They are so defesive and mean that I can't do anytihng...
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Location
    Eliot, ME
    Posts
    68

    Default They are so defesive and mean that I can't do anytihng...

    Im not sure whats up, but it is almost impossible for me to even stick an OAV heater into the entrance w/o hundreds pouring out and attacking me. Just removing the entrance reducer riles them up.

    Forget about end of season inspection, that is totally out of the question. They totally cover my jacket and veil, all over my pants legs, geeze!

    These are supposed to be Italians, but Im not so sure now, they seem Africanized! Aren't Italians supposed to be gentle?

    Ive washed my jacket, using both smoke and sugar spray, nothing helps. This morning was very pleasant, 70 degrees, mild air, a nice bee day. I had to go back inside and wrap gorilla tape around my jacket cuffs to stop them from stinging through, and thats with long rubber glove on too.

    I guess they are just meanies...

    One hive has always kind of been aggressive right from the package install, but now the other hive is starting to behave like that.

    It making me think twice about keeping this hobby going.

    Thanks for letting me vent... now for more toothpaste and benidrill...

    Mike

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Kirksville, Missouri USA
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    1,765

    Default Re: They are so defesive and mean that I can't do anytihng...

    This time of year can make them more defensive. They are probably out of, or diminished, forage to bring in, winter's coming fast with cooler and shorter days, so they have much to fight about. They were created to defend what they have, but sometimes a colony gets extra aggressive towards intrusion. I have at least one a year that gets too defensive, but re queening eventually takes care of it. Something about the queen makes them go aggressive. I would think that in Maine, it's a bit late for that. Make sure their fed for winter and leave them till spring, most likely. Someone else in your area would know better. They may be different in the spring, but plan to queen both of them if they make it. You can have bees that aren't always wanting you dead, so don't give up yet.

    Also, rough treatment can cause them to be aggressive all the time, including animals at night. Use smoke too, which I would assume you are since they are so rough on you. Certain times of year always makes colonies more on edge too. I hope you get them settled.

  4. #3
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    Chico, California
    Posts
    236

    Default Re: They are so defesive and mean that I can't do anytihng...

    I had some nucs blow over in some serious wind. It was crazy how mad they were. I put them in 10 frame boxes for stability. They lit me up thru my suit and nitrix gloves. Ungrateful ladies!

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Location
    Rib Lake WI
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    1,715

    Default Re: They are so defesive and mean that I can't do anytihng...

    I think requeening is in your future. See if you can get some queens from that guy in Vermont.

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    syracuse n.y.
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    5,264

    Default Re: They are so defesive and mean that I can't do anytihng...

    look at the entrance and around the entrance for skunk signs, scratching on the entrance, grass matted down. Are they robbing? where did you get your queens from? are the hives heavy or light? when you were in last did you see signs off the queen? how long ago was that.
    mike syracuse ny
    Whatever you subsidize you get more of. Ronald Reagan

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Location
    washington, vermont, USA
    Posts
    368

    Default Re: They are so defesive and mean that I can't do anytihng...

    I wouldn't worry about it don't go try getting new queens. The forage is gone or almost gone, temps are cold, and robbing is a constant danger this time of year all of which adds up to defensive hives. Unless they were this way ALL summer long it's seasonal and I bet they will be fine come spring. Also check that skunks aren't bothering them at night that will turn the nicest hives mean.

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
    Posts
    7,861

    Default Re: They are so defesive and mean that I can't do anytihng...

    There are the gentle type bees that you can keep without having to deal with the
    aggressiveness. I know because I have them now. Some reputable queen operation will
    have aggressive bees too in order to keep the mites in check. With that many bees you don't have
    to worry about oav them for a while. I don't think they need any oav since the hive is keeping up with
    the population. Maybe you should be thinking about tf bees!
    Don't mix foreign bees into a virgin hive. She might get balled 100% of the time! When will you ever learn, huh?

  9. #8
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Castle Rock, Colorado, USA
    Posts
    1,702

    Default Re: They are so defesive and mean that I can't do anytihng...

    I'm still constantly astounded at how gentle Canadian (Danish) Buckfast are. 3 years now. No looking back.
    After 40 years of beekeeping, I've come to realize that the bees can fix most of my mistakes.

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Great Falls Montana
    Posts
    7,817

    Default Re: They are so defesive and mean that I can't do anytihng...

    I suspect you don't get the smoke in where it matters. Then in thirty seconds you should be able to get your vaporizer in. You need to do hat at a minimum. I was wrappng and putting on Montain camp sugar today and feel our pain. I got stung in the tear duct in my right eye right off the bat. Then I suited up but still got quite a few stings. But that was without smoke. Tis the season.

  11. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Manning, SC
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    5,219

    Default Re: They are so defesive and mean that I can't do anytihng...

    Quote Originally Posted by beepro View Post
    With that many bees you don't have
    to worry about oav them for a while. I don't think they need any oav since the hive is keeping up with
    the population.
    When has the number of bees suddenly equate to low mite count?
    http://OxaVap.com Your source for the ProVap 110
    OA Vaporizer. The fastest vaporizer on the market!

  12. #11
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    DFW area, TX, USA
    Posts
    1,944

    Thumbs Up Re: They are so defesive and mean that I can't do anytihng...

    With your brief history of those hives, you will need to requeen both if you have neighbors very close.

