Beesource Beekeeping Forums banner

1 - 7 of 7 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We have two bee hives in our backyard. One of the hives is very strong and grew quickly. We tried to keep up but the girls decided to split up and we've had several swarms. Luckily, we've caught all the swarms and given them away. About the time of the swarms we started to notice a new behavior. We notice that one bee zeros in on one of us and buzzes our head and if we dont get indoors one of us usually gets stung. Its always one bee at a time and than another shows up. One girl will literally meet us when we step out the door and now they are buzzing us in the front yard.I've read much about an aggressive hive and an aggressive queen but we can spend time around the 2 hives withought incident. The odd thing is its usally just one bee at a time.
Thoughts?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,299 Posts
Swarm ready hives are defensive, with just the behavior you describe -- vigilant guards defending a much larger than normal radius. In fact, it is a easy way to detect colonies that have entered swarm condition without even opening the box.
After the swarming subsides the behavior should retreat. You are in an Africanized region, so the new virgin queen that takes over from the one that departed, stands a greater than even chance of being more African and more defensive.

You can try and settle the swarming instinct by aggressive splits, but sometimes that just encourages them to swarm out -- swarm repeatedly to the point of exhaustion.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks JWChestnut. I had a feeling that the aggressive guard bees were connected to the swarm condition. We have been concerned about our queen because its challenging to get new queens these days. We had a very active spring this year. We've noticed more bees throughout the valley. Thanks for the insight...very helpful.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,400 Posts
Well, your queen left with the first swarm. Any subsequent swarms had a virgin queen, which is what your hive will be left with. If Africanized drowns are in your area, you always stand a chance of Africanizing your hive in any natural queen replacement.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,050 Posts
In addition to what the posters above me said, a natural mating in your area will also give a greater variability in the temperament of the new brood as the sperm from each drone gets used. So even if that behavior subsides, you have no clue what was the temperament of each drone father. You may end up with gentle bees for a while and then they might start getting aggressive again.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,861 Posts
Agreed! This is very common to me sometimes not 1 but 2 doing this to me.
Always the same bee(s.) On a hive check I noticed there was 1 queen cell in
development so I moved the whole frame into another mating nuc along with the
other queen cells that I collected from the other hives. Chances are there are more
swarm cells inside your current hive when they want to requeen or make a swarm.
One way is to make more splits but will not solve your bee temper issue.
Maybe to buy gentle queens later in the season and try to requeen this hive.
Another way is to split it into smaller hives and recombine later on when you can
get some gentle queens. Or donate some frames of bees and capped brood to the weaker hive will do.
The best way is to move them farther away from your house but you have to walk further to do a hive check.
If you are out of their patrolling area they will leave you alone. Looks like your hive is too close to your house now.
 
1 - 7 of 7 Posts
Top