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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Got another bit of experience toNIGHT.

Wanted to put my top feeder on again and was too impatient just to wait till the morning, and didn't think it completely through.

First, I didn't think about that I had an inner cover with a kickstand under the outer cover to give them a top entrance (they really aren't using it yet). So when I pulled the outer cover I pissed off and discovered a lot more bees than I was expecting.

Secondly, I didn't stop there. I pulled the inner cover to piss off the rest of the hive. And quickly started to put my cover with the hole for my feeder on. This squished more bees than I wanted to. This made us realize our next problem.

Third, we didn't wear our suits or veils or even hats... Then lets add that I forgot to tell my wife to stay back and she ended up right next to the hive assisting me (she was holding a red flash light).

This all led to the wife taking her first stings... Four of them. Elbow, stomach, and two on the head with at least 3 bees stuck in her hair.

I got off Scott free and after helping her realized that I should remedy my third mistake and grabbed my jacket. I was then able to easily get back there and finish the task. Had a couple crawl on my hands which I quickly shook off (taking no chances).

Poured in my feed and then came back in to tend to the wife.

Clearly these gentle ladies did NOT like a night caller.

Also did I ruin my chances of going out for an inspection tomorrow?
 

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I quote Michael Bush "If you have never opened a hive in the dark, consider yourself wise or fortunate and don't. The bees are VERY defensive after dark and will attack and cling and crawl on you looking for a way to sting."
I think they aim at the light source also.
I too, have learned this the hard way...
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I quote Michael Bush "If you have never opened a hive in the dark, consider yourself wise or fortunate and don't. The bees are VERY defensive after dark and will attack and cling and crawl on you looking for a way to sting."
I think they aim at the light source also.
I too, have learned this the hard way...
Guess I need to reread his website again... I must not have heeded that warning. I thought I'd be in and out quick... I forgot a lot of the details though. Lol

They can see the red (they get noisier when I aim it at them) but it's better than white light. I scared the hell out of some big dogs (who were inadvertently scaring the hell out of me) as they didn't see me and my red headlamp as I stood in the pitch black checking on the hive one night (I'm new, I go and just look at the hive every time I come and go from the house!) :). I let out a "GET OUT OF HERE!" as they passed, mostly out of instinct as I fumbled with my Sig that was on the ground in its holster vs on my body as I had put it under my seat that day while in my bee suit.
 

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I regularily work hives at night, because there are not enough daylight hours for all hives to work through and have had no problem doing so. Have sometimes hits around the headlamp, but no special defensive behaviour observed. If you do the beekeeping basics: use a smoker, don't mash bees,... you'll be fine.
 

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...This all led to the wife taking her first stings... Four of them. Elbow, stomach, and two on the head with at least 3 bees stuck in her hair.

I got off Scott free...
Gilligan,
I know you're new to beekeeping, but you must be new to marriage if you think your wife can take four stings, because of you, and still make a statement like, "I got off Scott free"...LOL! hahaha

Trust me, somewhere down the road there will be a price for you to pay for her getting those four stings, and it will be worse than if the bees had got a hold of you! :D

On a serious note, enjoying your enthusiasm, isn't being a Beek a wonderfully addictive hobby? :)

And yes, I've gone in a hive at night, I know some folks do it, but personally, I'm not a fan. For whatever reason, crawling bees bother me a lot more than flying bees! :D
 

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I regularily work hives at night, because there are not enough daylight hours for all hives to work through and have had no problem doing so. Have sometimes hits around the headlamp, but no special defensive behaviour observed. If you do the beekeeping basics: use a smoker, don't mash bees,... you'll be fine.
Ditto, here.

I keep my headlight on "red" mode, until I really need white light, then only long enough for the need. On bright, moonlit nights, I work them like it were daylight. Red light is pointless, then. I wear no more special gear, than I do in the daytime, shorts and T-shirt (long sleeve - for protection from sun, cancer is worse than bee stings).

Day or night, I get stung, and quite regularly - I'm a beekeeper.

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Bees crawling on my skin, communicate to me. I can often tell when one may be preparing to sting. But for some reason having many bees crawling on my skin is much more comfortable for me, than even a single fly. The different feeling of flies crawling on my skin, for me, is unsettling. Conversely, the feel of honey bees is comforting.
 

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Our hive is close to the house so I quite often get one or two come in the office and make love to my lamp shade. I've only really slid the cover off to have a quick peak inside at night but I don't push my luck, they might think I'm a bear with the munchies!
 

