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For the last five years that I've been keeping bees I've always had to deal with bees that were in the extremely defensive to down right HOT! category. This year I don't know what changed. All five hives are as calm as butterflies. I didn't know working bees could be so much fun. This time last year I was contemplating having to requeen them all. I couldn't work them without being literally covered in defensive bees and being headbutted constantly. Same bees, longer winter, still no chemical treatments. They are busting at the seams and I'm going to split them all in a week when it warms up. Hope this behavior continues. Since this winter has been what it has, could/does weather patterns affect agressiveness? I've done splits in Feburary, but not this year.
 

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Glad your bees are fun now. Mine are better at times than others. I learned that I was making mine defensive by working them sometimes without smoke and giving them too much smoke when I did use smoke. They had learned to identify my smell with danger. Now I use a little smoke to cover my scent and that's all, but I use it every time I work them even if I only check a couple of hives. Now if I walk through the apiary and they get defensive I make a mental note to look for a queenless hive on the next inspection.
 

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Mines like yours Stan.At one time you couldn't ask for better then the next time they want to play chase,LOL.
I've got one hive that as mean as a junk yard dog,& has been for years,
But they sure produce a lot of honey,So I guess I can keep putting up with them.Mark,,,,,,
 

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They are on a flow, have good weather, in good spirits. When there is no food, they become defensive. Similar to other species right?

Other things such as a pesky racoon or skunk can cause hives to be mean too. Or how and when the hive is worked, the beekeepers style etc.
 
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