My bees have kidnapped my backyard!
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Location
    Greene, Ohio, USA
    Posts
    17

    Default My bees have kidnapped my backyard!

    I have three hives in my back yard that I installed from swarms last year. Last year they were very calm, but as of a week ago have turned nasty! So much so that we can’t even go into the backyard without being attacked by some guards. My first thoughts were queenless hive or robbing but neither are the case. I’ve inspected the hives for queens and installed reducers to mitigate robbing. All the hives are full of bees and brood with the same marked queens from last year. There is some honey in all the hives but not a lot and nectar is being brought in. The flow is just starting here in mid Ohio. I can’t really tell if it’s one hive or all of them. I thought about closing them up one at a time to see if I can isolate a particular hive. Any thoughts on what could turn a hive nasty right as the flow is getting started? I have other hives in an apiary just down the road and they are still baby dolls.

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Louisville, KY
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    3,290

    Default

    Ide give em a week or two. The flow is kicking in good and warmer weather is in place, that usually makes em alot nicer.

    Ide pull the entrance reducers, with the flow and warm weather they'll need ventilation. They'll start chewing at the wood.

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Location
    Greene, Ohio, USA
    Posts
    17

    Default

    Thankyou. Reducers were pulled once I knew they didn’t make a difference in the temper. I’m am really hoping they calm down once the flow really gets going. I don’t know what else it could be.

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Aylett, Virginia
    Posts
    3,593

    Default Re: My bees have kidnapped my backyard!

    There is a similar thread "angry bees" but the circumstances may be different. Could your bees be getting ready to swarm? I read that that can cause the bees to get feisty. My advice is always to first split the hot hive and then see how they behave as that has worked for me in the past.
    Thankfully, the bees are smarter than I am. They are doing well, in spite of my efforts to help them.

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    syracuse n.y.
    Posts
    5,208

    Default Re: My bees have kidnapped my backyard!

    did you check for skunk sign, they come out of winter on the hungry side.
    mike syracuse ny
    Whatever you subsidize you get more of. Ronald Reagan

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Location
    West Jordan, UT, USA
    Posts
    1,118

    Default Re: My bees have kidnapped my backyard!

    Are the hives facing the back door? Turn them so they don't. Approach the hives from the back so the guards don't see you and you won't be in the foragers' flight path.

    Put up some sort of screen that they have to fly over. THey generally won't come back down until they find something that interests them and you won't be in their flight path.
    Never ask a barber it he thinks you need a haircut.

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Location
    Greene, Ohio, USA
    Posts
    17

    Default

    No skunk sign. In fact there are some dead bees in front of the hive that a skunk should have cleaned up but haven’t. The hives are about 30 yds from the house and the bees are hovering around the open windows trying to come in and get me. Close the window and the bees go away. Seems they’ve put a hit out on me. The flow is just starting here and the hives are packed with bees and brood but have depleated most of their stores. Any chance it’s a lack of food that has made them so angry all of the sudden?

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2018
    Location
    Decatur / Cullman, also. 35603
    Posts
    760

    Default Re: My bees have kidnapped my backyard!

    Idntry feeding them.some syrup. If they are hungry, let em take it till they stop. Mabye the flow will really be on then. ???

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Cincinnati, Ohio, USA
    Posts
    313

    Default Re: My bees have kidnapped my backyard!

    yes, I agree with Rich... Probably testy due to lack of stores, if the hive is packed with bees and brood.

  11. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Location
    Greene, Ohio, USA
    Posts
    17

    Default

    Put feeders on today. We’ll see what tomorrow brings. If this doesn’t stop soon I’ll be forced to move the hives to the other apiary down the road.

  12. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2017
    Location
    Dane County, WI, USA
    Posts
    2,703

    Default Re: My bees have kidnapped my backyard!

    This "attacking" thing..
    Did you actually get stung or no?
    Did they butt head you or got into your face?
    Just making sure here.

    My backyard is full of foreign robbers right now trying to steal my honey from dead hives.
    We finally got good weather, but no flow yet. Bees are looking for loot everywhere.
    Them rascals even got into an empty nuc by the front door.
    Someone got scared all right.
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  13. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Location
    Greene, Ohio, USA
    Posts
    17

    Default

    Yep I’ve been stung several times this week. Soon as anyone goes into the backyard they are greeted by several bees with the intent to sting. Don’t even have to be near the hive. A week ago I could stand right next to the hives with no issue.

