Bees jumping to hands during inspection.
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    Wallingford, CT
    Posts
    22

    Default Bees jumping to hands during inspection.

    Hello all,

    I have been a beekeeper for about 6 years now, and this is something I've been meaning to ask for a while

    When I'm doing inspections and reaching for the next frames, often times a half dozen or so bees in the hive will quickly jump to my hands.

    They typically don't stay in my hands, but it's a little unnerving, and I usually smoke the hive to get them to settle down and stop doing it. I feel I may be "over smoking" the hive for something that is not a big deal.

    Does this jumping behavior happen for the rest of you? What do you do about it? Should I just ignore it and stop smoking so much?

    I'm looking forward to hearing your thoughts.

    Thanks.

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Location
    Williamsport, PA
    Posts
    451

    Default Re: Bees jumping to hands during inspection.

    I've always assumed it to be guard bees. I notice it most if I get in without smoking.

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2018
    Location
    Northern Colorado, USA
    Posts
    457

    Default Re: Bees jumping to hands during inspection.

    I have seen them do that to my hive tools when I start moving frames apart. It is usually when I have not smoked a hive/box and I think it is the guard bees. After I smoke a box they seem to settle down a bit.

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2017
    Location
    Dane County, WI, USA
    Posts
    2,208

    Default Re: Bees jumping to hands during inspection.

    Quote Originally Posted by ptuxbury View Post
    .......often times a half dozen or so bees in the hive will quickly jump to my hands.......Thanks.
    I got such jumpy bees.
    Initially smoke works.
    If I am still not done after 15-20 minutes, the smoke seems to work less and less.
    But the bees get annoyed more and more

    Then I switch to a water sprayer and just spray them all down - works great.
    Keep in mind, bees can not jump - they fly.
    Wet them down pretty well - they will no longer "jump" - because they can not fly much when wet.

    It is summer - wet them down and don't worry.
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame experimentation.

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