Enough to make the bees angry?

This is my second year beekeeping and I installed a new package about two weeks ago. (My first year’s bees did not make it through the Massachusetts winter :frowning:

I have done a couple of checks, spotted the queen both times but I am not seeing any capped brood yet. I am feeding sugar water and they had been going thorough it really fast- a gallon in just a couple of days! When I checked today I found the feeder was jammed so they have been without sugar water for a couple of day and the bees were really agitated. I was stung 3 times through my socks and one bee got into a small space where the zipper of gear was open and stung my chin. I do not think we have much nectar flow here yet. Is being without sugar water for a couple of days enough of a reason for the bees to be so angry? I got stung more today than I did in all of my first year of beekeeping! Also, should I be seeing capped brood by now? The package was installed April 2.

Have they drawn out the frames yet Patti? and have you looked for the presence of eggs and larva? Being stung like that could be a sign of a problem in the hive such as a lack of nectar sources or it is just the personality of this particular colony, only time will tell. Generally speaking, new colonies are mostly calm. Post up a few photos for us to take a look at.


Hi Rod-
Thanks for the response. They have drawn a comb. I thought I might have
seen some larva.
Will post pictures when I do my next check, which will not be today :slight_smile:

My hives tend to be more defensive during a nectar dearth, so it is possible. A gallon in a couple of days is amazing - the container isn’t leaking is it? Sorry you got stung so much. Don’t lose confidence, it will get better. :wink:

Thanks for your response. I was also suspected a leak but when I refilled I made certain it was level and no leak. That is why I was thinking maybe they were really “displeased” when the feeder clogged. I have been reading about having to re-queen an aggressive hive and hope it does not get to that.

Did you smoke them several minutes in advance of opening the hive?

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I did not. I have not done that in the past but have never had this problem. My foot looks like it belong to Minnie mouse :slight_smile:


Great question from @Anon. I actually wrote something about this to another poster a few days ago. When you get a new colony, never ever trust them. They may not be like your last bees, even from the same supplier. Fully suit up, use smoke, and be prepared for trouble! :blush:

Take antihistamines and ice your foot - it may take a week to ten days to improve. Hope you feel better soon. :heart_eyes:

Thanks. I was suited up. Got stung thru my socks.

I wear gum boots. Seriously. Light weight pretty ones, but totally sting-proof:


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I’m a gum boot wearer too…and my dad was before me -without issue. Haven’t yet had one go down the top and get crushed but I’m sure someone has. They sure can’t get the stinger through my pair. Mine are heavy duty and not pretty. I think the baggy nature of the suit helps seal off the top. Generally as Michael Bush points out and Ed has said in his reply above, we should be patient when smoking them. I know I don’t wait long enough after giving them the first puffs. I never trust them either (you know that one bee that always hovers in front of your visor waiting for your next move?) and I never trust myself that I’m not going to make a mistake where I upset them - like drop a frame or a box.

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For me, sometimes smoke is not needed, but I don’t ever know that until it’s too late to use smoke.

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Always give them a puff of smoke regardless of what you are doing. Better to keep them calm than to stir them up. Don’t go looking for trouble.


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I put elastic stirrups on the bottom of trouser legs & pull down under the heel of my boots, no bee access to socks! :slight_smile:

thanks for the suggestion. will definitely incorporate

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Thanks for that advice