First year bee keeper here and the first few months bees did not bother us at all now all the sudden when we go to the chicken coop or garden about 50 feet away from bee hive there is a random guard bee that flys around our heads acting frantic. We have not been stung by our bees yet and this bee also doesn’t appear to want to sting, just fly around our heads or in our hair. Is this normal? Inside the hive looks great we have honey, larvae, eggs, pollen. Everything you want. There were also a couple ants, but no hive beetles and the mite count was low.
Hi Rebecca, that’s a cute chick
It sounds like normal guard bee behavior in a nectar dearth, when forage is getting low or all gone for the year. The bees can start to get more defensive to protect their precious stores for winter. Sometimes the scents people use are especially alerting too. Be careful, a guard will certainly sting if you swat or get too close! The ‘frantic’ flying is a warning to you to keep your distance.
Thank you, for your quick response. I normally leave the area so the bee doesn’t get too mad. I also wear my bee suit when I harvest from the garden cause I don’t wanna get stung lol. The chick is much bigger now but just as cute . Was wondering, when washing the bee suit should I get a detergent that is sent free?
If your working on your hive avoid using any scented deodorant and the like. A friend who helped at my apiary had washed her hair in rose scented shampoo and paid a very high price and you can guess where she was stung. Bees are a lot more defensive of the hive in a dearth, even if the hive is full of stores.
That’s probably a good idea, I already use it so I don’t have any comparative experience with a scented kind. I wash my suit with a little bit of bleach now and then too.
As @Eva says, perhaps a good idea. However, I just use Tide Coldwater HE detergent, and it is absolutely fine.
Soda crystals from any supermarket is great fir washing your suit