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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ive got 4 hives, did an inspection today, 3 are good, one either is aggressive has a laying worker or EBF, It maybe queenless, I need to get back in there tomorrow to look closer. I just wanted to lay that out there.

Anyways, for the past 4 weeks we've had rouge bees attack non-stop up on our deck. They seem to come of the opposite direction as my hives, there always seems to be 3 attackers each time, after we kill those, 3 more come a minute later.

Now today, our neighbor is getting attacked, and our deck has no less than a dozen flying around waiting for us to come outside. If we go out the side door, they find us there and attack.

They are not foraging, they are on a mission! Sting us!

We are in Maine, I dont know if these are a cross with Africanized or not. Im pretty sure they are "wild bees", possibly from a swarm I had 2 years ago. I did have mean bees, could these be them? There are other beekeepers in the area, but miles away.

They definitely come from the opposite direction than my hive.

Just now, I washed down the deck of possible pheromones from bees we've killed thinking that was attracting them. No help. Plus my neighbor 100 yard away is experiencing the same thing. I did create a fake rain shower with the garden hose and they retreated for a bit, but came right back, even flying through the spray to land a sting on my forehead.

What gives with these bees, what can I do? I must have killed hundred today with a zapper. none can possibly be returning to the hive to recruit more, Ive been killng them!

..sigh...

Mike
 

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Is there a hive that's taken up residence under you deck or maybe somewhere else within your house siding or other place? You're too far north for Africanized bees.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
There is a queen less hive some where around you.
I agree. We thought about this and it happened late last fall as well. With bees coming from the opposite direct as my hives. There are no colonies under the deck or anything like that.

I think I have 2 scenarios going on.

1 A feral hive is sending scouts to the deck. This occurred late last fall too, these are the 3 that show up in a group, most days. But what I cant get my head around is if I kill those 3, 3 more show, and the cycle repeats. Is it possible that there is some kind of communication in the hive that if they dont return 3 more are sent? This is amazing if this is actually what is happening. There is no forage on the deck for them, so who provided the original waggle dance to direct them to the deck?

2 After maintaining my hives, many angry bees followed me back to the house, and keyed on any upright human to attack. I think this is rational explanation for the large amount yesterday. Then they saw my neighbor in his yard, and went over there too, instead of back to the hive. One of my hives do have issues, it may be queenless, I need to check again today, but usually they do not come near the house.

So how to I get bees not to follow me back to the house from the hives? My hives are very strong.

I ended up making a smug pot of pine bows for the deck, that helped, as did putting a swipe of cheap cologne across my forehard LOL.. maybe they dont like the fact that I drink mead...

Mike
 

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It sounds like it is your hive that is queen less. I would check the aggressive hive and see if it was queen right. If it is not re queen it. If it is queen rite I would still re queen it also.
 

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At night when all the bees are inside, screen off the hive you think is the culprit and see if that solves things the next day.
 

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Well at least it is still bees attacking you and not the neighbors attacking you about your bees.

If you are the sole sight of the aggressive bees your deck may be picked as the swarm landing site and they are defending that location. Give them a swarm trap as an alternative.

On the off chance it is not your own hive and they are coming from a different direction can you ask around about others having the same problem. On the other side of the circle if you will, centered around the direction you believe a feral would be? At least you would get labeled as a solution rather than the cause.
 

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Any other votes for hive #4 without much brood, ready to swarm and defending it's choice. Yesterday was nice, surprised they did not go then.

How many votes for aggressive feral making his hives aggressive out of the ordinary?
 

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I don't have an answer, but why is EFB suspected? That would be my focus if you suspect it and I hope you are taking precautions to protect your other hives as much as is possible. I would assume that the aggressive bees are mine and get that resolved before you have really angry neighbors. J
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
EFB because of spotty pattern ( Im always thinking the worse ), there was brood, and larva, and a full 2 deeps of bees, but i need to inspect again, but not today, I do not want to stir up that hive if it is the one. But yes, my priority to verify whats going on with that one hive.

