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Is this behaviour normal or are my Bees just EXTREMELLY placid & friendly?

Hey All,

Just want to know if the behavior of my bees as shown in the following videos is exceptional or wether it is normal? They are very kind to me, I can hang around the front of the hive and take photos & videos with no fear of being stung as they act as if im not even there! I love it because it allows me to get some awesome vids & photos.

I seem to be able to put my hand very close to the entrance without getting attacked too.

Now admittedly I have been stung a couple times ( once under the eye! ) but perhaps it was the time of day when guard bees are on patrol?

In general tho, I am able to walk around my orchard & even my little sausage dogs walk nearby & around the hive without being attacked.

Perhaps my queen is a well bred placid lovely lass who produces such like brood?

Opinions?

Thanks

Ryan

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Whatever you do for a living… Stop. Contact NatGeo Wild and tell them to forgot the Crocodile Hunter… You’re the bee whisperer!

… Only at certain times are my bees that placid. My bees aren’t particularly aggressive though but not sure I’d put my hand at the bottom of the landing board just in case…

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Apart from genetics there are other factors like weather, colony population and health, time of day and whether there is a flow on.
Try doing that in a dearth on a cloudy day in the late afternoon to a queenless colony. :joy:

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Have you inspected your nectar comb?
Is there good quality nectar storage being made into honey?
Is there bee-bread in the hive?
Have you observed your bees going to a water source?
Looks to me like dehydrated hungry bees. Something is not right. I would provide a water source and check that there is proper ventilation.

Don’t get too comfy with them. Most times I can mow in front of my hives and they ignore me BUT every now and then they seem to go into attack mode and I have been chased by them before even getting near the hives.

Treat bees with respect and you will not get nasty surprises. Expect them to attack and at least have veil on when going near the hive, then every visit will be a bonus. Get too casual and you will definitely remember the day they were in a mood…

Cheers
Rob.

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Just a tip, it’s best not to put honey out near or on your hive as it could attract robbing bees and wasps. It’s cool to see your bees all lined up eating the honey - however, they do this not for fun but to clean up before robbers catch a whiff :astonished:

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Ohh OK, thankyou for that info - I shall refrain from doing it!

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Hi Joe, what do you call “proper ventilation”? I only give my bees a smallish entrance, with no added ventilation.

Maybe I should be asking, how hot is it in the hives? Also, just to be sure that the hole in the center of the inner cover is not plugged with comb / wax so warm air can flow out. The bees in the video look a little on the sluggish side. Maybe because it’s kind of hot and stuffy in the hive. I don’t know.
I am of course thinking in terms of were I am. The temps in summer can get up to 90 F with 80% humidity. That makes it uncomfortable inside a beehive. That’s what Beaver82’s bees look like to me. Uncomfortable to hot to work, tired lethargic, dehydrated.
Maybe not who really knows.
With as much other activity as I see I would be thinking about maybe adding a brood box. I would definitely be offering a water source somewhere so I could see bees going to it for a drink.

Hey Joe,

The hive is just your usual Flow Hive setup, nothing modified. The hole in the inner lid is capped. The Hive is shaded all afternoon. I also turn on the overhead sprays at regular intervals remotely. I monitor the hive with a camera from work so I can see whats happening all the time. Its warming up here heading into summer. We can get a week long heat waves of 40 degreeC but low humidity (110F?) sometimes. But as mentioned I turn on the overhead sprinklers and that drops the ambient temp by 10-15 degreesC and the bees get a good drink at their own free will.

Also just FYI - I had only just harvested their first Flow frame super full of honey 2 days before taking those videos. So maybe they were a bit upset about me stealing all their honey & wanted to restock with anything they could find?

They certainly are active, it just seemed interesting that they arent too fussed about me being so close. And when the honey appeared they were more than happy to eat it.

Other than that nothing looks out of the ordinary - the flow is still on and they’ve already chewed back the capping on the flow hive frames & started a-new preparing it for another fill up.

Thanks

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I just watched the videos again, they look in pretty good nick to me. I can’t see any sluggish, tired, lethargic or dehydrated bees in the videos.

To answer @Beaver82 question: Those bees are extremely placid & friendly. To be able to sit in front of the entrance like that is uncommon. However Ryan, remember they ARE bees & they all have a sting in the tail. They’ll sacrifice themselves if they think that the brood is under threat. You must have a non threatening demeanor.

cheers

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Thanks JeffH

Well from Day 1 when I moved them into the orchard I sat there and watched as the first few scouts came out & started investigating. Then each day afterward I was always nearby. I certainly never gave any impressions to them that I was a threat. Maybe they have gotten used to me being around? As mentioned I have been stung of course. The 2 times were when I was just near the hive having a look from about a meter away, when one just went right at me, got me under the eye! Even have it recorded by the camera haha :slight_smile: But yes I do think I will be wearing at the very least the Flow hat & veil I have more often now.

The beekeeper I purchased the NUC from also said he is rarely attacked by his bees. Must be placid genes in the queen too.

Thanks for your input Joe & Jeff

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Ryan
Sounds like your doing an awesome job. Keep right on doing everything you are doing.
I don’t know that I could be as brave as you :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes:
Enjoy your hive of unusually docile bees. :slightly_smiling_face:

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Hi & you’re welcome Ryan. I didn’t read the bit where you got 2 stings. THAT is sounding more like normal behavior. A good bit of information to always remember is that bees are triggered by an increase in CO2 in the air. They target the source of the CO2, which happens to be on the face, hence the sting under the eye.

Frequently people who pick bees up from me, not wearing a veil get a sting on the face while getting up close to the bees. They could be breathing a bit heavier due to a mixture of excitement & asking questions. We had a run on people coming to pick bees up wearing black clothes without a veil. Now we try to remember to tell them to bring a veil & don’t wear black clothes.

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Or red, because bees feel darker reds as black.

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@Beaver82 Ryan, here at Wagga Wagga NSW we have a beekeeper whom also breeds Queen bees for sale, and is especially genetically breeding them to have a quiet temperament, those queens pass those traits onto their offspring. It sounds like the beekeeper whom you bought your bees from, has similar Queens. Also I’m told that bees will become familiar with the smell of their owner, my hive has one of the Queens from the breeder here, and they are also very quiet, and I sit close to them for hours, and not once has any of them come at me. Though when I’m interfering with their hive, I always wear protection, yesterday I opened the top cover from the brood box to see how they were going, and even when I had to shake about 30 of them off the cover back into the BB, not one of them came at me. Though I’m not confident enough to handle them like you do. BTW I’ve only had my bees for about 2 months, and am on a steep learning curve, I didn’t even know that bees could be breed to be quiet until getting my bees, and am very pleased indeed.
Cheers