A usually gentle hive had some very aggressive/defensive bees today. Bees flew out to sting me even when 10 feet away. Surprising: the stings hurt way more than usual and actually drew blood! The stingers left distinct red spots surrounded by white welts, which is unusual for me. I've been stung plenty of times but this is the most intense. I was just pulling grass around the entrance , not going into the hive at all.
Another thing which may lend to their agressiveness: there's a gap between two of the boxes, not large enough for bees to go in, but large enough to cause bees to gather there and try to get in. Maybe some propolis on the edge led to the boxes not fitting closely. The bees may be feeling extra defensive because of this vulnerability. I'm going to try and close up the gap, and if I can get in, look for signs of robbing.
Still, I wonder about those stings. It's like the stingers were bigger than usual to actually draw blood. (just a pinprick of blood but nonetheless...) Any thoughts??
I've been lucky so far to have only mild tempered bees.