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Christmas bee tale


#1

I have been feeding my bees sugar water since I installed the Nuc and recently added a second box on top. Now with the expansion I’ve also tapered down the mix to ween the girls off the sugar.
Of course with the festive season we all get busy and I had left them with out no sweet water from Christmas Eve afternoon till I remembered rushing off to Christmas lunch with the family.
I usually change the jars over early mornings before work and never have a problem, most times in just pants.
So about 10ish Christmas day I duck out to give them some sugar water when one lands on my left nostril and starts buzzing around (immediately wanted to swat temptation was great, itched and tickled like crazy) remaining calm I continued on when another landed on my sunnies, left eyebrow, this is when I started slowly walking away …then they stung!
Must say it didn’t hurt as much as the first time I’d been stung.
Escaped inside with only the two stings and
I managed to scrape the stinger from my eyebrow but funnily enough where I thought I’d been stung in the nose hole was only a scratch?? Has anyone else been scratched?? Like my eye it too still swelled in the next half hour though.
So I’ve found bees that are hangry (hungry/angry) and coming down from the sweet stuff are a little trigger happy!
My swelling did make a great conversation starter and kept the topic of the importance of bees happening during the festive feasts that followed.
So that’s my Christmas bee tale, oh, and did
I mention I got a bee jacket and Vail for Christmas :flushed: :christmas_tree::gift:


#2

Yes, lots of times. Usually through a bee suit - the stinger doesn’t get fully inserted, so the bee can pull it out again, or it gets mostly stopped by the suit, but still breaks the skin. I think of it as a kind of mini-sting.

Vail (Colorado, US) has great skiing in winter - should be nice! :smiling_imp: On the other hand, a veil will protect your face from hangry bees… :smile:


#3

Good pickup but hey it’s been a late couple of knights :wink:


#4

Hiya McFox, how are you feeding the bees? Could they have been protecting from robbers more so than being hungry?
Or perhaps that was their Christmas prezzie for you?


#5

Why an earth are you feeding them so much? I’d definitely not continue feeding them once the second box goes on. Have you opened the hive since installing the nuc? They will store sugar to the point that there is no laying space left so you may well be working against the hive.

How long have you been feeding them? And how much are you feeding them?


#6

I have been feeding them on recommendation from my local beek since I installed the nuc. The Nuc was a little low in numbers so can understand the reason to feed them to help them along. I will check my inspection notes that I’ve left at work to give you the facts on how much and how long. Because I’m off on holidays soon the plan was to feed them this weaker brew then leave them dry while on holidays and then that be it for feeding. I hear what your saying about filling laying space makes sense, I guess I’d never thought about it. I have done a couple of inspections, none since the second box went on 2 weeks ago, and am need of doing one before leaving for hols.
Thanks for the advice RBK.


#7

Yikes. I got a little scratch through my glove back in spring. Itched a lot but didn’t swell really.

Skeggley’s robber theory makes sense to me too :police_car:


#8

Nuc was installed on the 22nd October and I fed them 50/50 which 2kgs of sugar lasted a month. Then have continued 50/50 till 14 December which I’ve started 1/4 mixture. Second super was added on the 9th of December.


#9

My bees are fairly docile unless it is a hot humid day, hubby was stung three times while mowing the lawns near the hives recently, it was the first really humid day of the summer. The other time they were angry bees was when a swarm scout bee was scoping out the hive, we figured this out the next day when the swarm took up residence two doors down. Glad you got yourself a veil, stings on your head are the worst!


#10

When did you last inspect frames in the bottom brood box? How many had brood? Are you using foundation on the 3 frames that aren’t part of the original nuc? Was there any stored pollen on the frames?

The amount of feeding you are doing definitely sounds excessive, and I’m interested in your mentor’s motivations.


#11

Haven’t yet done one since the top box went on, weather and timing hasn’t been favorable.

Yeah the other 3 frames in the bottom box had foundation, and all 8 up top have foundation as well.
Last inspection showed pollen on 3 of the center frames.