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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Location
    Pine, MN
    Posts
    35

    Default Hive turned suddenly aggressive

    I have one hive that was started from a package this last may and they did very good all summer and built up stores and the queen was a laying machine. Over the course of the last couple of weeks they have gotten to the point where I can't open up the hive anymore. I checked them about 3 weeks ago and due to the birth of a new child wasn't able to get in. Went in this past Saturday which wasn't the best of days but my other two hives were OK with me being in there so I figured they would be also bit they were not and I could barely make it through the first hive body before I had to call it quits. Was in long enough to see a couple of queen cells and tons of capped brood and no eggs. Fast forward to today and got through the first 2 hive bodies and things were going so so, they were buzzing around me but weren't trying to sting and then started on the third box and they just lit me up and I got stung a few times before I could run away. Waited 10 or 15 minutes and went back and smoked the tar out of them to try to finish my inspection but as soon as I got a hold of a frame I could hear a roar from the hive and left. I went back to the house and put on my heaviest shirt and put on my welding gloves and taped the seams and went back in and looked at a couple more frames and put everything back together. They were still boiling mad and had I not had heavy gear on I'd probably have gotten stung a hundred times or so. I was able to see a virgin queen and one of the queen cells I saw was gone. I did also see a different one deeper in the hive. I know we are in a bit of a dearth and I know that that can plat a role in their temperment but this seems quite unusual for them to turn so aggressive in such a short time. Critters are not an issue as I have them inside an electric fence. I am in rural area so other than me they don't get bothered. This is also my largest and most populated hive so robbing isn't an issue. Not sure what to do here. I have kids around so I can't have an aggressive hive around if this is how they are going to be from now on.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Cumberland Va.
    Posts
    1,246

    Default Re: Hive turned suddenly aggressive

    Queenless + Dearth + Possible robbing...... I read an interesting take yesterday, it stated that after a robbing attempt all bees recruited for gaurd duty will remain that way until they graduate to foragers. Maybe your hive got robbed by one of your others and you missed it. I experienced the same thing this year and after 3 weeks they were back to normal. My hive that was getting robbed was one of the most populated in the yard. I witnessed it and was able to intercede. So, a big hive can be robbed. I think there is something to it. Smash one and its on, smash one with a multitude of gaurds and it is really on. Once shes mated and laying hopefully they settle back down. Good Luck. G

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Barrie, Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    644

    Default Re: Hive turned suddenly aggressive

    Put on an entrance reducer and leave them alone for two weeks. By then there should be eggs and brood. You don't want be in there a lot and risk them killing the virgin queen. You probably should plan on feeding as well. If she mates successfully, reevaluate their temperament next spring and rq then if necessary. It's getting late in the season for them to be starting a queen from scratch.
    Adam - Zone 5A
    www.adamshoney.com

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Sacramento,California,USA
    Posts
    3,839

    Default Re: Hive turned suddenly aggressive

    It may be that the bees will calm down once the queen is mated and laying well. Give them a couple weeks and see how they are then. I've noticed that some hives get meaner just before the virgin emerges and stay that way until after the queen is mated and laying well. It could also be that you have a skunk or other critter that is messing with the hive at night, that really gets them riled up too. Late summer dearth gets them meaner so that may be contributing also. Hopefully they calm down for you if you get a fall flow and the queen gets mated.
    “When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world.” – John Muir

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