Beesource Beekeeping Forums banner

1 - 9 of 9 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
114 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
On April 19th 2014 I installed a package of Italians, they were very gentle for a couple weeks. On May 8th I put a pollen trap on a nearby hive that caused A LOT of drifting into the new Italian hive. Almost two 8 frame mediums packed full of bees.

When I went into the Italian hive on May 21st they seemed very aggressive, flying around my head and bouncing off my veil. I thought if was because of the weather that day.
I just went into that hive this morning (June 6th), same thing flying around my head and bouncing off my veil. I even got stung through my glove.

I think these angry bees might be the ones that drifted from the other hive.
Once these bees die will the hive return to being gentle?
I understand that every hive is different and no one can know for sure.
I just need a more experienced beekeepers opinion.

Thanks!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,021 Posts
I doubt that the bees that drifted over to the package hive are the mean bees, I think it could be the package bees themselves. Even though they were gentle for a short time, once they established the hive with new brood and resources (pollen and honey) they had something to protect and have become more defensive. If they are that bad, you may want to requeen them.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9 Posts
Along the lines of aggressive hives. It seems pretty subjective, but the swarm i caught this year really pop my veil pretty good. Why, and when is it necessary to requeen? It's annoyning but tolerable at this point for me.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
14 Posts
That has been my experience as well. Also their level of defensiveness ebbs and flows through the course of the year.

Another thing to consider is that you may be inadvertently triggering their agressive behavior. Try laundering your bee suit a bit more often. Sometimes alarm pheremones from previous times can buildup and trigger the "bad boy" behavior. Also examine any substances you may be coming in contact with.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
114 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Thanks everyone for your input.

If enough of the drift bees ended up in that hive, they may have killed the queen. Have you checked?
Yes, I saw her a few days after the drifting took place. I also saw her on the 21st and again today. She is a beautiful queen with an amazing brood pattern. I really hope this hive calms down so I can keep her.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
825 Posts
The stronger the hive, the more they defend!! In the AHB territory you are in, you may just want to get a good ventilated suit and get used to it. The temperament is more determined by the drones she mated with than the queen herself. If you do decide to requeen due to temper, I wouldn't let her open mate (in other words, order a mated queen from elsewhere...but your California girls may just laugh at her like my Florida girls do!). Might be time to decide what "aggressive" versus "protective" is. A mated queen from further North perhaps (see prior sentences). Sounds like this Momma is doing exactly as she should. Just my input. What are you using for self protection? Are you using smoke?
 
1 - 9 of 9 Posts
Top