I have had my 2 hive (flow hives) for several months now, and in the last few days, the bees have become particularly aggressive without any disturbance to the hives… myself and my poor labrador have been attacked when being 10+ metres away from the hives… and today being the most obvious day…
Does anyone have any experience here? I live near Wyong on the Central Coast if that matters.
I did do a flow/super inspection on the w’end, and moved each hive around 6 inches, in prep for a 3rd hive, but not so sure that’s the reason. help!
Hi Trent, were the bees aggressive during the inspection? If so that could be the answer because they remember for about 3 days. Also they’ll be more defensive during wet, stormy or inclement weather approaching.
They’ll also be more defensive during a honey dearth. Oddly enough, (we’d have no way of knowing if this is happening) bees get more defensive if the field bees start returning with ripe honey. They figure that the field bees are robbing another hive out. That puts them on guard in case other bees try to steal their honey.
The move of 6" wouldn’t be the problem Trent but your location is interesting as I got an email from Umina yesterday saying his two hive have both turned aggressive in a big way. Not exactly next door but close enough to consider a dearth beginning or possibly a change, possibly a quick one, in your local climate. My feeling is your hives are responding to a change.
Happy birthday Peter
Thanks cousin, but it was back in the start of February and one birthday a year is more than I want.
Great weather for working the hives without over heating. Off to put in some quality isolation time at the hives today.
That’s a Cake Day cake slice, Jeff - Happy Cake Day, Peter …a day late
Interesting info there, I knew about inspections being disruptive of course but I didn’t know for how long - and never heard about field bees returning with ripe honey as a cause of aggression!
Thanks Eva, “happy cake day”, I’ll remember that.
That little bit of info came out of my “ABC and XYZ of Bee Culture”. It was interesting to read that.
My mentor decades ago used to tell me that just lifting the roof off for a quick look for 20 seconds it took about 4 hours for all the bees to settle down and return to their work.
From my experience I agree with @JeffH that the bee remember if you really get a bad case of the fumbles with a hive inspection and 3 days sound reasonable till they forget and forgive.
Bee returning to a hive loaded with raw honey I would think would be a little happy and smug after robbing another hive and wouldn’t be aggressive but the hive they robbed from would be a different matter of course.
‘Happy cake day’ has gone over my head, sorry guys
Hi Pete, for a day or so a cake appeared next to your avatar.
In relation to bees returning to the hive with ripe honey: I read that the colony gets more defensive while ripe honey is coming in because the colony figures that the field bees have robbed another hive out, therefore they figure that robber bees from other colonies could be looking for other hives to rob out. That puts the colony on guard in case robber bees turn up…
I don’t know where the cake has come from mate, but thanks for the explanation. It doesn’t appear on my monitor. Hope its a chocolate cake.
Could be truth in your thoughts about robbing and a hive being aggressive, I guess I’m lucky with the mountain goat hive being the closest to me that I know of at 3 k’s away and excellent foraging around it. Not sure why my hives aren’t robbing each other but again maybe they prefer foraging than fighting to the death over honey. Maybe keeping all the hives at the same strength helps too. Your thoughts and do you have it happen much?
I’m taking off till Sunday afternoon in the morning, not oo far away but no communication there.
Cheers n stay safe
Hi Pete, I see the same as you. I don’t see any robbing within my own hives. Good luck with your little trip.