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Bee attack ! that hurt


I’ve been enjoying the passive nature of my new hive,often sitting along side it watching the bees coming and going over the past two weeks
I checked on them this morning and all was well but this afternoon I took a watercan down to the hive to give the plants in front of it a drink when the bees rushed out the entrance on mass and stung the bejesus out of me.
I can only think they saw the waving of my watering can as some kind of threat? Next visit will be in my suit until I get my confidence back


I got the same treatment on Christmas day, cutout hive from four weeks ago, have settled in nice and I too enjoyed sitting and watching the entrance. But learnt fast, single malt whisky and beer breath not welcomed, got my first sting (on arm, no suit) as a new beek and high tailed it out of there. Decided not to visit them on NYE.


been there done that- I have one observation hive that I regularly look at. Normally no issues at all- but twice without any warning a bee has just zeroed in on me and stung me super fast for seemingly no reason. The other day my brother was over with his two young boys- we had a look at the hive when the boys carelessly walked right in front of the entrance. A bee stung the youngest one- but luckily on his shirt and the stinger didn’t get through to his tummy. The moral of these stories is that bees should never be taken for granted and caution is always warranted. I am always impressed how a single bee can have me running madly away from a hive- like an elephant chased by a mouse- they punch so high above their weight… God only knows the horror if an entire hive suddenly decided to get nasty :hushed::astonished::confounded:


Now if you had Laphroaig I’m sure you wouldn’t have had that problem. Come to think of it, when having Islay whisky, one needn’t use smoke at all…:laughing:


Yes a lesson learnt for me,I got stung at least 8 times and the bees followed me right to my back door.
Afterwards it felt like being bitten by my own dog, I was very disappointed, but then I remembered something that I had read where it said, if the bees sting you think about what you did wrong…don’t make sudden erratic movements in front of the entrance !..I should have known better

Anyway, nursing my wounds I went back down close to the hive tonight, no suit or veil and the bees were very busy bringing in pollen,they were not interested in me,so tonight I’ll sleep ok and love my bees again tomorrow


Mmmmn, single malt,I like that and try monkey shoulder a blend of malts and very good value for $


So sorry you got stung. Sounds like your bees were in cranky mood, but I have a few thoughts.

  1. Doing anything in front of the hive is more likely to get you stung. The guard bees hang out by the entrance. They can easily see you in front of the hive, and they are primed to attack anything they are worried about.
  2. Be careful what you wear. Light colours are better. Black and red can get bees very upset (they actually see many reds as black, as their vision is more sensitive to blue and violet light). When you wear dark colours, they may perceive you as a bear or other predator.
  3. Don’t eat bananas before going near the hive. They smell like alarm pheromone and will wind the bees up.
  4. Don’t put on perfume, cologne or any strong scent before going near the hive. Bees are incredibly sensitive to smell, and can have unpredictable reactions.

Finally, the first stings of the season are the most painful. Once they are out of the way, any more should be easy. If they are very itchy, consider asking your pharmacist about an antihistamine. If there is a lot of swelling, an ice pack wrapped in a towel for 20 minutes 3 times per day can work wonders.

You are now a real beekeeper, so welcome! :blush:


Explains my run in with the fashion police bees, was wearing red chinos and a blue Santa and reindeer montage shirt, maybe the single malt wasn’t the issue. Anyhow all warnings from the girls duly noted.


Thank you Dawn, I guess I knew deep down this day was coming,thank you for your advice


Thanks as well @Dawn_SD, this learning curve is fun and at times painful. Your knowledge and advice is a great help.


Sometimes we forget that those things sting, then we get over confident. It doesn’t take long for us to get our memory back. As long as we remember to say “ouch” when it happens.

The Fat Bee Man forgot to say “ouch” one day. One of his students said it for him.


Last time for me, it was, “Ow, ouch, OW, OOOWWWWW, OWWWWWWW, oh #$%@@@@@%&^*, where is the Benadryl and the ice?”. I still have a scar on my finger. That was about 6 weeks ago, and the bees were not happy, but it was partly my fault. Ah well, they are good teachers, but I am sad that I made them die so that I could remember the lesson. :blush:


I support the theory that “The Queen” , who controls all things is responsible for aggressive behaviour . If she is in a bad mood, it gets kicked down the line. When she says to one of her attendants " that was my foot you trod on… stupid girl can’t you do any thing right". That filters all the way through to the guard getting a right talking too about being slack on the job and not protecting the hive.
At that moment anything remotely in eyesight of the guard bees gets the “attack, attack, attack, intruders present” treatment and gets a sting or three to be going on with. :cry::cry:

