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Discussion Starter #1
Started 2 nucs in early June and they have been building up nicely with 2 brood chambers top filled with honey and bottom with bees and brood. I have worked with them only about every 2 weeks for inspections and found them gentle and easy to work with. Put on honey supers about a month ago and today I went to put on a bee escape to remove in a day or so for extraction. The minute I lifted off the inner cover it was like I had flicked a switch, they all started a loud buzz and heads up then boom after me stinging like blazes!! I am not sure what is going on as we are not in a dearth and have lots of nectar coming in and I was gentle in my handling.
Looking for suggestions as to what might be going on here? Any thoughts appreciated.
Kevin
 

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did you use smoke?

was the bottom of the inner cover burr combed to the top of frames in the super? sometimes breaking apart comb like that can set them off.
 

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Bees temperament can change at any given time, for all kinds of reasons, so go into your management prepared as if it is going to be war:D Maybe they “knew” you were about to rob them;)
 

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I have gentle bees but they get more defensive around harvest time in the fall. It's a little early for my bees to act that way, but I am expecting it in another month. You are further north, so it may just be that time of year for them when they need to defend their stores. Smoke 'em and don't let them see you sweat. In other words, try to move slow and act calm. J
 

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The meanest small hive that I have experienced was one that I had taken the queen and a bunch of brood from and at the time the new queen cells were just being capped.
I was intimidated.
Cheers
gww
 

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Sometimes they just want to get nasty. That’s usually when I turn up the smoke a bit and remind them who is boss. 😂

Don’t worry about it until they consistently behave that way.

Ryan
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I did not use smoke and was not dressed for what I thought was a quick easy job-guess I was wrong. As some of the other people have said they must be getting defensive as I am stealing their honey!! Am going back in tomorrow with smoke and full protection and will let you know how I make out.
Thanks for the ideas, I appreciate them
 

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I did not use smoke and was not dressed for what I thought was a quick easy job-guess I was wrong. As some of the other people have said they must be getting defensive as I am stealing their honey!! Am going back in tomorrow with smoke and full protection and will let you know how I make out.
Thanks for the ideas, I appreciate them
Good call.

I’ve done the exact same thing (no smoke or protection) thinking that “I’ll be really quick”. Typical results are stings for me. I have to learn the hard way.

Ryan
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Well got suited up and smoker going and went into the hives today to take off the bee escape and some honey. I could not believe it, they were calm and wonderful to work with. I did not think it was the same hive - something must have really upset them the day before or, I don't know but happy that they were not still mad at me!!!
I left the triangle bee escape on for two days and the bees were 95% out of the supers, pretty happy. Extracted one super and the frames after uncapping yielded 3lbs/medium frame so nice crop so far from a nuc.
Thanks for all the input - always learning.
 

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I did not use smoke and was not dressed for what I thought was a quick easy job
Well there's your problem!

3# for medium frame sounds pretty light. I would start with 10 frames in a standard medium and as they draw out I space out to 8 frames. Easier uncapping fewer frames and more wax harvested. I also run 9 frame in the brood chamber after foundation is drawn
 

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Wondered if you knew what times you went in also for both times you went in, when they were angry the one time, and calm the next? Do you guys feel the temperature could have been a minor factor in either case?
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I went into the hives at around the same time and approx same temps and conditions. I wonder if a skunk or racoon had been around the night before or it just was defensive behavior. I have learned a great lesson - suit up and have smoke available, you might not need it but if you do you have it !!!
Live and learn, I love it.
 
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