  14. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Location
    Salisbiry Mills, New York,USA
    Posts
    46

    Default Re: My bees have kidnapped my backyard!

    This is only my 3rd year keeping bees so not an expert but my bees were like that about a weeks ago. Now tress are starting to bloom and they are back to their normal selves. Maybe just getting frustrated when there was nothing to bring in and guarding what little they have.

  15. #14
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Location
    Egg Harbor Township, NJ
    Posts
    67

    Default Re: My bees have kidnapped my backyard!

    I am in the same boat. Bee's are just being a pain. As I sit here in the office, two bees are right outside the window. Mean? Oh I don't know, only about 60 stings in the past three weeks.

    What I have done (mind you, it hasn't worked so far)

    1. Identified the mean hive.
    2. Split the double deep 4 ways.
    3. Seperated the queen in its own nuc (to my suprise, that nuc is now calm.)
    4. Gave away 2 NUCS from parent hive to sit in an area that doesn't have people living in it.
    5. Requeened 1 of the 2 hives that stayed (the other hive was the original queen nuc).
    6. Queen accepted.
    7. Waiting game continues. Stung 5 times yesterday.

    I find this mildly interesting, it is a hive that was over wintered, that just turned straight nasty. I am in my 4th year, and these bee's are close to being removed completely, I am really trying to give them the chance to stay.

  16. #15
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Location
    Greene, Ohio, USA
    Posts
    17

    Default

    I’m right there with ya. I’ve had feeders out for two days now and they’ve barely been touched. The nectar flow has started. I thought of making splits but I don’t want anymore hives. The bees have a few more days to calm down and then they’re gone. I need my yard back.

  17. #16
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    53,684

    Default Re: My bees have kidnapped my backyard!

    I think anyone with bees in town needs to have a contingency plan. Basically a place you can immediately move a colony to if it ever becomes aggressive and a means of doing so. And if it does get aggressive, move it immediately. After you have remediated the situation, then move it back. You will learn to hate bees, as will your neighbors, if you don't resolve these sorts of issues quickly.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 42y 40h 39yTF

  18. #17
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    watertown,wi.,USA
    Posts
    520

    Default Re: My bees have kidnapped my backyard!

    I have to throw my thoughts out here also. It is really great to read this thing is happening in the midwest as well as other parts of the country, I don't feel as alone in what I am experiencing as much now. Last night I posted a question of how to get rid of a nasty hive...I even have my cooler set out to use to bring home some dry ice...used to kill off a hive. But reading this thread I have realized that I am not alone with overwintered hives turning nasty right now. I got 13.. and counting stings last night from the hive as I split it down to 2 mediums each. A lot of what many of you have stated and suggested has given me the optimism to try a few things and especially wait for the weather to change for the better to see if they mellow out. I hope splitting the hive and possibly adding feeding syrup will chill them out a bit. Any of you that are experiencing the nasty bees please continue to post what you did and what was the result was. Feel free to private message me also if you have any suggestions of what seemed to help. My bees and forearms currently full of stings thank those of you in advance. juzzer

  19. #18
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Cincinnati, Ohio, USA
    Posts
    313

    Default Re: My bees have kidnapped my backyard!

    Michael, what do you look for in the way of "remediation" to help decide when to move back?

    I have a very defensive hive, and am thinking it makes sense to remove the queen - keep her in a nuc box - and to split the hive and combine with two separate nucs in which I'm raising a new queen from another hive. Does this seem reasonable?
    Last edited by karenarnett; 05-03-2018 at 09:52 AM.

  20. #19
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Location
    Greene, Ohio, USA
    Posts
    17

    Default

    Update: All three of the hives have been moved down to my bee yard on the farm far away from general population. There I can study this further without worrying about my kids and neighbors. These bees will literally attack anything within 50yds of the hive. I find it interesting but not acceptable for a neighborhood. I’ve tried closing down one hive a day to isolate the aggressive bees but it appears to be all of them. Feeding didn’t help. Entrance reducers didn’t help. All hives are queenright and now bursting with bees. My only two thoughts now are that something locally is aggravating them or the fact that they’re so strong makes them more defensive. Anyway now I can learn more about this in a safer environment for everyone. Thanks all for the thoughts and ideas.

  21. #20
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    lafargeville ny usa
    Posts
    2,275

    Default Re: My bees have kidnapped my backyard!

    it is time to order some queens before you supply drones to the neighborhood.

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