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Thread: Ticked off bees

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
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    Jamesport Long Island NY
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    Default Ticked off bees

    Well I really ticked off my biggest hive. Yesterday I pulled a few frames for a nuke and put an escape board on. They got pretty POed. I used plenty of smoke, but they really went off, bees boiling up between the frames, bouncing off the veil ect. Got the job done with just a few stings making it through my jeans and closed thing up. Checked a few other hives and got the same thing. Every time I even touched a frame, bees boiling up between frames like mad. I figure the first hive marked me with alarm sent. But the problem is this, I still can't even go in my garden 20' to the side of the big hive with out getting buzzed and even stung this morning. We don't have skunks or any thing like that here and they were not so defensive before I worked them. They seem to have me "marked". I have to get the supers off today, which should be fun. Other then just let them be, is there any way to calm them down?

    Bill S

  2. #2
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    Mar 2012
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    Strasburg, Pa, USA
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    Default Re: Ticked off bees

    I am not sure but I also ticked my 1 hive off yesterday. It has been raining at least sometime everyday for the last week so I haven't bee able to mow. I know my bees don't like me mowing around their hives so I had my suit on, thank god. Lets just say I got tooo close to the one cider block and clipped it with my rear wheel. Yep 2 deeps and a med honey super right over. Luckly my wife was also suited up and we were able to get them back up pretty quick. I haven't gone out yet today to see if there still pissed. Good luck.

  3. #3
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    May 2009
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    Bloomington In
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    790

    Default Re: Ticked off bees

    I got the same effect last week when pulling frames for nucs, but they calmed down when I put the hive back together.

  4. #4
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    May 2012
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    Rockford, MI
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    Default Re: Ticked off bees

    Smoke yourself to mask the alarm pheromone you have been tagged with before starting, then apply just a few puffs to the hive. Wait 5 minutes then open the hive.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
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    Jamesport Long Island NY
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    Default Re: Ticked off bees

    I did all that. I do that, work from the side, try to pick nice weather, try to work when there is nectar coming in ect, ect. These girls are POed! I took off the super this AM. Most of them were calm. But a few went right for the face before I even got to smoke them. I don't have to bother them for a couple of weeks now so hopefully they will calm down. This hive has always been a little feisty but the queen is the most mite resistant I have ever had so I have been making nukes from her. They are a VSH line from Velbert. Very productive. I hope I didn't make a mistake. Time will tell.

    Thanks
    Bill S

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Ticked off bees

    Robbing or a dearth will also set them off real easy. Any of that going on?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Evansville, IN
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    2,492

    Default Re: Ticked off bees

    If it's been raining on and off for days, likely you have a hive full of irritated foragers. Those bees are the grumpiest, and being stuck inside the hive by bad weather can make them really cranky.

    I found that out the other year, don't plan on opening the hive when they've been stuck inside for days unless you have to, they are going to be really defensive. I'm not looking forward to Sunday -- we need to do the spring extracting and have been zapped by rain every weekend for a month. It may be rather exciting to pull honey!

    Peter

  8. #8
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    Feb 2005
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    Jamesport Long Island NY
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    Default Re: Ticked off bees

    We have a lot of privet in bloom and they love that so we are not in a dearth. I worked them at 8:00 in the morning hoping to beat the heat, and most of them were still home. That probably didn't help.

    Bill S

  9. #9
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    Jun 2012
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    Suffolk, NY, USA
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    Default Re: Ticked off bees

    I'm up the island from you and as Mr. Beeman offered, robbing will set them off. I have some robbing going on in my yard even though the privet is in full bloom here too.
    Just this week I opened up a hive that contains a swarm I hived a month ago and they came right at me. They had not reacted this way before. I thought right away that I'll need to requeen this bunch until I noticed the two nucs I made nearly 3 weeks ago were fighting off some robbers. I reduced the entry holes down to a bee and 1/2 wide and they are holding their own.
    I also reduced the entrances of my production hives as there seems to be some robbers around them too.
    It seems a little early, but I guess not.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Gladys, VA
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    91

    Default Re: Ticked off bees

    Since you said "bees boiling up between the frames", I would agree that you had a house full of irritated bees that had not much else to do. I keep my suit pretty smoked so it smells like it all the time. Bees pay me no mind at all.
    ----
    Joe

  11. #11
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    Feb 2011
    Location
    Oshawa, Ontario
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    200

    Default Re: Ticked off bees

    I'd wash my suit and gloves.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
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    Jamesport Long Island NY
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    Default Re: Ticked off bees

    Gord,

    I did just that, and today when I put the wet supers back on no one even gave me a glance. I guess time and soap cures all.

    Bill S

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
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    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
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    Default Re: Ticked off bees

    Quote Originally Posted by BillS View Post
    We have a lot of privet in bloom and they love that so we are not in a dearth. I worked them at 8:00 in the morning hoping to beat the heat, and most of them were still home. That probably didn't help.

    Bill S
    That's for sure. I have worked bees lately w/out gloves. Smoke inside the entrance and then smoke under the lid before actually manipulating combs. Keeping the smoker at hand should it be needed.

    I'd have to be right by your side to really know what to tell you to do differently. Nothing u don't already know.
    Mark Berninghausen #youmatter

  14. #14
    Join Date
    May 2009
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    Flora,IL
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    Default Re: Ticked off bees

    You think your bees sleep in like you??? That made me chuckle....
    From what you post and describe, you have a hot hive.... I would requeen myself... if its raining, skunks, or recently vanilized I will excuse them, otherwise they are takeing the joy out of your beekeeping for no reason.

    Should be able to completly tear that hive down without any real issues......

  15. #15
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    Dec 2005
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    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
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    Default Re: Ticked off bees

    gm, since his other hives acted similarly I would think it had more to do w/ environmental conditions than that it was a Hot Hive. Don't u?
    Mark Berninghausen #youmatter

  16. #16
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    May 2009
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    Flora,IL
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    Default Re: Ticked off bees

    Ah I missed the other hives, I thought he ment other frames....

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Boston, Massachusetts, USA
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    36

    Default Re: Ticked off bees

    Last weekend I helped a friend add supers. He just put up an electric fence after a bear got into two of his hives a week or so earlier, when I got the lid off one that had been tipped they went full on berserk. They buzzed and bumped until I got stung in the knee. I finished adding the super and the front of my legs were almost covered with bees, I had to walk away about 75 yards brushing them off as I went. My friend says he can smell the pheramone they release after they sting. Has anyone else been able to smell this. What does it smell like?

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
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    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
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    Default Re: Ticked off bees

    Appears as though you needed to use more smoke. The smell is supposed to be like that of a banana.
    Mark Berninghausen #youmatter

  19. #19
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    May 2009
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    Flora,IL
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    Default Re: Ticked off bees

    It smells a bit like bannanna to me... got yourself some Fischers bee quick.... to me at least its a pleasant fix that will keep them fanning for quite a while...

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Jamesport Long Island NY
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    150

    Default Re: Ticked off bees

    Well, it's been a couple of days and they have calmed down. I washed my jacket and gloves, and if nothing else my wife is less cross :-)

    Cheers
    Bill S

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