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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
tried to do my first real inspection, was doing good until the hive started making a buzzing sound as a whole about 20 took flight and where flying around me no head butts or stings but i got a feeling they wanted me to get the heck out now, we did have a thunderstorm this morning and i am not sure if that played a factor. i was able to see they are not building up as fast as i would have thought. i am feeding them about 2 times a week. i have a quart size mason jar, i did get a honey super just in case and i am thinking of rigging up a wider jar and putting the honey super over it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Using smoke? Do you have someone to help on a couple of inspections? Nuc or package? How long ago were they hived?
yes i was using smoke, i have had a hive before just started back up after about 2 yrs of taken a break. It was a nuc hived about a month ago, they are not weak just not on as many frames as i would like.
 

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I had a few nucs before that were just downright mean. Very defensive. i used to have to smoke the heck out of them every time and i'd still have them trying to sting me. Sadly those were my first hives and i thought i was doing something wrong.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I am hoping they are not mean and the storm earlier was a factor. they where loud but no stings so i am going to check them when it is full sunshine and see if that helps
 

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I am wondering if it is the weather also. If there was a storm earlier you may have had more forgers in the hive. The forgers tend to be more aggressive, and when you inspect on a sunny day they are out so you do not encounter them.

Depending on the strength of the hive they may take a gallon+ of syrup a week. Did you see any stores in the hive? If not the hive may have also been a bit hungry and grumpy.
 

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welcome to beekeeping (again), right? ;) You have a complete hive with bees old enough to be guard bees, so they will be responding to crushed bees and thumps and thwacks. Don't crush bees, and don't thump or thwack. ;) Yes give them a couple of chances, during ideal weather, before deciding they are too hot and need requeened. A hot hive that needs requeened is difficult to requeen and I would beg a (successful) mentor who has requeened before to help you - even just advice will go a long way.

My definition of an acceptable hive is 1) nurse bees not shaky on the comb, when I slowly lift frame up without brushing bees against anything; 2) if I drop a brick on the top of the hive, 50 or fewer bees come out to check things out and go back in pretty quickly (not before or after an inspection ;) ; 3) I can have the hive open for 20-30 min with only 1-5 bees buzzing my face periodically; 4) no attempts to sting; 5) not jumping at my hand during that 20 min inspection.

If the girls don't behave that way under ideal inspection conditions, if they turn on me suddenly without crushing bees or otherwise making them think i am a bear, then I requeen.

Having said that... I find that if I put a board over half the hive, the side i'm not opening, it helps a lot. Also I smoke bees when I am separating frames, to clear them out from hive tool, it can help a lot. I have found it essential when pushing frames back together to 1) smoke the bee-covered frame edges that will be pressed together, to get the bees out of the way, and 2) to use my hive tool, put it in the gap between the frame sides just before I push them together, to make sure the bees are not between where the sides touch. And lastly... use nitrile gloves, and be aware that if the bees sting on your suit, the smell will persist weeks and you should wash the suit to get rid of the smell associated with stinging, to prevent the bees from becoming riled up.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Yes i am not new lol. i did not crush any bees when i did the semi inspection. they didn't sting me but they had more out around me making noises i wasn't use to. after looking at it i do feel the storm played a factor because like elmer said more foragers where in the hive. yesterday there are very active it was a perfect day to due a inspection but because i had to go to work that inspection didn't happen. when i go to the hive to change out jars normally one bee will come over and check me out. so far in 3 days they have gone thru 2 liters of sugar water. my old hive i had a gallon jar (old pickle jar) so i didn't have to go out everyday to change it out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
ok update, sooooo today i did a inspection and they where fine-ish for a bit. about 20 where constantly out and around me. about 5 mins into the inspection either i did something or they had enough because that got upset, 4 bees headbutted me around 10 times, i started to put the frames back and pack it up but i really wanted to find eggs or larva so i went ahead and moved a frame that had the most bees on it, that is when thing went upside down fast. after talking to the beekeeper it may have gone south because i rolled some bees. around 200 bees came out of the front and directly to my face, no stings but they swarmed my face, i felt one bee trying to get to my butt crack but i intercepted her first. i called the beekeeper and he asked me to due another inspection Saturday or Sunday and this time to not roll the bees and see if they get pissy if they due he will come out and check to see if i am failing at beekeeping or if the queen needs to go. he has a queen ready now and i can go get it but i am not embarrassed to say i am scared to go into the hive again today. this hive is night and day compare to the two hives i had before where i could do a inspection with only a smoker and hive tool, they here beyond nice. he is upset at himself but i told him out of 200 queens one is going to be bad and i am not blaming him it very well could be me that is doing something wrong, one thing that is bothering me and him is the lack of any eggs, i did tell him i had trouble because there where so many bees in my face so i can not say for sure there isnt any. he did let me know the queen in a cross (Italian/Carolina) so if they do not have enough stores the queen will shut down, and because of work i might not get out there for 2 to 3 days. he said that might be playing a factor but he isnt sure. After the little incident i only had one bee follow me for more then 15 ft and almost immediately they went right back to foraging. My gut says i rolled them and they basically told me off, i should have gotten stung but i didnt, The headbutts by so many bees actually spooked me really good, i am chalking this up to my mistake and i will inspect Saturday or Sunday and let him know what happens.
 

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One possibility is that the colony is queenless. It's not unusual for a queenless hive to get defensive.
 

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I assume you are not wearing a veil or bee jacket. If you are not wearing a jacket, wear one!
In a jacket, I feel pretty invincible and 20 bees headbutting means nothing to me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
One possibility is that the colony is queenless. It's not unusual for a queenless hive to get defensive.
this is true. i will be finding out saturday or sunday, if they are grumpy ill be letting the beekeeper know and we will have a fun time.
 

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A couple of years ago I was working bees with only a veil on felt totally comfortable. When making up nucs I got lit up (wearing my jacket) and had a few go up my pant leg.... ever since then I always feel like they are in my pant legs even if they are not. So this year I bought a whole ventilated suit and I have to say I'm totally at rest. It's funny because I know it's in my head.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Update, just did a quick check, the queen is there, found new capped cells, the hive is a little more defensive then i am use not, with that being said they are not hot. i changed a few things, i was using mann lakes packaged smoker fuel (it came with the hive) today i changed over to plain package wrapping paper from the hive package. It created way better smoke coverage, actually made me chocked so i like it, the bees seemed to not engage me as much, no head butts. i am going to classify this as a protective hive not hot or mean. i didn't physically see the queen but i did see newly capped brood on more then one frame, also the hive population isnt going down it is going up. they did start to fill out one of the new frames slowly. so i think a constant feed will get them going.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Good news! I'm glad.
it is good news, however one thing i am still not understanding is why i cant seem to find pollen in the hive, it is there but it seems to be clear pollen LOL. I know they are bring it in because the queen is laying and i could have swore i saw some a week ago while being a creep and watching my bee go in and out of the hive. i did more a none drawn out frame and moved it to the middle of the hive they are back filling a little bit. Friday or Saturday i will do another inspection i feel i need to do a longer one til i put eyes on the queen.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Mowed the back was able to get close to the hive, had my jacket on just in case, i have 2 vines trying to get into the hive but i need a good pouring to weed wack around the hive, i thought of spraying roundup after dark to kill the stuff around the hive.
 
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