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Change of bee behaviour

Hey there

My first summer with a hive and things are going well. Except lately, for some reason even being near the viewing window or sitting to the side and watching them land is resulting in me getting stung. I haven;t been making any sudden movements or aggression towards them but for some reason they are going for me lately. It was about 720pm here, (NSW Bathurst) and nearing sunset. I used to be able to inspect the window and watch them without issue. Is this normal?

Hi Paul, what is happening isn’t normal unless the hive is going feral but it is a lot more likely there is another reason. Suit well up and give the hive a good hit of smoke and as often as is needed.
Check the hive for stores of honey, they could be starving, and check for larvae in the brood frames, if your not seeing it then the hive might be queen-less for some reason. Make sure they have a water supply. I remember one Spring there was the normal heap of Cape Weed and Paterson’s Curse flowering but there was no nectar about because of a drought, maybe that is happening.
That is three that come to mind, I think you will find something is upsetting your hive.

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Hive is well stocked with honey and they are filling the top flow frames with honey. They’ve got plenty of water, maybe ill put something closer to the hive for them. Havent checked the brood in a little while maybe i should once this wind dies down.

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The scout bees will find water nearby. Give us an update about the brood. I used to take hives from Richmond to Mudgee for the Cape Weed and Patterson’s Curse and never had anger issues with the bees but maybe if the hive is queen right they might be feeding on something else that is making them hot to handle.

Peter, I hope you’re not suggesting people in Australia to plant these invasive weeds!! (I know you’re not, haha)

They’re a menace at least here in WA, and as much as bees love them, I pull them whenever I see them, and encourage native flora.

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I’m not suggesting planting them but out in the Mudgee and Bathurst areas when they are in flower it looks like that is the only thing in the paddocks. I used to do about a 300K round trip to put my hives on it and well worth the effort.
Australia has really done some dumb things with introducing rabbits, foxes, cats, and cane toads plus a lot of plants that has taken over the place.

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So true Peter.

The unfortunate dark side is the honey bees are incidentally helping pollinate these invasive weeds. Patterson’s Curse is from Europe and one of the bees’ natural food source. It currently covers millions of hectares in Oz, out competing native flora and costing the economy hundreds of millions of dollars.


Hi Paul, this happened to me over 20 yrs ago and I was badly stung and I had no idea why. I had 50 hives at an apiary near Bulahdelah north of Newcastle NSW. I had visited them regularly and taken honey without a problem. The bees were working flat out on an Ironbark flow this day but for some reason they just took to me like I was a bad smell!!! And I was, I think, but maybe, it was me!! After getting home in the evening and a hot shower, I sprayed myself with deodorant I looked at the can and thought that’s not what I normally use DING DING a bell rang. I asked my wife about the new deodorant and she said I smell so got this super strength stuff. I still smell but you can imagine where I told her to shove the can of super :slight_smile: