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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Dublin, California
    Posts
    208

    Default Is getting stung pretty common

    I have been bee keeping for 4 years now and I went the first 2 years without ever getting stung. Lady year one of my 2 hives swarmed and I went inside to see how many bees where left and my gentle carnelian bees attacked and I got stung 3 times through my outfit and openings that bees never attacked before. Today I broke the record and got stung 5 times flip flopping bottom boxes today.... Once again the bees went on attack mode and followed me over 100 ft after I left... Is this common? My father-in-law doesn't even wear gloves when he goes into his hive and he has been stung but never on the hands....

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Knox Co, Ohio, USA
    Posts
    1,060

    Default Re: Is getting stung pretty common

    This is common with defensive bees. I would guess the hive requeened itself sometime last year and is now much more defensive. I doubt it will become more gentle without being re-queened.

    Defensive bees take the fun out of beekeeping pretty quickly. Especially when they won't give it up after you walk away!

    Tom

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Great Falls Montana
    Posts
    6,067

    Default Re: Is getting stung pretty common

    Your bees being on the edgy side is not uncommon. I think you need to plan on getting stung every so often. I still get stung but it has ceased to matter or be remarkable.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    50,844

    Default Re: Is getting stung pretty common

    Back when I only had a few hives and I could pick and choose when to get into them (like not on a windy or cloudy or rainy day), some years I didn't get a single sting. When I increased to 200 hives and started rearing queens and had work that was required every day, rain or shine, I get stung a few times a week...
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 41y 200h 38yTF

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Buderim, Queensland, Australia
    Posts
    239

    Default Re: Is getting stung pretty common

    You just need to "man-up" a bit. Those poor little worker bees are only 5/8" in length, no where near the size of a grizzly bear so that can't hurt that much!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
    Posts
    7,239

    Default Re: Is getting stung pretty common

    Getting stung is normal just have top grin & bear it.

    Also there are so many factors that influence the bees mood such as flow / no flow, etc, that it is not possible to say if your bees have got particularly aggressive. Although following 100 feet is a bad sign.

    Sold a hive to a girl who first worked with me a few times to learn about bees. She didn't get stung & decided to buy the hive. Went well for maybe 6 months, then she got 2 stings one in the arm one in the face. Decided she didn't like beekeeping any more and returned the hive.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Stockton, CA
    Posts
    73

    Default Re: Is getting stung pretty common

    I have only four hives at the moment. Three are as gentle as can be. One is very defensive and goes after me everytime I crack the lid. It doesn't matter to them if the weather is fine, flowers are blooming, wind is blowing or anything. They are just flat out ORNERY! I can't wait until my loveable bees are ready to make me queens so I can help that hive pull off a coup d'état.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Old Town, Maine, USA
    Posts
    99

    Default Re: Is getting stung pretty common

    I always plan on getting stung, and am happy when I don't.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Gainesboro, Tennessee, USA.
    Posts
    394

    Default Re: Is getting stung pretty common

    Depends on the type of beekeeper andthebees genetics. Statistics are the more beesthe more stings.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Laurel Hill, Florida, USA
    Posts
    310

    Default Re: Is getting stung pretty common

    Ive been in the wrong hives on the wrong day and am confident had i not been wearing a suit, i wouldve been leaving the bee yard on a stretcher.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Lee County, Illinois
    Posts
    131

    Default Re: Is getting stung pretty common

    We work a lot of bees everyday. It all comes down to who is working next to me and who kicked the next hive I have to work hah. Average 10-20 a day and semi loading maybe 30-50, unloading a semi that sits in the sun for about 20minites, 75+.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    SNOW SHOE PA USA
    Posts
    1,313

    Default Re: Is getting stung pretty common

    I was stung only around 40 times last year down 50 from the year before.
    Say hello to the bad guy!
    year five==== 31 hives==== T{OAV}

  13. #13
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Rockford, MI
    Posts
    3,977

    Default Re: Is getting stung pretty common

    They have good days and bad days just like us.
    Each season I remove several swarms without incident. Typically swarms are quite docile. This one however, wasn't. It could have been the rain coming over the horizon or something, but I took 11 stings to the back of my hand within a second or two.
    Time of year, time of day, weather... it does make a difference.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    DFW area, TX, USA
    Posts
    1,377

    Default Re: Is getting stung pretty common

    When I have a hive that comes out to meet me when I arrive, I sell that queen down the river. You need to know that bee aggressiveness is widely variable. A single hive is capable of a wide range of aggressiveness, depending on variables mentioned above. Requeen a hive with a temper you do not like or is not suitable for its location.

    That said, beekeepers get stung, regularly. Tolerance to stings varies widely within humans.
    ...We don't see things as they are, we see things as WE are...

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
    Posts
    33,410

    Default Re: Is getting stung pretty common

    If you know how many times you have been stung you don't have very many hives or you are paying too much attention to something which doesn't need being paid attention to. Scratch off the stinger and go back to work.

    When I worked at milking cows I would get slapped in the head w/ a wet cow tail every now and then or stepped on by a big footed Holstien but I never counted how many times it happened. How much milk she gave yes, but not how many times she swatted me w/ that sh y tail.
    "Beekeeping. It's a journey, not a destination." Mark Berninghausen

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    oneonta al.
    Posts
    848

    Default Re: Is getting stung pretty common

    Play with fire you going to get burn, Mess with bees you going to get stung,,,,,,,,

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Manning, SC
    Posts
    4,107

    Default Re: Is getting stung pretty common

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr.Beeman View Post
    Each season I remove several swarms without incident. Typically swarms are quite docile.
    If it's a dry swarm.......... look out!
    http://OxaVap.com Your source for the Varrox Mite Killing
    OA Vaporizer "One of the highest ranked" by R. Oliver

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Davie, Florida, USA
    Posts
    826

    Default Re: Is getting stung pretty common

    Sometimes they're hot, sometimes they're not! The bees will usually let you know in short order if they are going to be nice or not. Listen to them. And just because one hive is being testy doesn't mean the rest will be. Are you using a smoker? I learned the hard way that the "this will only take a second" visits to the hive can be a total mugging if I don't have the smoker ready for battle! They are bees...Not pets. A verrry long time beekeeping mentor of mine said to me... " Never trust your bees! They are not your friends!" I got a little cocky, then I got lit up, and that lesson rang in my ears for the days it took for all the swelling to go down. Take precautions...No need to try to play "hero". My two cents!

    As an additional thought, is your FIL in CA also? Some regions have hotter bees than others, especially when in AHB territory.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Campbell River, BC, CA
    Posts
    1,020

    Default Re: Is getting stung pretty common

    It's January. The bees will be defensive, particularily if you are messing with the brood nest and/or stores at this time of year. Stinging is a defensive reaction of the bees. Reversing boxes at this time of year, I'd expect them to get rather upset, and sting a few times.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Louisville, KY
    Posts
    2,400

    Default Re: Is getting stung pretty common

    Quote Originally Posted by TWall View Post
    I doubt it will become more gentle without being re-queened.
    I beg to differ. Genetics are just one factor influencing mood. You guys are in a big drought...do you think that has something to do with their mood...are they hungry and mean

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