They are so defesive and mean that I can't do anytihng... - Page 2
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  1. #21
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Houston, Texas
    Posts
    199

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

    When the bees get aggressive like you describe, it becomes difficult to focus on the task at hand.
    I would consider getting a full length ventilated suit for such times as you are experiencing now.

    It makes a huge difference in the ability to concentrate on working the bees without the concern of getting stung no matter how mad they are. I have an Ultrabreeze which I like very much and also an imported ventilated jacket which I wear mostly.

    If I have so many bees on the veil that makes it hard to see, I will step away and spray some DEET on the veil which helps. Don"t forget to close your eyes when you spray.

    There are many threads in the archives about suits which are very informative.

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  3. #22
    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...

    "If I have so many bees on the veil that makes it hard to see, I will step away and spray some DEET on the veil which helps. Don"t forget to close your eyes when you spray."

    Some of these spray products including deet may be irritating to your eyes if you get some in there. You cannot see very well with your eyes closed during the spraying. So accident is just waiting to happen.

    Skip the deet or other spray chemicals and buy yourself a vented full bee suit instead. It will serve you well in the long
    term and protecting those around you.
    Don't mix foreign bees into a virgin hive. She might get balled 100% of the time! When will you ever learn, huh?

  4. #23
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Washington County, Maine
    Posts
    3,796

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

    Mean bees are no fun to work. It sure sounds like your smoking technique needs some work. Be sure that the smoke is cool, blowing some in the front entrance and through the hole in the hive's inner cover a good minute before you try any manipulations, including OAV. Smoke disrupts bee communications - and you don't want them communicating that there is a bear like critter attacking their home!

    Set a game camera up if you suspect but can't prove night visitors. If the bees continue to be too defensive to work with NO night time predation, requeen with known gentle stock next spring. Remember, to requeen you have to find the old queen first. While there are tricks (divide and conquer) finding a queen in a hot hive is daunting, especially to a relatively new beekeeper.

    Lastly, your nectar foragers are now unemployed. Bored is the term I like to use. They are looking for something to do, and driving you off meets their needs just fine. Make bee biology work for you.

  5. #24
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Location
    Eliot, ME
    Posts
    68

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

    Thanks all for the fantastic advise. Maybe a full suit is need in this case. I dont mind them buzzing around, but not in attack mode. I even tried spraying some bee-quick on my cuffs, no effect. I think right now, with just a couple more OAV treatments, Ill take all the advice and see what happens. I'll try working on my smoke technique. I do start the smoker with charcoal. then put in old stump wood and pine needles, with a handfull of green grass on top, but maybe you guys are right, Ill concentrate on smoke next time Im out there and see if it helps.

    Mike

  6. #25
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Location
    Northern Il, USA
    Posts
    395

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

    You may get lucky come spring. I had a mean hive last year. This spring you would have thought it was different bees. I have been opening the top to look at them all this year, no veil, no smoke, bare hands. Last year I couldn't walk behind the hive without being buzzed, it was full gear every time. I think they must have requeened themselves at some point to be so different.

    One thing I do is make a smoke pot just upwind, basically an old metal paint can stuffed with grass, leaves whatever that I light up and leave smoldering while I dig into hives. The constant low level of smoke seems to distract them, and if they get antsy I can step into the smoke for a few seconds. You don't need lots of smoke or jets of heavy smoke into the hive.

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