    A good hive can have a seriously bad day and be fine a few days later. But it doesn't seem like that is what you are describing. Be sure you are using enough smoke initially and as you work. Move slowly without smashing any bees or bumping the hive or its stand. Elevate your hives off the ground to minimize skunk or other irritants that stir the bees' defenses. Randy Oliver talks about moving slowly with a zen feeling about you.

    Most beekeepers have had days when they questioned their will to continue with bees or not. HTH
    ...We don't see things as they are, we see things as WE are...

  13. #12
    Join Date
    May 2012
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    DFW area, TX, USA
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    1,944

    Default Re: They are so defesive and mean that I can't do anytihng...

    In my area now, the mite to bee ratio is at the highest of the year...A good time to treat for mites. At least one good knock down treatment, then another between Thanksgiving and christmas.
    ...We don't see things as they are, we see things as WE are...

  14. #13
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    FRASER VALLEY, BRITISH COLUMBIA
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    2,069

    Default Re: They are so defesive and mean that I can't do anytihng...

    Randy Oliver talks about moving slowly with a zen feeling about you.

    I say be one with the bees. Lburou is spot on.

    I am willing to bet that you are not smoking them enough. I always tell my crew, smoke the bees a lot to protect the bees and to protect the beekeepers.
    I wouls also suggest that you start earlier the next time. You likely want all the bees in the colony when you treat them, so 50 F is better than 70 F, because at that temperature bees are flying.

    Jean-Marc

  15. #14

    Default

    MaineMike, I would requeen in the spring with queens of a more gentle nature. I rear my own queens and they are very docile and good producers. I also have Buckfast available. Contact me in the spring.

  16. #15
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
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    7,861

    Default Re: They are so defesive and mean that I can't do anytihng...

    It is not the number of bees alone, Snl. You have to look at the big picture overall of the hive now. Given limited hive infos, I can only rely on my own mite removal method for his hive situation to respond. Every time the hive is growing and not decline in the early Autumn time without many DWVs and crawler bees, I say this hive is healthy. When you see lots of crawlers then there is a very serious mite infection inside. The rise and fall of the hive population has much to do with the mites and bee diseases. If the hive have no resistant bees then the mites build up from this summer will be enough to crash it already. Seems like the population is holding up.

    After I removed the mites the hive population went up and no more DWVs or mites. Now the hives will begin to build up the
    big fat winter bees without any issue. This is how I did it without any treatment so far by removing the mites off the hives. I have big fat winter bees now.
    Don't mix foreign bees into a virgin hive. She might get balled 100% of the time! When will you ever learn, huh?

  17. #16
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Indiana, Clay County
    Posts
    739

    Default Re: They are so defesive and mean that I can't do anytihng...

    MainMike:
    I just worked my 4 hives yesterday here in Indiana , nary a headbump and there is nothing here left but grain dust from the harvest. I had a mean hive last yr and I let it go into this spring it was miserable. Stings while mowing, stings while grilling, both my dogs would get nailed 50 or 60 yds away. I had no outyard to bust up the beast of the 4 deep chalked full of evilness. Good luck on the requeening. I called it quits on that wont ever have any Russian X's stock here again
    Dad always said " Smart like tractor, strong like bull "

  18. #17
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Location
    Eliot, ME
    Posts
    68

    Default Re: They are so defesive and mean that I can't do anytihng...

    Thanks for the replies. I saw evidence of the queen... Id have to look in my log, but brood w/capped honey outside probably 6 weeks ago. Both hives do have a fairly high populations, with the meanest hive having more bees than the gentler hive, which is interesting, like I said earlier, that one hive has always been a little angry, even from the package install. The queen came with the packages, both from Georgia. We do have critters around, but the hives are up on stands, and Ive had the entrances rhave been reduced to the 2 inch size for a while, yesterday I switched to the smallest opening. I dont see any evidence of critter attacked.

    The hives are heavy with honey, Im leaving a full meduim on both ( minus a few frame that a stole), and the last inspection I saw full frames on a couple of outside frame in the upper deeps.

    Depending on the mite count on the sticky board I may need to do another OAV this week, Ill report back if they are in the same state of bee mind...

    Is it too late to requeen? Im seeing temps in the low 60 forcasted, but I don't think I can this week, schedule wont allow it :-(


    Mike

  19. #18
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Weston, ME
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    1,016

    Default Re: They are so defesive and mean that I can't do anytihng...

    Quote Originally Posted by MaineMike View Post
    ...
    This time of year the bees are more aggressive. Larger hives tend to be ready to "take care of things" faster than small hives.

    You won't *always* be able to see signs of skunks - usually though there will be skunk muck around.
    Make spike boards and fasten them to the ground in front of the hives (and *remember* they are they - don't step on them). I have a feeling this will be the problem.

    If you really need in the hive for some reason - if you can at least get into the hive at all, you can try taking the first box about 10-20 feet away. Then the next box. As you break the hive down into smaller units they tend to be less defensive.
    Last edited by MikeJ; 10-15-2017 at 08:46 AM.

  20. #19
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    hinesville ga usa
    Posts
    763

    Default Re: They are so defesive and mean that I can't do anytihng...

    At this late date in your location, I think the best action is no action.

  21. #20

    Default

    I would not requeen this late in the season. Too many things can go wrong. I would split them up a few times in the spring and requeen all of them.

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