Every other year or so, one of my hives gets mean. The first time I gave the girls away along with their polystyrene hive. They are now in north central PA with an electric fence protecting the bears.
The second time the inspector got stung 50 times. I warned him and even had a bee suit hanging from the caution sign. he specifically came sparsely equipped to avoid cross contamination. I later received a lab report showing no African hybrid. I queen-less split that hive and my buddy made off with her highness. He likes tough girls and these smoked Lucky Strikes.
After the split, they calmed down and were like the rest.
A trusted codger explained that when bees are short on honey and nectar is sparse they get defensive. I notice outside of the honey flow, the back yard becomes useless. The same hive won't pay you any mind in the middle of the honey flow. I now work my 5 hives in the evening so that they can settle down by morning. All mine are from swarms.
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