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Very curious about this: Why do bees get so irritable when rain or a storm is approaching? Does anyone know the scientific explanation for this? Does the low pressure affect the bees in some way? Would love to find out.
 

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My thinking is that rain triggers defensive behavior
for A: Nectar not available B: More old angry bees
at home not foraging.
 

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yeah ...... think of it as if you had your thanksgiving dinner every day of the year ..... after awhile uncle burts jokes just dont cut it, sally's purfume is over whelming, you want to go to the bathroom but there is a line !!!!

yeah id get fed up with family too!!!!!! love them but let me out of the house!!!!!
 

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Bees navigate with the three ocelli between the compound eyes. If the sky is dark they get little migrains and take it out on the nearest guy. I inspected a hive the day of a full solar eclipse and found out the hard way. Last years extracting workshop was on a rainy day. I suited up a little more than normal. Pulled the supers and we extracted honey. It is amazing what new beekeepers will endure to learn about the bees. There were about 40 students out in the rain pulling honey supers.
 

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*I* get a little testy when weather fronts come in and the pressure changes, so I know just how the girls feel. That migraine theory may be closer to the truth than we know.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
You guys are hysterical! :lpf: Actually, each one of your answers has a good deal of logic to it....

But really, what is the scientific explanation??
 

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Old timers tell of how mean bees get when they are on a buckwheat flow. For some reason, buckwheat flowers only yield nectar in the morning. So, if you open up hives during the afternoon, they are ready to sting on cue.

You could say that having the sweet stuff stop in the middle of a perfectly nice day just puts the in a very bad mood. Do bees have moods? Most beekeepers will tell you that they do.

Is there a scientific explanation for moods? I suppose there is, chemical imbalance and all that. Feeding sugar to bees seems to put them into a good mood, and that is just like a drug that makes you feel better.

Perhaps they get withdrawal symptoms when their sweet stuff is cut off abruptly. Sure seems that way to us.
 

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You guys are hysterical! :lpf: Actually, each one of your answers has a good deal of logic to it....

But really, what is the scientific explanation??
I think your getting it.

The truth is no one knows - just like so many things. If it were their lack of sweets they have stores.

My opinion is that they probably aren't much more testy than anytime a single bee is at the hive - it's just the fact they are all there and have nothing to do but protect their stuff.

Humans do the kind of the same thing (if you wish to compare) - if we have to much free time we tend to get into trouble.
 

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I think the colony survival impulse is a big factor.

Rain can wipe out/seriously injure an exposed colony. Bees know that Mother Nature is about to assault their homes and colony life. This puts them on an added alert.

Another thing that might affect their mood is that when a storm approaches, most little critters like mice look for a dry place to hide. Over the centuries, the bees may associate an impending rainstorm with a heightened chance of mice trying to enter the hive looking for shelter.
 
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