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Gilligan,
I know you're new to beekeeping, but you must be new to marriage if you think your wife can take four stings, because of you, and still make a statement like, "I got off Scott free"...LOL! hahaha
Oh yeah, he's going to pay, there's no doubt about that. Its just going to be a delayed punishment.
 

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Moots, you are a wise man. I still get in trouble for things that I said 20 years ago. If I ever got my wife to help me check bees and she got stung, Lord have mercy on my soul.
 

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I have opened them at dusk with no ill effects, but every bee in the world is home and they are grouchy. Now, I will say NEVER mess with the entrance at night. It takes about 3 seconds for the whole hive to come out and tell you to leave, even the nice ones if they are grouchy. If you are sealing entrances, you DO need smoke.
 

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I've opened them in the dark and there isn't much difference. Of course, I had smoker, veil, suit and gloves. The bad part is that after dark they don't fly but crawl. That means that any passengers stay with you until you brush them off.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Oh yeah, he's going to pay, there's no doubt about that. Its just going to be a delayed punishment.
You would think... she comes from a long line of passive aggressive queens... but I think I'm ok on this one. She's an "animal person" so, she gets it... I think.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I have opened them at dusk with no ill effects, but every bee in the world is home and they are grouchy. Now, I will say NEVER mess with the entrance at night. It takes about 3 seconds for the whole hive to come out and tell you to leave, even the nice ones if they are grouchy. If you are sealing entrances, you DO need smoke.
Interesting... I've jammed my phone in video mode with that bright LED light on inside the entrance MANY times at night to see what was going on in there and they have never reacted poorly. In fact last time (2 nights ago) I had a pretty heavy bearding going on all to one side... so I slid the phone in there on the other side and slid it back and forth a bit to see why they might be bearding. A couple of them wondered kind of close to the phone but not really anything but more curious. This is on a 8 frame medium so I didn't have much room to work with and my hands were inches from a few hundred bees as I worked the phone back and forth. Never using smoke.

Granted, I don't spend MUCH time there, my videos are about 30-45 seconds long. But I did go back and forth scanning the whole hive a couple of times the other night when I first did it to try and figure out the best way to get a glimpse of what was going on (which of course is really nothing).

I always remember after that I should at least have a ball cap on or something so they can't get tangled in my hair... maybe one day I'll get it right. ;)
 

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Gilligan,
I know you're new to beekeeping, but you must be new to marriage if you think your wife can take four stings, because of you, and still make a statement like, "I got off Scott free"...LOL! hahaha

Trust me, somewhere down the road there will be a price for you to pay for her getting those four stings, and it will be worse than if the bees had got a hold of you! :D

On a serious note, enjoying your enthusiasm, isn't being a Beek a wonderfully addictive hobby? :)

And yes, I've gone in a hive at night, I know some folks do it, but personally, I'm not a fan. For whatever reason, crawling bees bother me a lot more than flying bees! :D
Lol, you're main mistake was letting her get stung and getting off scot-free yourself. Would have been better to take a sting before coming in, lol.

I've only partially been stung once, and it was when I tried to move my hive up on a stand at night.
Taped all entrances, Got wife to help move them up, Almost knocked over hive stand because it was off balance, Stand around watching, Open entrances, Stand around some more bothering them. I deserved it, but they didn't quite get the stinger all the way in.

I've been contemplating some late afternoon/dusk inspections since I don't have much other time. Sometimes it's either that or they run out of room, and I think after reading all these comments, I'm going to try it.
 

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I had my share of working at night on my bees. Definitely protect yourself and others around you.
The bees are more alert and released their alarm pheromone more readily. During the day time many
are busying collecting for their nest. But at night time everything is quiet for them. Any noise you make
on the hive will alert them instantly. If I have to go in I will wear a red light but at the same time also
bring a small white light flashlight. The white light will divert them to another direction away from me. If I
can see then I will shut off the red light also because some will fly to the red light anyway. And always
treat them at night the same as the day time inspection with full protection on for all. In addition to what
was mention above, they also bite on anything they can get to and would not let go until they sink their stingers on.
The alarm pheromone will make them more frantic and crazy at night time. Our vision is reduced at night so when
in doubt don't go in even if for a very small task. But when you have to do it safely for everybody.
They can see and sense us but we cannot see them that well. I prefer the day time inspection now. Don't worry though as the urge to do
night time inspection will go away as you do more of it. For me it was on my 3rd year.
 

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I have had otherwise nice hives react like a cornered tiger when the entrance was jacked with at night. It is truly impressive when the entire hive comes out to get the intruder. They make a roaring sound.
 
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