What defines mean bees?
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  1. #1
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    Default What defines mean bees?

    When I opened my hives today quite a few where up in my face and less then happy to see me. That makes a mean hive?
    Last edited by TheBuzz; 04-05-2013 at 03:19 PM.

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  3. #2
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    Default Re: What defines mean bees?

    I would give them a little time. They can be quite testy in the early spring.

    I normally give them a couple chances. What I consider too much is when they start clinging to me trying to sting though my pants and shirt. If they do that more than a couple times they will get requeened.

  4. #3
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    Default Re: What defines mean bees?

    A few is not mean. There are many threads on here about aggressive bees.
    This is quite normal for them to fly at your face in their reaction. Maybe they smell your breath too.
    If you blow at them that will make them more aggressive. If I have my veil on I will tease them a little.
    Very often one or 2 will buzz at me on a hive check. Many times I just turn my face side way trying to avoid a sting.
    So far I am safe. I have seen this everyday so thinking it must be a normal thing for the guard bees
    to do. Mean bees to me is when they follow you 300 yards trying to sting you inside your truck. Got the embarassing
    vid to prove as well.

  5. #4
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    Default Re: What defines mean bees?

    Doesn't sound like it to me. How long did you have the hive open? What was the weather like? My "actively defensive" bees try to sting me through my shirt and bump my veil continuously. They hound me all the way back to my truck (100 yds away) so sometimes I have to keep walking until they either give up or I decide to take more permanent measures with the one or two bees that just won't call a truce. Any colony can act this way once in a while, but any colony that exhibits this behavior routinely either gets banished to the boonies where no people or pets can be bothered, or requeened.
    life is finite while knowledge is infinite. - Zhuang Zi

  6. #5
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    Default Re: What defines mean bees?

    If I crack the lid with smoke and there are 10 more bees bouncing off my veil, I look at replacing them. I don't mind if them are buzzing around, but if they are trying to kill me then it's not worth the effort.

    With that said, I've had hives that with smoke that I couldn't see through my veil for all the bees that are covering my head. They are interesting to try and requeen.

    You end up with a divide and conquer approach.

  7. #6
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    Default Re: What defines mean bees?

    I was walking about 2 yards from my father's 2 hives and one flew over and stung me on the cheek. I did not feel like turning my other cheek and walked away.
    Now that is a mean hive!!! They never sting my dad, even when he opens the top cover.

  8. #7
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    Default Re: What defines mean bees?

    That could be a cologne/shampoo scenario.

    It's impressive to see how much bees hate banana's and love lemon grass.

  9. #8
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    Default Re: What defines mean bees?

    I didn't use smoke and I wanted to take off my hive top feeders and replace them with inner covers. One hive has already filled up half their upper deep. I did beath into them too in an effort to try and get some on top from being swished.

  10. #9
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    Default Re: What defines mean bees?

    Quote Originally Posted by KevinR View Post
    It's impressive to see how much bees hate banana's
    How do you know this? I actually took a banana, peeled it, and placed it in a hive and the bees ignored it. I don't know where this banana thing got started.
    Regards, Barry

  11. #10
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    Default Re: What defines mean bees?

    I have read a book and with BOLD letters it states - NEVER WORK WITH YOUR HIVE WITHOUT SMOKE-

    Every beekeeper has his/ her own way, but I would not open my hives for more than 30 seconds without smoke.

    I wish my bees were as productive as China and as chill as Bob Marley.. but no such luck..

  12. #11
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    Default Re: What defines mean bees?

    I think we as beekeepers need to learn how to work with diffrent types attitudes that diffrent hives can give you plus learn how the bee's want us .
    I know i made many mistake last year handleing my bees and they sure let me know{70+ stings}. I think the longer your a beekeeper the nicer the bees are towards you i'm only going in to my 4th year and am becoming a better bee handler thats for but i still have a lot the bees are going to teach me.
    Say hello to the bad guy!
    year five==== 31 hives==== T{OAV}

  13. #12
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    Default Re: What defines mean bees?

    Quote Originally Posted by TheBuzz View Post
    When I opened my hives today quite a few where up in my face and less then happy to see me. That makes a mean hive?
    No, agressively defensive maybe. I would be too if someone ripped the roof off my house when it's so cold.
    Mark Berninghausen

  14. #13
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    Default Re: What defines mean bees?

    Quote Originally Posted by Barry View Post
    How do you know this? I actually took a banana, peeled it, and placed it in a hive and the bees ignored it. I don't know where this banana thing got started.
    Barry, the banana or the peel? What a waste of banana. Supposedly the peel has some effect on chalkbrood(?).
    Mark Berninghausen

  15. #14
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    Default Re: What defines mean bees?

    Quote Originally Posted by TheBuzz View Post
    I didn't use smoke and I wanted to take off my hive top feeders and replace them with inner covers. One hive has already filled up half their upper deep. I did beath into them too in an effort to try and get some on top from being swished.
    Been keeping bees very long Buzz? You got what I would expect. It isn't the bees. It's how you worked them.
    Mark Berninghausen

  16. #15
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    Default Re: What defines mean bees?

    Quote Originally Posted by beehiveusa View Post
    - NEVER WORK WITH YOUR HIVE WITHOUT SMOKE-
    I almost always work mine without smoke... Unless I'm doing something exciting, it's rarely worth firing up the smoker. With that said, I know which hives are going to be a problem and which ones aren't.

    Also, I don't graft from the problem hives and it will eventually work itself out.

  17. #16
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    Default Re: What defines mean bees?

    Mark, both. I agree, never waste a good banana! But I did.
    Regards, Barry

  18. #17
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    Default Re: What defines mean bees?

    Quote Originally Posted by KevinR View Post
    I almost always work mine without smoke... Unless I'm doing something exciting, it's rarely worth firing up the smoker. With that said, I know which hives are going to be a problem and which ones aren't.

    Also, I don't graft from the problem hives and it will eventually work itself out.
    You are a brave man!!! I got stung about 6 times... that was enough for me. After swollen face for 3 days The most amazing thing is how one hive can be so different from the other in their attitude.

    p.s. I am a very new beekeeper, so take my word for what its worth......

  19. #18
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    Default Re: What defines mean bees?

    Quote Originally Posted by TheBuzz View Post
    When I opened my hives today quite a few where up in my face and less then happy to see me. That makes a mean hive?
    I consider a hive "mean" only when I personally no longer like working them. That's when I requeen. Since this is a hobby for me and hobbies are supposed to be fun, I refuse to deal with hives that are not pleasant and gentle. The gentle ones make just as much honey as the mean ones!

    JMO

    Rusty
    Rusty Hills Farm -- home of AQHA A Rusty Zipper and Rusty's Bees.

  20. #19
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    Default Re: What defines mean bees?

    Quote Originally Posted by Barry View Post
    How do you know this? I actually took a banana, peeled it, and placed it in a hive and the bees ignored it. I don't know where this banana thing got started.
    ...but you cured the chalkbrood, right?

    deknow
    Sometimes the lights all shining on me
    Other times I can barely see. -The Grateful Dead

  21. #20
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    Default Re: What defines mean bees?

    Quote Originally Posted by sqkcrk View Post
    Barry, the banana or the peel? What a waste of banana.
    https://www.beesource.com/forums/show...797#post804797
    Regards, Barry

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