I live in Denver, it's been around 100 degrees this week and pretty warm leading up to. My bees are SUPER aggressive lately. I have a mix of Italian and Carolinian bees, but they have been raised here in CO for years, by a guy who's been doing it for a long time. Awesome bees. Anyway, I installed my pac in early May, my brood box was full the brim, all drawn out and dripping with bees a few weeks ago, I added the second deep box. I'm still feeding my bees because they are still taking it. Here are a few things I do.
A) I work my bees without smoke, it's not been an issue
B) I wear a veil and a hoodie with gloves but normally wear shorts because it's so hot and the last time I had on pants they crawled up despite the band and stung my knee, which took me longer to get the stinger out anyway
C) I just vented my top a few days ago because I noticed my bees are bearding
D) I've done 2 full inspections
E) I've only been stung 8 times total, only 1x each go round at the bees, never more than 1 at a time
F) Each sting has been getting progressively worse in the reaction, 2 stings ago, I had a welt the size of my hand and it was HOT! NOTHING helped! Thankfully the last 2 stings haven't been as bad, I did get stung last night, so we'll see if it gets as bad, no breathing issues etc... though.
Here is what I've noticed, recently when the bees are out of food (they are doing a 1:1 ratio syrup) they fill the feeder box (front feeder) and become VERY aggressive when I try to remove the jar to fill it, they have been buzzing my head, stinging unprovoked any exposed skin. I try not to feed heat of the day, but it was so hot last night when I got back from a 2 day trip to the lake, they were super mad and got me on the arm. Normally I can just walk up to the hive and pull the feeder without too much hassle and I usually am not wearing anything special to feed them. Last night I put on my veil because last week I got stung in the face (lesson learned!) because the box was FULL and they were not happy at the jar being empty. It was the middle of the day and it was hot, but I felt I had to because the jar was empty. This is a strong hive already, the second deep is already all drawn out and they are multiplying at a rapid rate! I am thinking I am going to need to inspect the hive this week, do some clean up and maybe even add a super. At this point I'm going with med supers I can't lift a full deep, and am having surgery in a couple weeks. I'm the only one that works the hive, my husband is allergic and he keeps away, we do have an epi pen.
Now, mind you I have a large garden, it's my whole back yard. I also have huge berry bushes. I often sit by the hive on a bench I've installed and quietly watch the bees. Just a loose count, 8 out of 10 come back with full pollen sacks on their legs. I can't imagine they are starving, since well, I feed them daily (normally....I felt they'd be OK for a day when I was out of town this weekend).
Sorry for the length, but I'm curious if this behavior is normal, and why it seems that the bees have decided they "hate" me, they even have been following me when I change the food. I'm worried about the fact I changed my hair shampoo, I don't use commercial deodorant , I use baby powder. (no I don't smell, I just don't need it, lucky me hu?)
I just don't have anyone to ask, I am getting a smoker, even though I didn't want to, today when I feed them, I will use a spray bottle of sugar water to keep them at bay until my smoker gets here and I can do my next inspection, which I plan on doing at either early AM or dusk, I prefer dusk, I'm not a morning person.
One more thing, I've also noticed that we have a lot of bees IN the house recently, I put this down to the fact that well, we have a lot more bees now.
Thanks for any and all advice.