found out it was queenless. Now it is just a hot hive.
    Even one of my nucs is hot.
    As I understand it hot hives are usally more productive. But I will be looking to requeen next season early.
    So here's my question: Will I just have to wait for all of my old queen's daughters to hatch out and die off before my hive calms down? Or, might it be just the presence of the old bee and her pheromone that has kept them so riled up? Any tips for calming down the back yard environment will be appreciated.

    The hot daughters will have to expire in order for the new queens temperament comes to light.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Murfreesboro, TN, USA
    Posts
    53

    Default Re: Mean Bees

    They have some stored pollen, but I set out a pollen patty last weekend. They are pretty much ignoring it. My first queen came with my bee package, but I lost her in the first swarm. A new queen hatched and then left with the second swarm. A queen hatched after that, but didn't lay, so I replaced her with one my brother had. She's done really well with increasing the size of the hive, but she's the one we killed this morning. He lives about 20 miles from me and has about 8 hives, all of which are calm and cooperative. I'm hoping that the new queen I will be getting from him will be calm as well.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Murfreesboro, TN, USA
    Posts
    53

    Default Re: Mean Bees

    Ben Franklin, I was afraid that would be the answer. Now I'm wishing my cute little TBH was not in the center of my yard in my favorite flowerbed.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Northeast Missouri
    Posts
    93

    Default Re: Mean Bees

    Sounds like they could be cranky due to dearth. Not enough food source to keep them reproducing and busy and they are on the defensive.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Kingsville, OH
    Posts
    959

    Default Re: Mean Bees

    I agree that dearth could be the cause, it wasn't in my case as we have a flow going.
    It could also be that they are just mean.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    fairfield,ohio
    Posts
    672

    Default Re: Mean Bees

    Get STARTED WITH 2TO1 FEEDING. aT SOME POINT YOU NEED TO GO IN AND CONFIRM YOU HAVE A QUEEN.Agressive behavior could stem from different things. Queenless hive,A robbing situation that happened,Predators such as skunks, And a lack of stores.Or just an outright bad gene pool.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Chippew County, WI, USA
    Posts
    650

    Default Re: Mean Bees

    "they even come after me when I change the empty feeder jar for a new one"

    There likely lies the problem. You are feeding with a jar feeder and are in a dearth. Your colony is getting robbed and they are very angrily defending there stores. Get rid of that jar feeder which is likely on of the dumbest inventions ever made in beekeeping history.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Millbury, MA, USA
    Posts
    1,808

    Default Re: Mean Bees

    Very confusing advice IMO.
    1. She had a queen, killed it
    2. She says she has a flow, so why feed? and why 2:1 this early. That's a late fall feed.
    3. I use feed jars all the time... never been an issue and no robbing with them.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Chippew County, WI, USA
    Posts
    650

    Default Re: Mean Bees

    "I use feed jars all the time... never been an issue and no robbing with them."

    You must have one colony, entrance jar feeders are known most for robbing issues.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Murfreesboro, TN, USA
    Posts
    53

    Default Re: Mean Bees

    Ken Rice, I just finished cooking up some 2:1. I'll put it on the hive tonight after it cools. I did have a productive queen, but we took her out and killed her today. We do have skunks around, but I haven't noticed their scent in our backyard near the hive. Our dog does a fair job of keeping predators away. I did see a garden snake near the hive once this summer, but I figured it was probably hunting mice, so I thought that was a good thing. We have lots of frogs and birds in the flower bed around the hive, but would they stir up the bees? I don't think they're being robbed, but how do you tell? They have some stored nectar, but they didn't have much at all until I started feeding them 10 days or so ago. Our dog does a fair job of keeping animals like raccoons away. We have a lot of squirrels. Would they be a problem?

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Murfreesboro, TN, USA
    Posts
    53

    Default Re: Mean Bees

    I have seen several bumblebees near the hive. Would they be robbing it?

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Dexter, Maine
    Posts
    1,037

    Default Re: Mean Bees

    Mean bees make more honey, I like that one, did you come up with it on your own? If not please point me to the study.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Murfreesboro, TN, USA
    Posts
    53

    Default Re: Mean Bees

    Don't know if it makes a difference concerning feeder jars, but the hive is a TBH and the feeder jar is on the end farthest from the entrance holes. I did see a bee going in under the jar holder today. Until then I thought it was too tight for them to enter that way. I guess it's possible they could be getting robbed that way as well. Hmmmmm. I'll try to dob up that hole tomorrow.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Dexter, Maine
    Posts
    1,037

    Default Re: Mean Bees

    Entrance feeders, are a bad idea. Maybe you should see about a top feeder?

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Murfreesboro, TN, USA
    Posts
    53

    Default Re: Mean Bees

    I'll check into that. I'm not sure that a top feeder will work with a TBH, but I could put the feed jar inside the hive.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,797

    Default Re: Mean Bees

    In theory, if meanness was only genetic, you would have to wait for the existing bees to all die off. In reality I've seen them calm down almost instantly, which brings the genetic theory into doubt, or at least makes it likely that there are multiple things involved that cause a hive to be "hot". It's possible that it will take a few weeks. It's possible they will calm down soon. I would have split them as that calms them down a lot instantly.
    Last edited by Michael Bush; 08-21-2011 at 08:08 PM. Reason: typo
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Ads