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I was just wondering if bees eventually recognize that their beekeeper is not a threat and begin to be less defensive towards that individual?
 

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No that doesn't happen. A bee's lifespan this time of year is only about 46 days. None of the bees in the hive now were there 6 weeks ago; except for the queen of course. Bees are bred for desirable qualities, such as gentleness. It takes years of breeding for a strain of bees to obtain these qualities.
 

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It is not that the bees recognize the beekeeper, it is that the beekeeper learns to recognize the bees. S/he learns how to move and act around them and to NOT REACT. The beekeeper learns takes more care when working the bees and because of this the beekeeper learns to get stung less because the beekeeper isn't aggitating his/her bees.

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Scot Mc Pherson
Foundationless Small Cell Top Bar Hives
BeeWiki: http://linuxfromscratch.org/~scot/beewiki/
 

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Local feral survivors in eight frame medium boxes.
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I find the bees learn to recognize the beekeeper as an onging threat and will single out the beekeeper when defending the hive, over others who are not the beekeeper. It's true they also MARK the beekeeper with pheromones, but even with newly washed cloths etc. they can pick me out from all the people who live with me. When I had the AFB here they would hunt me down and sting me hundreds of yards from the hive on a day I had not even been to the hives, but they never stung anyone else except my beekeeper friend who was helping me with them.
 

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when i was at work in the city (about 15 miles from my house) i had a lone honey bee come up to me and circle around me like she knew me or was looking for something, it real strange but neat.
Deanna
 

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What about memory where they found honey?

When I extract a feral hive I process the comb in my garage. I havent done anything in there for about a week or so but every time I open the garage they flock in there flying around looking.
 

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I agree with Michael. Seems that they know me alright, and they know that something is about to happen to their home.... AGAIN !! :->

I must be like the drunk brother-in-law to them (No, I do NOT drink, it's just a comparison !! hehe) and they say, "Oh god, here HE comes again! " :->

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It's Not The Destination, It's The Journey. We Cannot Change The Wind, But We CAN Trim The Sails.
 
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