Boxes that are harrased by bears or people will get aggresive, they will also be a lot more grumpy worked during the rain....
I had some vandelized last year and they were moody for a month afterwards.
This is my second year so I only have a tiny bit of experience but my bees last year were very easygoing versus the ones I have this year. They were different breeds to what I have this year though.
Last year I had a Cordovan Italian queen that was lazy (poor pattern) and got requeened with a Carniolan and then a Buckfast in the other hive (nuc). With any of them I could walk right up to the hive and add syrup to the other side of the follower without issue. The Carniolans were especially gentle and if I hadn't waited so long to requeen and fed sooner I think they would have made it through winter. This year I restarted with a Minnesota Hygienic package and they have been more defensive but also much more successful (took a nuc, still swarmed, made another nuc to stave off an afterswarm). When I brought these bees home I couldn't get within 15 feet of the hive and there was definitely that "one bee". She ended the standoff with a kamakazie maneuver to the crown of my head. Now I can get about six feet from the front of the hive and right up to the rear of the hive, but jacket and veil are required to open it even just to change out the syrup. They are definitely more defensive after an inspection too. I went in yesterday, using smoke because they have begun to sting my gloves (I have washed them which seemed to help but I still took at least two). Later in the day I was gardening on the other side of the house and a bee started warding me off. I think she recognized the smoke smell.
I am going to try Buckfast one more time (different queen source), then if I have to buy a new queen (versus letting them make their own) I will go back to the supplier of that Carniolan. She was a keeper.
Do you know what kind of queen you had before versus now? If you don't like how aggressive or defensive they are (by whatever definition or measure), you could try another queen from a calmer type of bee. I've read on here that Cordovan Italians are calmest, then Italians and Carniolans. My experience so far goes along with that, although my Carniolan's progeny was equally calm or calmer and she had a great retinue.
Last edited by Colleen O.; 06-24-2013 at 09:04 PM.
I have one hive that is what I would call aggressive. Bees pouring out as soon as they see me. LOTS of bees bumping my veil and as soon as I put a glove near the entrance or even a small crack, they pour out and within moments my glove becomes a pin cushion. That is by far the most aggressive hive I have personally owned. Not to mention the guards follow me for quite a distance. I did a test one day and walked in front of each hive starting out at the farthest hive from this hive, walking in front of each hive. A couple would bump the veil as I walked, until I got closer to the problem hive, I could watch the guards pour out after me!! I then walked away from the hives and had them follow me atleast 60 yards from the site. Not to mention I have checked them in wind, calm, sunny and hot and cool............and with a major flow on.............no difference in attitude.
I popped the top last Saturday for some excitement and instantly received multiple stings to the pant legs! Im picking up some queens this Friday and will break this hive down and requeen the splits and I cant wait to kill the old queen!
I probably wouldn't mind the hive if they were mean and productive........but they are just plain mean and very unproductive........and yes.........they are queenrite! I wont own a mean hive though, I prefer hives that mind their own business and are a pleasure to work!
PS- This was a swarm I picked up this spring.
Coyote Creek Bees
Gay politely talk to his neighbor: "You had such great party last night. I saw, people were running all across your property!" Well, my stupid dad knock over the beehive...
Aggressive bees are the ones that show their sharp little teeth that are usually still dripping with the blood from the last passerby. They call out vile insults at you, and if you even hint that you heard them, they will laugh and leap into attack mode. They first head butt you from one direction while others turn their little back-sides to inverted position and drive their poison sabres into every exposed area of your being. Yet others direct traffic on the hive runway that resembles tiny black and yellow jets launching from an aircraft carrier. After they get enough bad bees airborne, they sweep down and grab hold of you and lift you off the ground. The little buggers know ever sticker bush in the country, so after they drag you through the thorns, and slam you into a few solid immovable objects, they take you high into the air and drop you. After you are done being filled with stingers and stickers, and being slammed to the ground, they sink their jagged little teeth into you; much like a school of piranha, before they retreat back to their hive and wait for the next unsuspecting beek to approach. At least that has been my experience. Did I leave anything out? Anyone?
Recently 'poorly' inspected my stronger, more aggressive hive. there 'seems' to be brood drawn on at least 8 of the 10 frames in the bottom brood box. would you recommend reinspecting more closely or leaving them alone for a while? And how long is a while?
Reinspecting for what? I hope you have supers on for the flow.
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5 hives and 8 nucs................... Trying to think inside the box...
I was told by my mentor that it is early for the flow and to continue to feed? What are your thoughts?