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A couple of aggressive bees

I have been able to sit in front of the bee hive, 4 metres away, until today
The bees have been calm up to now and I could also walk right up to the hive without any problems.
However, today 1 or 2 bees have adopted a very aggressive attitude.
As soon as I sat down to watch, 4 metres away, they came straight at me and chased me until I was inside the house 30 metres away.
It was a nice day 3:15 pm, 31c little wind and the bees just started bearding
All the rest of the colony seem quite happy and working away.
We have had rain and thunder storms during the past 3 days, maybe that upset these couple.
Any other ideas why they just got so aggressive ?
It is only 2 bees so I am not too concerned.
Cheers, G

Hi George. I can’t really help you except that exactly what you describe happens to me also every now and then.

Something is probably annoying them. Could be weather, could be robbing could be many other things. I only get stung at random times when the bees dart at me without warning, and I’m not wearing any protective gear. I never ever get stung during inspections - I have a good three layer, sting proof, ventilated suit.

If this happens only occasionally, I wouldn’t worry too much about it. If a hive turns overly aggressive, you may have to replace the queen.

A beekeeper once told me that he prefers aggressive hives because they produce more honey. Whether that’s true or not, I cannot tell.

Thanks Olly, I was not too worried, at worst it is only going to last about 6 weeks with these 2 culprits
Other than that the colony is continuing to grow and already making their way into the flow super.
Not expecting to draw any honey before winter but should give it a good start for next spring.
Cheers G

By the way Olly, getting another flowhive next week and will start a new nuc
I know it is getting closer to winter but I am prepared to feed the new colony until we get closer to spring.
Hoping they will at least have settled ready for the spring flow.
Cheers, G

New colonies can be deceivingly docile George, until they build up the numbers. You can assess the true temperament of a colony and queen once they’ve established themselves.

I cannot stress enough how important it is to monitor the food reserves of a new colony, especially going into winter.

Good luck!

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Bees will be more defensive during storms & wet weather. It’s probably guard bees that are taking their job seriously. Kill them & they will be replaced. However what I do with bees that chase me to the house is let them chase me inside before closing the door. They don’t take long to leave you before trying to exit the house via the window or glass sliding door. Then they are easy to kill, which is what they were trying to do anyway. Then you can go back outside with reasonable confidence.

It’s worth noting that the stronger a colony gets, the more guard bees it will have that are only too willing to sacrifice themselves in order to protect the hive.

Bees can be alarmed simply when they detect an increase of CO2 in the air, caused by us exhaling. It can be made worse after strenuous work or a brisk walk. That’s what they target when they chase us or attack our faces in order to sting us.

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Hi JeffH, thank you for the information.
That is interesting, we have had 3 day of thunder storms and rain.
Possibly that upset them.
I will leave them alone for a while now and see if the settle down.
In the meantime I will be wearing my bee suit for the next couple of weeks.
Cheers, G

No worries George, even if you just wear a veil while you sit & look at the bees, just to protect your face.

It’s worth remembering what I said about the CO2 because we can use that info to our own advantage. It doesn’t help those that don’t know about it, like a bloke who got stung at my place a couple of weeks ago. I heard him yelling “ouch, ouch, ouch, ouch”. I told him to quickly follow me back inside again. He got one through the sock around the heel area. A bad place to get stung, from my experience. His wife & teenage son were having a bit of a snicker about the way he carried on. I think he was wearing black socks from memory.

It’s not only CO2 we have to be aware of, it’s also dark colors.

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