Yesterday I was stung by a bumble bee 2x. We have a small spot at a friends with 2 hives plus we had brought a dbl nuc split down; its next to a Church, and the Minister came over and said she had a bumble bee in her office she couldn’t capture and if I could help. Her office is in the basement with high windows and I pulled up a chair and covered the BB with a light jacket I was wearing and picked it up that way. I must say it was unnerving feeling that bee starting to buzz and vibrate in my hand, and then get stung right through the fabric, twice. I don’t think it was a full sting, just enough to pop my eyes open. It was like getting a honey bee in my hair and can’t get it out and it’s run and frantically fluff my hair time...
I was hiving a swarm and did the same. The home owner was acting like I was some kinda expert. I told him you are not really supposed to be waving your arms around in panic cause it might not help the situation.It was like getting a honey bee in my hair and canít get it out and itís run and frantically fluff my hair time...
We could always say we are going for the phillis diller look.
I have a colony that's out for blood.
Any suggestions on how to fix this immediately?
Maybe thick leather gloves (I did not try that yet).
Maybe catch them into a box or some container.
The sting will go right thru most everything.
These cute and peaceful bees which I really love and have lots in my backyard - they have a horrendous sting.
Want to say the queen BB has the sting up to a centimeter long and very tough and thick and best left alone and not cornered.
I looked at the sting when foolishly held the BB by the wings as she was trying to sting me - well, she did.
Hurts like hell and the irritating pain can stay on for days (forget the honey bees - they are nothing).
Two incidents for me - memory for life.
Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.
I hear you on that, Greg, I can’t imagine a full sting.
Welp. Today I inspected a colony that had begun the swarm, but weather wouldn't let the queen out.
I destroyed all the queen cells, but the colony is going to fly the coop.
The nectar flow went from famine to feast quite rapidly.
I'm assuming that the queen will not resume laying once she's ready to fly the coop?
I could not help but chuckle at your and GWW's dialogue- not that I was laughing at your misfortune, but I could so identify with both stories and the realities of getting older and finding myself increasingly full of outdated information that my kids have no concept of...
Thanks for the laugh- and sorry about your run-in with the bumble bee.
Very Odd Happenings: This is the first time in 6 years I have noticed this but I am also much more aware. I had been watching at particularly large colony with very high RH values, 90%+, a the top portion of the hive; attributed to nectar coming in and drying process. Suddenly the numbers started falling, to 58% RH. I thought "need new batteries". Changed them - numbers are still low. Hive is chock full of bee, most I have ever seen, multiple boxes and putting on weight - finally. (I Fall fed and have not fed all winter or spring).
Then I noticed all my hives, nine, seem to have gone "dry" or low RH, 55-65% at the top or by touch / observation. There was a noticeable drop over the last several days. This is occurring in large and smaller colonies but all have been building up ( except one drone laying queen). It is still wet around here and spring budding has occurred.
It also "feels" like there is not enough nectar flow or the daily temperatures have not been warm enough, daytime ranging from low 40's to upper 50's. Five hives had nearly identical net weights for stored honey, 25 - 26 lb., one was low at 7 lb ( confirmed visually) and one at 37lb. (she forages in the rain and snow). This is below my late March lows I weighed when the wood is heavier with moisture.
The final part of this odd observation is swarming - I do not have any swarm cells, no swarms last year.. My friends to the East and the West have had numerous swarms. GO figure, as I want a few swarm cells.
Anyone notice this kind of trend before or see it repeat annually? An article or paper on this effect? It may be a simple short term anomaly tied to the weather.
Seen this exact thing on one of my large hives.
They went brood crazy , about 1 week pre dandelion, top was saturated and dripping. Lots of brood.
then they dried up and the hive top was cooler. I opened and only saw capped brood? It did seem odd, they took a brood break. we did have some crap weather.
1.5 weeks post Dandelion, I opened and found charged Swarm cells, lots of new brood, I pulled 2 5 frame NUCs with the oldest cells. then 5 days later 3 more 5 frame NUCs, with the old queen now have 6 splits from this hive.
Other Hives also did seem to brood break at the same time. not real Data, But IMO weather related. they made a crap load of new bees to get past the winter bees die off, then idled until the weather was cooperating, then took off. not sure it matters these were Russians, in a double deep long Lang hive.
Keep an eye on them they could make you some cells fairly quick.
I'll be watching.
Really enjoy your science posts Robert. My hives came out strong in early spring but went on pause the last two weeks because it was consistently cold with fewer flying days. I started feeding 1:1 just to get feed on and to resume momentum. They are responding well but one hive is not accessing the rapid feeder but when I mix a sugar slurry on wax paper they will take that. It’s like the weather put them on pause. Frost dates are very late this year.
I'm smart but at the end of the day I'm still the help.
My two cents is most management relating to our honey bees is based on the weather/seasons.
GG "Keep an eye on them they could make you some cells fairly quick." Been checking a few hives at a time - nothing but I do have lots of bees.
Guessing - searching question for anyone: DO you think early Spring feeding with 1:1 or 2:1 syrup and or feeding protein supplements like UltraBee promotes swarming in a healthy hive? I work with a couple of other beekeepers who are deep into handling swarms already. The major difference factor that I can recognize is early feeding. Both were light coming out of winter and had to Spring feed. I have not feed since Nov. 2, 2019. I watch their weights and know pollen started coming in on March 2 ( rather early this year). I have more bees in multiple hives than ever before.
I am having a similar experience but no Spring feeding ( see another, ealirer reply I have). We are just starting to hit a warming trend with some 60 and just had a 70F day, rain again today. I have a lot of bees in multiple hives, early. This is new for me as last year there was only one hive. I get the feeling they adjust brood rearing based on internal stores and external flow. External flow has been limited, it seems, although two hives are gaining weight, five are nearly identical in stored honey or net weights.
I still have my slip-on box insulation. One limited observation is that wher eI have two supers on the bees are storing and drying nectar in the top box first - not just above the brood section but in the warmest super section. Even though it is raining, my hives are drier, RH, by a lot.
It's a new view point or platform I have to make observations - something different is going on right now. Things are so different than my past experiences. Admittedly my test data is crude but results are logical to me. I am planning on adding insulation as the hives are growing with supers added but my insluation boxes do not grow. So I am going to add insulation modules to half the hives to compare summer effects, to create flexible arrangements plus buy more crude weather sensors. I might spring for a bunch of thermocouples soon, maybe some high accuracy RH sensors.
Interesting comment Robert,
Our bees built up so early this year that we never ngf ever had a chance to feed them.
1st check early feb. The hives were already stuffed with bees. Only 4 of 14 hives tried to swarm, and we were able to artficial swatm them by removing queen to nuc.
We did a 3-way split a few weeks ago from my one very strong hive, and decided to do a thorough check on them this weekend. Our splits were into a 10 frame deep with a bred queen, and a couple of frames of eggs and young brood into a nuc. We couldn't find the queen this weekend in the original hive, but it's full of bees and brood, so it appears to be doing fine. We think that it did a supersecure a couple of weeks ago, so our painted lady may be gone.
The nuc has a pretty new queen that we helped with her makeup, but they're not making a lot of progress with drawing comb and stores. The hive with the purchased queen is also doing okay, but not building up comb and stores like we'd like either. We're putting 1-1 feeders on both this one and the nuc with hopes that this will give them a kick start to building up their strength, and we're not figuring on getting any honey from either of them this year.
Meanwhile, I'm busy building supers and medium frames for the strong original hive. It's getting pretty close to running out of space again. It is currently a single deep and a medium super, and we're not needing to feed that one.
I need to go back to work. This being retired is working me too hard!