Well, with that said, I have not been to the hives or out back today, Ive been working in the driveway, 100 yards from the hives, and as usual, 3 bees are buzzing me. Ive been using bug spray and it seems to keep them off me, but not completely away. Its as though I wash my hair with honey. ( I used differnent soap and shampoo today also - no change)

Now, while staning in the smuge pot smoke I set up ( my BBQ with pine branches) Im watching the side of the house, and I hear ping, ping - there are bees flying into the side of the hosue! what the heck?
 

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Working thru the possibilities. If they are your bees that have turned pissy then I would think skunks or possum.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Ok, Did a quick inspection for presence of queen, A little smoke under the outer, then lifted it, bees came pouring out of the inner cover opening, little more smoke, back, then gushing out..

So, I think this is simply a fully populated 2 deep hive, maxed out, no nectar comming in to speak of yet, they are defensive of what they have, which are a few frames of honey, some new nectar, and I see they are storing the mountain sugar in cells from on top of the inner cover. There is capped, larva and eggs ( I wore glasses this time) So its queen right, even with the pattern. Its s Northern Queen, 2018.

Suggestions? Thinking of shaking off 5 or 6 frames, put above excluder for a day, then newspaper split to a NUC that I just put in a single deep?

I took 30 min to get them to leave me alone so I could go back to the house, I was spraying Bee Quick that finally turned them off. And they were attacking on the deck just after I opened the hive, how weird?

Thanks for listening!
Mike
 

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Take the mountain camp sugar and throw it into a bucket of water. Syrup time until the flow comes. How close are you to swarming?
 

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At night when all the bees are inside, screen off the hive you think is the culprit and see if that solves things the next day.
Great idea! I love it when people figure out how to use normal bee behavoir to find a solution to a problem!
 

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OldTimer always gives good advice. When my neighbors were attacked, I moved the bees until the problem was sorted out. Attacks on your neighbors can ruin relationships and jeopardize your right to keep bees at your home.

That said, weather can cause good bees to be aggressive. Extended days of cloudiness, rain, and high winds have kept my bees in their hives for as many as 28 days. They were on a mission to get me and my neighbors. Moving them is the only neighborly thing to do if you live in an urban area. :)
 

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Take the mountain camp sugar and throw it into a bucket of water. Syrup time until the flow comes. How close are you to swarming?
This is what I was thinking, I wonder if they are grumpy because they are running out of space and hungry. I would also add another box to the stack, I dont think more space will hurt anything to give them more space.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 · (Edited)
This is what I was thinking, I wonder if they are grumpy because they are running out of space and hungry. I would also add another box to the stack, I dont think more space will hurt anything to give them more space.

Thanks everyone, I'll add a deep, and feed them, worse case they can build wax for a week as weather is changing to the cold side again :-(

I did add OSBN frames to all hives on Saturday, so that may ward off swarming, the frames on the mega hive already had a 1x3" size of wax on it after 24 hrs!!!

Mike

UPDATE 9AM: All hives have 1gal internal feeders now, 1:1, and the gigahive has a new deep... ...fingers crossed.

Ran garden hose out there to create a fake rain storm so they wouldnt follow me back, worked pretty good.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Take the mountain camp sugar and throw it into a bucket of water. Syrup time until the flow comes. How close are you to swarming?
Salty, I feel this hive could swarm anytime, Ive seen drones in a couple of the hives and at the entrance, there is still laying space, but not much, once this batch of brood hatches the population is going to explode even more. Im surprised they did not swarm yesterday, it was a summer kind of day. Hopefully this week's unsettled weather gives them second thoughts until they build comb, along with the OSBN frames and the new space.

Mike
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I watched an attacker bee sting a dead bee on the deck.

Do bees attack their own hive mates, when they are dead?

Im seeing no reduction in attacking bees today, 6hrs after installing feeders inside the hives, giving space. One minute there are none, 3 minutes later there are 4, 5, 12... pinging the house and going after us, just stepping out the door.

Hard to believe the are my bees, even though they are grumpy. My bees have a home, why would they ping the house?

These act like guard bees, but what are they guarding?
 
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