On those days when the Queen gets about laying eggs and passing comments like “well done girls you are doing a great job” nobody around the hive gets stung. :relieved::relieved:

All the comments above are endorsed. :sunglasses:


Some African villagers kept being attacked by elephants and the only way they could stop them was by placing bee hines around the village and trying rope to them so the elephants would pull over a hive and get stung it kept the elephants away

History lesson for today


The suits are great, but I actually got stung, my 1st and only time so far, through my bee suit and jeans on my derriere! Why did the bee sting me? Well, all I can figure is, they don’t like it when you blow on them. Sounds ridiculous, but that’s what I was doing. The weather in Louisiana in August is downright miserable. You have ‘feel like’ temps of 100+ with no wind and basically a sauna like situation. I did our hive checks, on my birthday no less, and then decided to relax and crouch down to watch the bees on front of the hive. I thought, “Hey, it’s hot, why not blow across the front, give them a little wind?” Learned my lesson right away. Bees started flying at my suit and then I felt a sting, from under my leg, right below my butt! I stood up and slowly started walking away, realizing I had ticked them off. They followed. I had bees flying all around me. I walked around my driveway until i could safely get in my garage to take the suit off and ice my sting. Now I know, don’t blow on the bee hives and don’t do hive checks late in the day or when it is very stale outside, because those bees were angry! :wink:


Hi @smithfam, I recently read that it’s the co2 we breath out that upsets them. That is what they target with predators attacking their hives. I used to notice the bees getting upset when I breathe on them too heavy while doing brood inspections.

I put this to the test when a bee gets a little bit aggressive in my yard. I bow my head & don’t let the bee sense where I’m exhaling from. She will buzz around looking, but eventually flies away.

There is no stopping a super aggressive bee. The best thing to do in that case is bob down like a boxer avoiding a punch & walk away very quickly.


Very interesting news. I live in Australia, W.A. in fact where currently it’s summer, and dry as a bone. My captured swarm are doing well in their new Flow home, though there is some house work waiting for me to carry out. I’m reluctant to do so, until I have all the proper equipment, currently awaiting on one piece. Then I need to clear out the wax set up they first created when I first installed them. I used to check on them every 9 days or so, but the last time I did, they were most unfriendly, (nice way to treat their new land Lord) and insisted on imparting a sting. I have been stung numerous times in my life and found them an inconveinience with no major drama other than a itch for a few days. However, on the day, the guard was most definately intent on imparting his sting bits as he followed me everywhere until he was able to strike. RIGHT, from now on, there will be SMOKE, lots of it.
I have also been told bees don’t like their hive disturbed before 10.00 AM, (maybe late sleepers ?) and after 2.00 PM whilst the majority are out doing their stuff. So apparently the in between times are the ideal times. Give me a week or so, and I can either verify this, or debunk it.
Getting back to my location, my state is a very dry place and the locations where the bees can obtain water, are very few indeed. I have been told, water availability is a MUST, at all times. Not a problem in my place as I have two ponds, used to be stocked with fish, but local bird life treated them as a eat out restaurant regularly scoffing the lot, so we changed to Frogs. Problem is, the bees LOVE the pond water, they literly swarm it every day, it’s the only place I can go amongst bees and not be stung. I need to top up this pond every day, they use so much of it. I suspect not all the bees are from my hive.


Hi itchyvet (been stung a bit maybe)
Where in WA? It is a big place and most of it very dry.
We have quite a few “Flowhiverers” in the SW Busselton Kendenup Nannup Bridgetown to name a few and a lot around metro Perth.


When I hear of bee attacks I always want to know, what kind of bees?
I’m a 1st yea bee keep. The guy that sold me the nuc said, " looks like the queen has some Russian in her" so I assume I ha e Russians…very angry ones.
A lot of people have told me they are the most aggressive and maybe I should get some Carnolians or Italians.
So curious what type you all have who are also getting attacked frequently.

My bees seem to rarely have a good day whenever I take the lid off and go in with or without using smoke. Almost every time though I am bombarded by half a dozen of them or more at once.
They come at me from all angles and repeatedly ram straight into my face netting like a kamakazi pilot over and over.

Then I watch all these YouTube videos of keepers taking their whole hive apart in shorts and a t-shirt, no problem at all, bare handling the boards leaning in on the hive…nothing…their bees act like the keeper is part of the family.
What kind of bees do THEY have and where do I get some?!


You can add Lancelin, Northam ,York and Seaview Park(near Lancelin) to your list of flowhiverers in WA